The Astros are a team that is stuck in the middle of the dog days of summer right now. They are stuck in the best version of them that you can find however, being a team with a massive division lead and not much to technically play for other than getting yourself right for October. But that is not exactly the case for the club. There is still one thing that must be accomplished, securing home field advantage throughout the American League portion of the playoffs.
Throughout the years, the Astros have not taken complete advantage of home field advantage when they have it. The club had it in each of their last two World Series appearances and it turned out to not mean much as they lost all four home games in 2019 and two of the three in 2021. But make no mistake about it, having it is something you should always want.
October is a different animal. The lights are brighter, the crowds are louder and the pressure is just different. It is something that the Astros throughout the years have sought out more than others. There have been few teams that are able to flip the switch the way the Astros do. It is no guarantee that it happens again, but if things play out the way they should, the club will once again be playing for the chance to go to the World Series once again.
Last night the Astros received a gift from a division rival as the Mariners took down the Yankees, pulling the Astros dead even with New York in the battle for the league's number one seed. The Astros hold the tiebreaker over New York thanks to their domination of them in the regular season series. Getting out in front of the Yankees should and will matter to this club. When push comes to shove, you would rather play four games against the Yankees at home, rather than just three.
Neither team is playing their best baseball at the moment, but the Astros are staring at a prime opportunity to get out and put some space between themselves and their bitter rivals due to the ease of their schedule moving forward. It's win at all costs these days, and that is exactly what you should expect from both clubs moving forward.