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Michael Brantley hasn't hit well in the playoffs, but Yankee Stadium could help change that.
Michael Brantley hasn't hit well in the playoffs, but Yankee Stadium could help change that.
Photo by Jack Gorman

Astros-Yankees Game Three: Four Things to Watch

After a long and exciting Game 2 win for the Astros, the ALCS now shifts to New York for Games 3. 4 and 5 (if necessary). Tied up 1-1 in this best of seven series, it feels like it could go the distance, but it starts with the next one in the Bronx. Here are four things to watch for.

Weather Forecast

There is a near 100 percent chance of rain in New York for game four on Wednesday and at least a decent chance the game could be rained out. If that were to happen, game 4 would be Thursday and game 5 pushed back to Friday. While it wouldn't change much for the Yankees and certainly won't impact game 3, it could mean Zack Greinke would be able to pitch in Game 4 on normal rest and the Astros would not have to go to a bullpen game at that point. Eyes will certainly be on the weather Tuesday afternoon even if it isn't for Tuesday's game.

Lefty Bats

Yankee Stadium has a very short porch in right field — only 314 feet tapering in a straight line to 385 in the alley. That makes it heaven for lefty batters or, if you are like Aaron Judge, guys who like to go the opposite direction. That could benefit Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, who both routinely go to right field. But it will be especially helpful for Michael Brantley, Yordan Alvarez and Josh Reddick, the main lefties in the lineup. Expect a steady dose of Reddick in this trip to NYC.

Luis Severino Longevity

Severino has pitched only once since coming back from injury. He was rather shaky against the Twins and is not expected to have a long leash in this series. Don't be surprised if he only goes three or four innings and the Yankees again rely heavily on their outstanding relief core.

Gerrit Cole Dominance

No pitcher in the postseason has been as dominant as Cole. No pitcher in quite some time has been this dominant. If he can continue his unreal pitching, the Astros will have a chance to go up 2-1 in this series. The Yankees are good against hard throwers like Cole, but they haven't had to face anyone like him this season. Expect there to be a lot of swings and misses for the Yanks in Game 3.

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