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Yankees-Astros playoff clash postponed over weather fears

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Major League Baseball on Wednesday postponed game four of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees after storms were forecast for New York City.

The game at Yankee Stadium was due to get under way Wednesday at 8.08pm local time (0008 GMT Thursday) but has been delayed by 24 hours to avoid the possibility of a rainout, said Major League Baseball in a statement.

The National Weather Service had forecast a 100 percent likelihood of rain in New York later Wednesday.

The Astros lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 after a victory at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. Game five will now take place on Friday.

"We are mindful of two things: We don't want to affect the competitive complexion of the series, and we want to be mindful of our fans who have to get out," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred had warned on Tuesday when the postponement was first suggested.

"We don't want to bring them here if we know we are not going to be able to play."

The postponement alters the likely pitching lineups for the remainder of the series.

The Astros are now set to bring back Zack Greinke for game four, allowing Justin Verlander to start in game five.

The winner of the Astros and Yankees series will advance to a World Series showdown with the Washington Nationals, who secured their place to the Fall Classic on Tuesday with victory over the St.Louis Cardinals.

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