There have been 27 best-of-seven series tied at 2-2 since the League Championship Series expanded to this format in 1985. The club that won Game 5 went on to win 18 times, or 66.7 percent. Clubs that have taken a 3-2 series lead in the LCS have won the set 13 of 16 times, including 10 of the past 11 since 1992.
Were the Astros to take Game 5 of the ALCS presented by Camping World in the Bronx on Wednesday, their chances of reaching the Fall Classic will increase significantly more than would the Yankees’ if they are to win the contest at home before going on the road to Houston for the final two games.
“We’re not going to cave to it,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said prior to Wednesday’s game. “This is a tough place to play, a tough place to pitch. When they get things going, they’re really good at home in how they perform, speaking of the Yankees.”
Clubs breaking a 2-2 tie by winning Game 5 at home are 9-8 in such LCS and World Series since 1985. Road clubs earning the victory in Game 5 have closed out the series nine out of 10 times in that same span.
“We can’t run from it,” Hinch said. “We’re not going to deny that this is a big moment for a lot of guys. I’ve got a group of men that can handle it. And we’ll attack today the same way we attacked the last four days and try to get the lead in the series.”
The Yankees had best home record in AL during the regular season (51-30) and the Astros the best road record (53-28, tied with the Indians). So far, the Yanks’ home-field edge has prevailed.
“I got a chance to see it a lot as a player and other times, and I sit there and when I see it, I smile because I appreciate what our fans are doing,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “And I think they’re a big part of this. The feeling that they’re giving our players inside, it’s pretty special.”