Astros best playoff matchup No. 4 — New York Yankees
Record vs. New York Yankees 2022 Regular Season: 5-2. Outscored opponent 27-22 in seven games.
While the run differential is the smallest of all the previous teams, it doesn’t truly reflect how dominant the Astros were against the Yankees. The statistic that really shows how much the Astros owned the Yankees this year is the fact that the Yankees never led in any game they played except for after the final at-bats of games one and four of the series in New York.
This series included Cristian Javier’s seven no-hit inning performance that was finished off by Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly. The Yankees do have a powerful offense leading the American League in runs scored and they lead all of baseball in walks.
A patient offense with power can be a problem for the Astros pitching staff but the one thing the Yankees don’t do well is make contact. After Aaron Judge’s .311 batting average the next highest average is Isiah Kiner-Falefa with .263. Over half their lineup is hitting under .250 and four of their nine guys in the lineup are hitting .227 or under.
They are a true three outcome team either walking, homering or striking out and against elite pitching it showed that the strikeouts were a problem for the Yankees when facing the Astros. The games they won were by game tying or game winning three run homers so they score in bunches but with the Astros pitching they should put up more zeroes than they do big innings.
There is of course the mental side of this in the fact that the Astros have had the Yankees number since 2015 when they beat them in the Wild Card game at Yankee Stadium. Since then the Astros have won two more playoff series against New York and gone further in the playoffs than the Yankees every year since 2017.
With Aaron Judge’s potential impending free agency departure next season the pressure seems even greater for them to win it all this year. This will most likely be the ALCS matchup and if so it would be a dandy.