Aaron Boone NY Yankees
Tommy Gilligan | USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees haven’t had much to complain about so far.

The best record in baseball, an American League MVP favorite, a xx-game lead in the AL East with two months to go. But it also feels like they are two losses away from having little hope to win a championship. Why? The Astros.

The Yankees have been unable to solve Houston. They are now 11-15 against them dating back to 2019, and 2-5 this year. They are seemingly unable to score against them, managing more than four runs in just nine of 26 games over the last four seasons. They were even no-hit by them this year. And the only two games they won came in the last at-bat.

Now they are on a collision course for the ALCS. And the Yankees’ edge for home field advantage has slipped to just two games. Which is a big issue.

The Yankees particularly struggle on the road against the Astros. The Astros are 16-7 against the Yankees at Minute Maid Park dating back to 2017. Couple that with the fact the Astros strength this year is their pitching. The Yankees will be in serious trouble if Houston beats them out for the best record in the AL.

The Yankees are only averaging 2.7 runs per game in Houston this year compared to averaging 3.5 runs per game in the Bronx. The Yankees are a staggering 38-12 at home this year so far in a building Houston has been known to struggle, especially in the postseason. In the two full playoff series these teams have met, Houston has only one victory in the Bronx and it was a 3-2 victory in 11 innings.

The Yankees’ pitching staff is better than in years past. But Houston’s has been better, which could negate the Yankees’ offensive advantage. Power pitching beats power hitting in the postseason, after all. Especially when it has last licks. That’s why home field advantage is so critical for the Yankees.