With the White Sox earning a victory last night, the Astros and Chicago will now play a rubber match of a three-game series on MLB’s Sunday Night ESPN telecast. The White Sox can get back to .500 with a win tonight. Will the Astros spoil their fun?
Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros
Sunday, June 19, 2022, 07:08 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park
The Chicago White Sox defeated the Houston Astros on Saturday to tie the three-game series at one. The Astros dominated the White Sox in the first game while the White Sox took advantage of a bad Justin Verlander on Saturday.
For tonight, the Astros are heavy favorites according to the latest MLB odds. Here are our picks and predictions for the third matchup of this series between the White Sox and Astros.
The Pitching Match-Up
The Astros will send out Christian Javier for tonight’s game. He's a pitcher that gives you the best of both worlds.
- He’s 3-3 with a 3.20 ERA on the season.
- In the last 30 days, Javier has had a 4.48 xFIP with 9.3% of walks
- He's induced just 17.5% of ground balls while giving up 30.2% of line-drive contact in those same 30 days.
- However, he’s also struck out 30.8% of batters in the last 30 days.
Chicago White Sox
On the other hand, it’ll be Michael Kopech for the White Sox.
- The right-hander is 2-2 with a 1.92 ERA.
- Kopech has had a 4.71 xFIP in the last 30 days with 10.6% of walks.
- The White Sox pitcher has recorded 28.8% of strikeouts in the last 30 days.
- Just like Javier, Kopech hasn't induced a high number of grounders and has given up plenty of line drives.
Who Has the More Favorable Lineup?
The Astros really haven’t been consistent against righties in the last 30 days. Only Yordan Alvarez is tearing up the baseball against them with a .294 ISO and wOBA of .518 during that span. Jose Altuve has a .182 ISO and wOBA of .368 in that same time frame. Other than that, the Astros and their offense have not been producing against righties.
However, that could change soon as the Astros have hit just 41% of grounders in the last 30 days while also hitting 25.8% of line drives with the projected lineup against righties.
On the other hand, the White Sox only have a .106 ISO and wOBA of .310 against righties in the last 30 days. Chicago has also walked adjust 6.4% of the time against righties in that same time frame.
Jose Abreu has a .203 ISO and wOBA of .438 but other than that, and just like the Astros, the White Sox don’t have another bat that has elevated ISO numbers and wOBA numbers. Neither lineup is very exciting right now.
Interestingly enough, both pitchers have low ERAs but much higher xFIP’s in the last 30 days. Eventually, these two pitchers could see regression.
The strikeouts are bailing out both pitchers right now but if line drives continue to stay up and ground ball rates continue to stay low, these two pitchers will ultimately get tagged. Fortunately for Javier and Kopech, neither lineup looks all that terrific analytically.
The White Sox have been getting luckier with a batting average of balls in play with a .330 average in the last 30 days against righties with the projected lineup.
The Astros’ projected lineup has a .278 batting average of balls in play with more line drives and fewer ground balls. The Astros have also worked more walks against righties. Both teams are striking out under 20% of the time against righties.
Therefore, I’m going to take the Astros at home. But with the moneyline sitting at -170, I’m going to instead take the Astros -.5 in the first five innings. Houston has more potential to put the ball in play with loud contact.
Neither team has been consistent offensively but, again, the Astros have a higher line drive rate against righties, earn more walks, and also have more power against righties. So again, I’ll grab the Astros runline in the first five innings for my MLB pick of the day.
The Astros are sitting at -170, which is basically the cut-off for me when it comes to taking moneyline favorites. Look for the Astros to make an impact early against Kopech at home and let’s get that first five victory.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.