It’s a potential ALCS preview starting Friday night from the South Side of Chicago as the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox host the AL West-leading Houston Astros. The Astros should be slight favorites on the MLB odds after an earlier home sweep vs. Chicago.
How to Bet Astros at White Sox MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Friday, 8:10 PM ET
- Where: Guaranteed Rate Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Lance McCullers Jr./Dylan Cease
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: TBA (Astros will be favored)
Why Bet on Houston?
Infielder Aledmys Díaz has begun a minor-league rehab assignment. There’s a strong possibility that he’s back with the Astros before the end of July. He’s been out since June 3 with a fractured left hand after he was hit by a pitch.
Reliever Josh James is even closer to a return – he could be activated in time for this game. He hasn’t pitched this year following hip surgery last October. Ever since he broke out in 2018 behind his unexpected velocity spike, James has been known for his fastball. In parts of three major-league seasons, he’s sat at 96-97 mph and topped out at 101. He would be a huge addition for the bullpen.
Rookie outfielder Chas McCormack has been a huge surprise. He blasted 10 home runs and played stellar defense. While seeing time at all three outfield positions, the left-hander has played 161.1 innings in left, 126 in right and 70.1 in center. McCormick appears to be benefiting from some amount of luck, though. The advanced stats show him batting .243 on fastballs, when his xBA on the pitch is only .198.
The Astros swept four games at home vs. the White Sox from June 17-20. The Astros have gone 42-22 vs. teams with .500-or-better records this season, which are the most wins and is the best winning pct. against .500+ opponents by any team in the majors this season. That includes 12 series victories over .500+ opponents: the A’s (3x), Angels (2x), Red Sox (2x), Blue Jays (2x), Rays, Mariners, White Sox and Indians.
It’s Lance McCullers Jr. (6-2) on the mound. McCullers Jr. took a tough loss last Thursday after allowing two runs in seven innings vs. the A’s. It was the first loss for McCullers since April 14. The right-hander struck out eight and walked just two, an improvement for a guy who had walked 39 in 72 2/3 innings this year. McCullers completed more than six innings for the first time in five starts since coming off the injured list and also threw 107 pitches. McCullers has a 2.94 ERA and 89 punchouts across 79.2 frames.
McCullers beat the White Sox in that first series, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks with four strikeouts over six innings in an 8-2 win. After Yasmani Grandal reached with a base hit in the second inning, Jake Lamb hit a two-run homer to score both runs McCullers would allow.
Why Bet on Chicago?Chicago is 4-14 vs. Houston since 2018, going 2-4 at Guaranteed Rate Field and 2-10 at Minute Maid Park.
Closer Liam Hendriks earned the save in the AL’s defeat of the NL in Tuesday night’s 2021 MLB All-Star Game. Hendriks gave up a leadoff single to Omar Narvaez and a two-out double to Ozzie Albies but ultimately prevented the National League All-Stars from staging any sort of late comeback attempt. He struck out Chris Taylor and got Trea Turner on a groundout to end it. Hendriks enters the second half with 23 saves, a 2.75 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, and 63/4 K/BB ratio through 39 1/3 innings.
At 54-35, the White Sox lead the AL Central by eight games, easily the biggest division lead in the majors. It’s the team’s third-largest division lead at the break. The Sox owned a 10.5-game lead over Cleveland in 2000 (55-32) and a 9.0-game lead on Minnesota in 2005 (57-29). The Sox also own their most first-half wins since 2008 (54-41), and their best winning percentage since 2006 (.648; 57-31).
The White Sox have scored four-plus runs in 13 straight games (10-3 record). The last time the Sox scored four or more runs in 13-plus straight games was 7/13-8/1/03 (16 games; 14-2 mark). The longest such streak in club history is 22 from 5/9-6/2/1901.
First baseman Jose Abreu, the reigning AL MVP, need one homer to tie Carlton Fisk (214) for fourth in Sox history and three RBI to tie Nellie Fox (740) for ninth. Abreu is on pace for his sixth 100-plus RBI season, which would tie Paul Konerko for second-most in club history. He is looking to join Cecil Fielder (1990-92) as the only players to ever lead the AL in RBI three straight seasons.
Manager Tony La Russa has not named his starter for this game as of this writing. It is expected to be right-hander Dylan Cease (7-4). He notched six strikeouts over five innings on Sunday in a no-decision against the Orioles. Cease gave up only two hits, as a two-run homer by Austin Hays in the opening frame. Cease has been inconsistent when it comes to allowing runs and owns a 4.11 ERA on the season, but he has also struck out 117 across 92 innings.
On June 17, Cease pitched in Houston and was pounded for seven runs — six earned — in 3 1/3 innings. He gave up four hits and two walks while striking out four
- Astros 5, White Sox 4
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