Houston (2-1) at Chicago White Sox (1-2)
When: Tuesday, October 12th 2021
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field,
Time: 2:07 ET | TV: FS1
Opening Odds: Chicago -117/8.5
The Houston Astros have to wait one more day for a chance to end their American League Division Series with the Chicago White Sox because of rain. Monday’s Game 4 was postponed until today and Houston will skip Jose Urquidy and bring back Game 1 starter Lance McCullers. He will be opposed by lefty Carlos Rodon, who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 29. The White Sox staved off elimination with Sunday’s 12-6 triumph and will look to force a Game 5 back in Houston behind Rodon. The Sox got to starter Luis Garcia and Yimi Garcia for nine runs over the first three innings en route to the victory. Houston struck out a season-high 16 times Sunday, while the White Sox had a franchise-playoff-record 16 hits, including three from Tim Anderson.
After starter Dylan Cease and reliever Michael Kopech let up six runs over the first four innings, the bullpen shut the door with five perfect innings. The Astros outscored Chicago 15-5 in winning the first two games at Minute Maid Park, but the White Sox offense woke-up in the resounding win. Houston’s Kyle Tucker hit a homer for the second consecutive game and now has seven RBI in the series. He is coming off a career year in which hit batted .294 with 30 homers and 92 RBI.
Pitchers: Astros – Lance McCullers, Jr. (14-5, 3.04) | White Sox – Carlos Rodon (13-5, 2.37)
McCullers was masterful in the Game 1 win, shutting out the White Sox over 6 2/3 innings on four hits without issuing any walks. McCullers has started seven games in his career versus the White Sox and has never allowed more than three earned runs. The Astros have won each of the last five games he’s started against Chicago.
Manager Tony La Russa had the option of bringing back his Game 1 starter, Lance Lynn, but is going with Rodon, who arguably was Chicago’s best pitcher this season when he wasn’t injured. Rodon tied Dylan Cease for the team lead in wins with 13 and had the best ERA among the starters, but missed most of August with what was termed arm fatigue, then complained of soreness in the same arm when pulled early from his second-to-last start of the regular season. Lynn will be ready out of the bullpen just in case. Rodon has pitched just eight innings since Sept. 20 while losing velocity from his fastball. He has started seven career games against the Astros and is 2-0 with a 1.55 ERA.
The Astros have destroyed lefties all year and Rodon has not been 100% since August. McCullers’ career mark against the White Sox can’t be ignored either. I say Houston gets the series win here.
Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free MLB Picks page for today.
Pick: Astros +105