If the Yanks play Houston in the ALCS, it appears that Houston, as in 2017, will have home field advantage. We know what happened in the 2017 ALCS. The home team won every game.
As of now, Houston has a 1 1/2 game edge over the Yanks for home field advantage, and owns the tiebreaker. Just seven games remain in the regular season.
Yes, you can lose things in April.
Looking back. The series that could come back to haunt them. The Jose Altuve series.
April 8 at Houston: Yanks take a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh. They lose 4-3. Tanaka was great, 1 R, in 6 IP, but Britton and Ottavino couldn’t hold it. Altuve hits a HR.
April 9 at Houston: The Yanks had a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. They gave up one in the seventh and three in the eighth to lose 6-3. One of the few games started this year by Jonathan Loaisiga. Chad Green has been great since getting fixed at AAA (when his ERA was 16.43) and coming back, but this was one of those games before having to go down to AAA that Green was awful in. He gave up 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning and took the loss. Jonathan Holder, who has had a bad, wasted year, was the one who gave up the run in the seventh. Altuve homered in this game.
I am not sure, but I think it was also this game in which Clint Frazier in LF really messed up a couple of balls as well.
April 10 at Houston: Houston won 8-6, Altuve hit 2 HR.
So a combination of failing bullpen, Jose Altuve being on fire, and bad defense doomed the Yankees. All before mid-April.
When the teams met at Yankee Stadium in June, the Yanks won the first three games 10–6, 4-1 and 7-5 before dropping the final one 9-4.
2017 ALCS: Yanks 0-4 @ Houston, 3-0 vs. Houston at home.
2018: Yanks 3-1 @ Houston (two shutouts), 2-1 against Houston at home.
2019: Yanks 0-3 @ Houston; 3-1 vs. Houston at home.
Ok, 2018 was a bit strange. But otherwise, you can see the difference recently.
If the Yanks do meet Houston in the ALCS this year, and Houston, as it looks like right now, does have home field advantage, we’ll ruefully look back at those games in April, esp. the first two, as games that could have tremendous bearing on home field advantage and who the AL pennant winner may turn out to be.
One thing is for sure. If the Yanks do play Houston in the ALCS, they’ll have to figure out a way to win in Houston (shutting them out, like in 2018, would help).