Chicago White Sox (30-55) at Houston Astros (56-31)
|Date & Time||Thursday July 5, 2018, 8:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Houston Astros -300 / Chicago White Sox +250 --- Over/Under: 8
The Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros meet on Thursday to kick off a four game AL West division set in MLB action from Minute Maid Park.
The Chicago White Sox will be looking for some measure of consistency after alternating wins and losses in each of their last five games, including a 7-4 loss in their series finale against Cincinnati last time out. Yoan Moncada led the White Sox with two RBIs, going 1 for 4 with a home run, while Daniel Palka added a solo home run and Yolmer Sanchez chipped in an RBI with a double to cap off the White Sox scoring in the loss. Avail Garcia added a double and Adam Engel went 2 for 4 while Kevan Smith, Leury Garcia and Tim Anderson each contributed base hits as well in the defeat. Dylan Covey took the loss after giving up six runs on five hits over just 3.2 innings of work to fall to 3-4 this season. Carlos Rodon will start game one and is 1-3 with a 4.55 ERA and 22 strikeouts this season. In his career, Rodon is 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 20 strikeouts against Houston.
The Houston Astros will look to keep their momentum going after completing the two game sweep of Texas last time out with a 5-4 win in 10 innings in the series finale on Wednesday. Josh Reddick led the ‘Stros by going 3 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs while Yuli Gurriel went 2 for 4 with a solo home run and a double. Evan Gattis and Alex Bregman each added an RBI to round out Houston’s offense in the win, while Tim Fedorowicz chipped in a double. Jose Altuve added a base knock as well to round out Houston’s offense in the victory. Gerrit Cole gave up all four runs on eight hits while striking out seven over five innings of work, not factoring in the decision. Collin McHugh got the win in relief to improve to 4-0 this season while Ken Giles notched his 12th save of the year. Justin Verlander will start game one and is 9-4 with a 2.12 ERA and 144 strikeouts this season. In his career, Verlander is 21-13 with a 3.74 ERA and 254 strikeouts against the White Sox.
Chicago is 4-1 in Rodon’s last 5 starts against the AL West and 24-54 in their last 78 road games while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games overall. Houston is 1-5 in Verlander’s last 6 home starts and 5-1 in their last 6 games against the AL Central while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 games against a left-handed starter. The under is 14-5-1 in the last 20 meetings between these two teams and 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Houston.
Chicago is what they’ve been all season, just a bad baseball team that has struggled to put consistent performances together. However, as good as he’s been I don’t want to lay this heavy juice or the run line with Houston as they’ve been in a couple of dogfights lately and have lost Verlander’s last three starts with JV allowing four or more in back-to-back outings. Instead, I’m going to side with the under. Rodon has been good against Houston in his career with a sub-two ERA, and I’m expecting a bounce back kind of game from Verlander here.