Game four of the 2019 ALCS between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees has been postponed until Thursday. This will affect how each team will utilize their starting pitching and their bullpens.

For the Astros, they were going to have a bullpen day on Wednesday but instead with the day off they can set their rotation back on track with their big three starters. A.J. Hinch said that Zack Grienke will now start on normal rest on Thursday and Justin Verlander will get the ball on Friday for game five also on normal rest.

If the series is still continuing after game five that'll leave a decision for Hinch whether or not to come back with Gerritt Cole on Saturday for game six on three days rest something he's never done in his professional career.

I'm thinking that decision will come down to where the Astros are in the series at that point. If they find themselves up 3-2 then I could see Hinch going with a bullpen game, keeping Cole in his back pocket for game seven on normal rest.

If Houston finds themselves behind in the series 3-2 then I think Hinch would have no other choice but to roll the dice with Cole on short rest because you'd have to win to make it to a game seven. I couldn't see the Astros leaving Cole on the shelf for a "potential" game seven.

As for New York, they were also planning on utilizing a bullpen day on Wednesday with the lack of a reliable fourth starter. Now, they'll get to roll out their best in Masahiro Tanaka on Thursday opposing Grienke for a rematch of game one where Tanaka dominated.

However, with the rainout, there's a potential for four games in four days if the series goes seven games to Sunday. This will affect the Yankees and manager Aaron Boone's ability to utilize their strength which is in their bullpen. Boone will have to find a balance between being frugal and aggressive with how he uses his pen with no more days off in this series.

This rainout definitely favors Houston as they'll be better prepared with their starters with an opportunity to close out the Yanks if they win Thursday and hand the ball to a properly rested Verlander on Friday.

It should be fun.

 

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