The schedule change is probably harder on the Yankees pitching staff. For one, the four games in four days will make it harder for Aaron Boone since he relies on so many innings from his bullpen. Asking those guys to pitch four straight days is a tall order.
Thus, he’s going to need to get more innings from his starters, and that hasn’t gone particularly well this series. Masahiro Tanaka went six innings in Game One, but James Paxton only went 2.1 in Game Two and Luis Severino went 4.1 in Game Three. He’s already burned through his bullpen, with some relievers pitching in all three games.
It looks like Tanaka will start Game Four, and it will be imperative for the Astros to make him work. Getting him out of the game after no more than five innings would be a huge victory. Like Hinch, Boone will have to put together a bullpen game either on Friday or Saturday, depending on when he wants to use Paxton.
It’s doubtful he’d want to start J.A. Happ or CC Sabathia, so if the Astros can ensure Boone’s best relievers are tired after Game Five, they’ll be in good shape if the series shifts back to Houston. The Yankees would be desperate for innings from Paxton and Severino, and the relievers will all have faced the Astros multiple times.
If the Yankees force a Game Seven, the Astros will have a rested Cole, and the Yankees will have a tired bullpen. It doesn’t guarantee victory, but it works in the Astros favor. There’s still plenty left to be decided in this ALCS, so stay tuned.