MLB monitoring forecast for ALCS Game 4

Astros, Yankees weighing rotation options in case weather interrupts series

October 16th, 2019

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball is monitoring the weather forecast for Wednesday night’s Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium, but Commissioner Rob Manfred said it’s too early to tell what’s going to happen or to discuss a plan in the event of rain.

The National Weather Service projects a 90 percent chance of rain Wednesday, while The Weather Channel predicts a 100 percent chance of rain.

“We are mindful of two things: We don’t want to affect the competitive complexion of the series, and we want to be mindful of our fans who have to get out,” Manfred said. “We don’t want to bring them here if we know we are not going to be able to play. It’s just too early to tell what’s going to happen.”

In the event that Game 4 is postponed, it would be made up on Thursday and Game 5 would be pushed back to Friday, which was a scheduled off-day between Game 5 and a potential Game 6 in Houston.

New York plans to deploy a bullpen game if Game 4 is played Wednesday, but manager Aaron Boone said after Houston's 4-1 win in Game 3 that he almost certainly would bring back for Game 4 if Wednesday’s game is rained out.

“Good chance of that,” Boone said. “That's something we'll talk through, also. But a good chance of that, yes.”

The Astros, who are also scheduled to have a bullpen game for Game 4, would likely bring back to pitch instead.

A shift would also put on track to pitch Game 5, and it would allow , Game 3’s winning pitcher, to start Game 6 (if necessary) on short rest. The Astros, if ahead in the series, could go with or a bullpen game in Game 6 and save a fully-rested Cole for Game 7, with Verlander potentially available out of the bullpen.

One possibility for the Yanks would be to use for Game 5, or a bullpen game for a potential Game 6 and for Game 7 (if necessary).

Ultimately, the decisions will depend on the rain and which team is leading the series.

“Obviously if that were to happen, that changes some things moving forward as far as our rotation [and] potentially moving guys up,” Boone said. “But I don't think it changes much about [Tuesday]. We're going to see where our relievers are, what we feel like we have available with them going into a game like [Tuesday]. And we're going to go and pour everything in we can to winning a ballgame, knowing that obviously [Wednesday's forecast] doesn't look good.”