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Written by Mark Roberts on September 3, 2013

Cleveland Indians vs. Baltimore Orioles Free Pick - 9/4/13: Mark's Free MLB Baseball Pick Against the Spread
Photo by: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians butt heads in a game crucial to the playoff hopes of both teams.

The Cleveland Indians host the Baltimore Orioles with both teams battling to stay alive for the postseason.

I think there might be a bit of panic in the Baltimore camp, with the team in fade mode at a crucial part of their schedule. This is the time of year that can make or break a team and it's break right now after a 4-3 loss to Cleveland Tuesday saw the Birds modest two-game win streak come to an end. One of the most feared offensive teams didn't hit and Chris Tillman's struggles on the bump didn't help. Tillman gave up all four runs on five hits and five BB over 5.1 frames, which left the bats to try and come back. Close but no cigar, as Nate McLouth's three-run homer in the top of the 9th fell short. Baltimore turns to Zach Britton to rebound from Tuesday's narrow defeat against Cleveland. Britton hasn't been a regular in the rotation, with only 34 innings pitched on the year, where he has gone 2-3.

If any team in the postseason conversation needed a win, it was Cleveland, who barely hung on to edge out Baltimore Tuesday. The Indians built a 4-0 lead behind a solid performance by Ubaldo Jimenez, who gave up four hits and walked two through six scoreless innings to pick up a huge win for a team that was on the verge of a full blown slump. The offense made the most of five hits and five bases on balls that saw Asdrubel Cabrera and Yan Gomes pace the offense with a pair of runs driven in apiece. That was almost not enough when Chris Perez was tagged for a three run bomb in the 9th to make things too interesting. Right-hander Zach McAllister draws Wednesdays start on the mound against the visiting Orioles. McAllister has gone 2-1 the last three times out with just 15 hits allowed over 17 innings of work in this span.

It's not a picnic backing either team as Cleveland has been on a slide and Baltimore is a bit inconsistent at times. I'm backing the Tribe in a real coin flip.

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Mark's Pick: Cleveland -118

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