Over in the National League, the NLCS has played out mostly as expected. The home teams have won all three games so far, capitalizing on their home-field advantage.
The ALCS, on the other hand, has been the opposite. The first four games have all been won by the road teams, which is absolutely bizarre.
Then again, maybe not. In the NL, Phoenix is a long way from Philadelphia. It takes a five-hour flight to cover the roughly 2,350 miles and two time zones.
Meanwhile, the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers have barely traveled at all by comparison. They both play in the same state and are roughly 250 miles apart. It's an hour by plane and about four by car.
So yeah, maybe home-field advantage is actually road-field advantage in their case.
The Rangers caught the Astros by surprise, winning the first two games in Houston and briefly becoming World Series favorites in the process. Jordan Montgomery outdueled Justin Verlander 2-0 in Game 1, and Texas held on to win Game 2 after pouncing on Framber Valdez for 4 runs in the first inning.
Apparently Houston just needed a change of scenery to find its groove, especially on offense. The Astros have looked like a completely different team in Games in 3 and 4, playing like a club that a) won the World Series last year, b) won the division this year, and c) finally had a sense of urgency after falling behind 0-2.
Over the first two games of the series, Houston scored just 4 total runs on 11 hits combined. The Astros then proceeded to crank out 8 runs in Game 3 and 10 runs in Game 4, racking up 23 hits along the way.
Houston is now 8-1 at Globe Life Field with a +41 run differential, treating it like a home away from home. They're also 55-30 away from Minute Maid Park this season, so this isn't anything new.
Can the Rangers finally defend their home turf in Game 5? Or will the road team prevail again?
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