Lance McCullers (1-0, 2.53 ERA) and Carlos Rodon (1-0, 4.03 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Houston Astros (30-18) and the Chicago White Sox (21-25) at Minute Maid Park. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, May. 29 and can be seen on CSN-CHI and ROOT-SW.
McCullers pitched 6.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs, striking out six and walking one in a 3-2 win over the Tigers. Jose Altuve (.299, 23 Rs, 5 HRs, 25 RBIs, 15 SBs) continued his strong play Wednesday, going 2 for 5. Rodon went 6.0 innings, surrendering one run, striking out four and walking five in a 4-3 defeat to the Indians in his last outing. Avisail Garcia (.327, 20 Rs, 4 HRs, 18 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 1 yesterday.
Houston is a -128 favorite against Chicago and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Astros have an overall money line of +1,253 and a record as the favorite of 11-9. The Astros lead the MLB in home runs with 66. Houston is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 42 bases. As for the pitchers, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Astros, who have a team ERA of only 3.48. The Astros are the third-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.16 so far this season.
Over in the other dugout, Chicago is coming in with an overall money line of -552 and a disappointing record of 9-14 as the underdog. They played poorly as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 1-3 record, and a 3-7 record SU. The White Sox have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an AL-best 7.8 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Astros have an 11-7 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Rodon takes the mound. McCullers (RHP) will be on the hill against the White Sox, who have an 18-20 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Under
Chicago recorded at least two errors for the ninth time this season.
When the Astros play into extra innings, they have a 3-1 record. The White Sox are 2-1 when their games exceed nine innings.
The White Sox managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Astros who are heading in with a 16-6 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Astros are 18-6. The White Sox have a 17-4 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 29th in runs, Chicago has earned 167 this season. Houston ranks fifth with 213 runs.
Ranking 28th, Chicago is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 106 this season. Houston ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 157.
When the Astros hit at least one home run, they are 22-11. When the White Sox hit at least one homer, they have a 9-11 record.