The Yankees and Houston Astros will continue the ALCS in New York this week, but the overlying headline could be something neither team can control: Mother Nature.
It's expected that Game 3 will happen as scheduled on Tuesday. But Game 4 has folks in the league office worried as Wednesday has a forecast that's wet. There's already predicted 100 percent chance of showers, at times, for the Bronx that day via the National Weather Service.
According to ESPN, Major League Baseball is already planning ahead because of the forecasted showers, which could cause big changes to the pitching rotations of both the Yankees and Astros in the ALCS.
Due to the potential rain out, the league does not want to give up their contest in prime time on Wednesday. Here's where the NLCS comes into the picture.
The Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals are slated for a 4:08 p.m. first pitch on Wednesday. If the forecast holds and the Yankees and Astros are rained out, Major League Baseball is considering flexing the NLCS to 8:08 p.m., the scheduled start time for the ALCS. Naturally the league would prefer to have something rather than nothing in prime time.
Per the report, the decision to postpone the ALCS would come before Wednesday, allowing for adjustments from teams and fans. Worth mentioning, the NLCS could be over by Tuesday, though. That's if the Nationals, who hold a 2-0 lead on the Cards, finish off a sweep on Monday and Tuesday.
If the move occurs, Game 4 and Game 5 would be moved to Thursday and Friday at Yankee Stadium, respectively. The series would then move back to Houston for Game 6 by Sunday.
With a potential postponement of the ALCS reportedly under consideration, that would allow for both the Yankees and Astros to throw huge 12-6 curveballs into their rotations.
Yankees skipper Aaron Boone said on Monday that he's planning to go with a bullpen effort in Game 4, and the Astros are considering the same, according to manager AJ Hinch. But if it's pushed back, RHP Masahiro Tanaka could see an earlier next appearance in the series, and possibly even an added later one, if needed. For the Astros, that could allow altering to their current plans with their top-three pitchers in RHP Gerrit Cole, RHP Justin Verlander and RHP Zack Greinke. Verlander could shift to a Game 5 start and potential relief appearance in Game 7 like Tanaka, with Cole, the starter for Game 3 on Tuesday against Yankees RHP Luis Severino, could then be available by Game 6 if a rain out does occur.