NEW YORK -- As expected, Game 4 of the 2019 ALCS between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium has been postponed due to rain, MLB announced Wednesday morning. The series will continue on Thursday with Game 4 and Game 5 will be played Friday at 7:08 p.m. ET.

The forecast in New York has improved slightly over the last 24 hours, though heavy rain is still expected from approximately 2 p.m. ET Wednesday to 12 a.m. ET Thursday. MLB tends to be conservative with potential weather delays in the postseason, so rather than wait for a possible window Wednesday night, they called the game early.

The rainout means Games 4-7 of the ALCS will be played on four consecutive days from Thursday through Sunday (Games 6-7 are if necessary). Both teams announced a bullpen game for the originally scheduled Game 4 on Wednesday, though that is likely to change after the rainout.

"Good chance of that," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said following Game 3 when asked about bringing Masahiro Tanaka back for Game 4 should their be a rainout. "That's something we'll talk through, also, but a good chance of that, yes."

Neither team has officially announced their post-rainout plans yet. Here are the possible new pitching matchups. Every starter will be on normal four days rest:

ALCS DATESYANKEESASTROS

Thursday, Game 4

Masahiro Tanaka

Zack Greinke

Friday, Game 5

James Paxton

Justin Verlander

Saturday, Game 6 (if necessary)

bullpen game

bullpen game

Sunday, Game 7 (if necessary)

Luis Severino

Gerrit Cole

The bullpen game can now be pushed back as far as Game 6 -- a game that might not even be played -- while keeping everyone on normal rest. That said, going with a bullpen game three days into a four games in four days stretch might not be easy. Both bullpens could be taxed by then.

The Astros hold a 2-1 series lead in the ALCS. Games 4-5 will be played at Yankee Stadium before the series shifts back to Minute Maid Park for Games 6-7, if necessary. The ALCS winner will face the Washington Nationals in the World Series, which begins Tuesday, Oct. 22, in the American League city.