Published On: Thu, Oct 12th, 2017

Astros not taking Yankees lightly despite home-field advantage

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Bob DeChiara / USA TODAY Sports

There’s nothing like a little bit of home cooking, but unwanted houseguests can spoil a party pretty quickly.

With their ALCS opponent decided, the Houston Astros get to kick back and wait for the New York Yankees to come to them. Had the Yankees failed in their epic comeback against the Cleveland Indians, the Astros would instead be traveling north for Game 1. Manager A.J. Hinch told Brian McTaggart of that starting the series at Minute Maid Park is huge.

“I’m really happy we have home field,” Hinch said. “It’s a tough challenge. Wild-card teams that win the wild-card game and win the Division Series have a lot of momentum. They’re a good team. We only played them a few times during the year, but we’ll be ready for them.”

The Astros boast the best offense in baseball, having scored 896 runs in the regular season. Houston has continued its dominance in the postseason, plating 24 runs in four games against the Boston Red Sox. But the Astros could be tested by the Yankees’ pitching staff, which allowed only 18 runs against the Indians over five games.

Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis stressed there wasn’t a preference in opponent as both clubs coming out of the ALDS would have provided a challenge.

“They beat a really good Cleveland team,” Gattis said. “It was kind of like pick your poison. Every team is good, and you’re going to have to play well to win. It just works out better that we stay home and don’t have to get on an airplane tomorrow (morning) at 10 o’clock.”

Game 1 is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. ET. Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel is slated to take the mound, while the Yankees have yet to announce a starting pitcher.

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