That is all the Houston Astros need to knock the New York Yankees out of playoff contention and make it to the 2019 World Series. If the Yankees want to extend their postseason run, then they are going to have to clean up their game from last night dramatically.
Yankee’s Path to World Series
In last night’s Game 4 loss , 8-3, New York had four errors, 13 strikeouts and left 17 men on base. The last time the Yankees managed that many miscues in a playoff game was in 1976.
In Game 5, the Yankees will have to face Justin Verlander. Aaron Judge knows that capitalizing with runners on base will be more important than ever if they want to push the ALCS further.
Having consistent pitching will be another key factor for the Yankees to pull out a win.
With Verlander and, if they force a Game 6, possibly Gerrit Cole, the Yankees will have some extremely dominant pitching to go up against.
These last three games were the ones that the Yankees really needed to pull out, while Verlander and Cole were not on the mound for the Astros.
Now, they will be facing Verlander head on tonight in New York.
The Yankees will need to take advantage of having the home field advantage one more time before going back to Houston, if they can make it.
Astros’ Path to World Series
The Astros have a much more clear path to the World Series than the Yankees. One more win. That’s all Houston needs. And with Verlander on the mound, the win is just within reach.
Verlander is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in three postseason starts this fall. Should they clinch Game 5 tonight, it will be their second World Series appearance in just three seasons. Should something go wrong in Game 5? Don’t worry, the Astros probably have Cole available for Game 6.
The Astros have scored 15 runs in the series and have hit six homers, including four in New York. However, Yankee pitching is capable of shutting them down. They did that in Game 1 when they held Houston to just three hits.
The Astros’ combination of dominant pitching and hitting might be too difficult for the Yankees to overcome.
A pitching rematch of Game 2. Verlander vs. James Paxton.
Game 2 was the closest of the series at 3-2 Houston, so if bats come back for the Yankees, this game could end up with a different ending. However, should Verlander remain lights out, the Astros may find themselves back in the World Series.