In the 2017 ALCS, the Yankees took Games 3,4 and 5 at home against the Astros. This time around, the Yankees split the first two games in Houston. If they can win three straight home games, they’ll be American League champs.
“We love playing here,” Aaron Boone said Tuesday. “Our guys are comfortable here, obviously, are confident here. I’d say we’re confident wherever we play, though. We always like coming home here knowing that we feel like we have the home-field advantage certainly playing here. We know that our fans are going to be special and hopefully allow us to have even a little bit more of an advantage with the energy that they bring us.”
The Yankees won 57 times in the regular season in the Bronx. Over the final 23 series at home, the Yankees won 20 and split three after dropping the first three of the season.
That’s the longest unbeaten series streak at home since going 20-0-5 from September 1997 through August 1998.
They’re 9-2 at home in the postseason since 2017, with both losses coming at the hands of the Red Sox in last season’s ALDS. And Houston hasn’t been spared. The Yankees are 8-2 at home against the Astros since the 2017 ALCS.
The Astros have been stellar at home but if the Yankees take the next three, there will be no return trip to Texas.
“Just knowing how tough of a place Houston is to win in, I think winning that first game was huge,” Chad Green said. “Obviously we would have liked to have won Game 2 and come back with a two-game lead. To win a game in their place in a playoff is not an easy thing to do.”
The Yankees dominated the Twins in the ALDS with 10-4 and 8-1 victories. It was the third time in team history that they scored at least eight runs in consecutive home games.
The competition is stiffer this time around. Gerrit Cole will take the mound. The Yankees saw him in April when he was 0-2, in the midst of a 1-4 start. He was 4-5 in late May before winning his final 16 decisions and building a strong Cy Young case. The winner will be Cole or his teammate Justin Verlander. Luis Severino (and a plethora of relievers) will pitch for the Yankees.
Where else would you rather be?
“I think our guys are excited to get home and play in such a big-time matchup in the Bronx in Yankee Stadium, baby,” Boone said. “It doesn’t beat that.”