The Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros play a true rubber match in their three-game weekend series on Sunday. The Astros offense dominated in Friday’s opener, tallying a 13-3 win only to have those bats disappear as Chicago evened things up with a 7-0 victory on Saturday.
Winning a series against the Astros would be a huge momentum boost for the White Sox, who were just 2-5 against Houston last season.
Oddsmakers don’t see that happening, though, as they have made the home team a -175 favorite ahead of this ESPN Sunday Night Baseball matchup.
Sox Offense Has Been Solid
Friday night’s 13-3 loss was a disappointing one for Chicago, coming into Minute Maid Park off of a sweep in Detroit. Not only that, the offense could only manage a 3-run A.J. Pollock HR when they had put together a string of seven straight games scoring at least five runs.
The good news is that the White Sox bounced back on Saturday, getting seven runs across against Justin Verlander (four earned). Luis Robert tied a career-high with four RBI, and Jose Abreu knocked in two as Chicago is seemingly back on track at the plate.
The big star of Saturday afternoon’s game was Johnny Cueto, who threw seven innings of two hit ball. That’s something that Michael Kopech (2-2, 1.92 ERA) will try to emulate as he is cleared for Sunday’s start. The right-hander exited his start vs. Texas a week ago after recording just two outs, reporting that he felt a ‘pop’ in his knee.
Houston Goes for the Series Win
It appears the Astros burned up all their offense on Friday night, posting a 10-run sixth inning while hitting five HRs en route to the big 13-3 victory. Houston managed just three hits on Saturday afternoon, which put a halt to their three-game win streak.
Jose Altuve had two of the three hits in game two after he was one of the few Houston players not to get on the board with an 0-3 night at the plate in the series opener. Altuve has never faced Kopech, and in fact, Kyle Tucker is the only active member of the Astros to ever go up against the Chicago starter.
The White Sox got to Verlander on Saturday, and they will try to do the same in the finale against Cristian Javier (3-3, 3.20 ERA). The right-hander gave up 5ER over 3.2 IP in his last home start but overall has just a 1.98 ERA in six games at Minute Maid Park this season.
White Sox/Astros Betting Prediction
The first two games of this series have gone in very opposite directions, so what does Sunday night’s contest entail? The White Sox have won five of their last six road games, but at the same time, Javier has been nearly unhittable at home save for his last outing at Minute Maid Park on June 6th.
Ultimately this will be a bounce-back game for Houston, especially if Kopech has some knee issues again.
Pick: Houston -1.5 (+135)