Can Astros treat Yankees like the punching bag they've been to spark '24 bounce-back?

The Astros simply have to take advantage of the Yankees' flaws this week to have any chance of surviving this season.
New York Yankees v Houston Astros
New York Yankees v Houston Astros / Tim Warner/GettyImages

There is no denying it: the Houston Astros have to turn things around very, very soon if they are going to save their 2024 season. They currently sit at 12-22 and in fourth place in the AL West division that they were supposed to be among the favorites to win this year. If something could go wrong this season, it probably has already.

Luckily, Houston is heading to New York for a three-game series with the Yankees.

On the surface, going against a Yankees team that has Juan Soto and Aaron Judge on their roster and who sit at 23-13 doesn't exactly scream "slump buster series." However, the Astros have a few things going their way and the Yankees have a few things that ... are not, heading into the pivotal matchup between the AL rivals.

The Yankees might be the perfect opponents to wake up the Astros

While the Yankees have been very tough to deal with at times this year, one thing we do know is that this Houston team is very experienced against most of the Yankees' roster and has come up big in the spotlight moments against them.

The Yankees' four-game sweep at the beginning of the season was absolutely ugly, but several of those games were close and the Astros have some more weapons at their disposal this time now that Justin Verlander is back and Joey Loperfido is in the lineup instead of Jose Abreu. Combine those important changes and the Astros' success agains the Yankees historically and you have the makings of a series where Houston should be primed.

Another interesting thing here is that the Yankees might be the worst good team in baseball this year. They are still without Gerrit Cole, their lineup has real holes in it where the Astros can go for outs, and the Yankees' probable pitchers for the series (Luis Gil, Carlos Rodón, and Marcus Stroman) are not overly imposing. Houston should also have some opportunities late in games especially if Clay Holmes can chill out for once.

The Yankees have also suffered some pretty sad losses of late. The Orioles destroyed them last week in taking three games out of four from New York despite the fact that Baltimore's offense all but took the week off. They also lost a series in the middle of April to the last-place Blue Jays and very nearly got swept there. This is New York team that can not get out of their own way at times and that is exactly what the Astros need to happen ... just like old times.

None of this matters if the Astros don't actually execute, though. Houston is down bad this season for a number of reasons, and based on what we have seen out of them, it is very possible that the Yankees all but put a nail in Houston's coffin this week. However, if the Astros are going to wake up and get back on track, doing so against the hated Yankees is as good an opportunity as any given how many times New York has folded to Houston.

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