After a one day pause for a rain postponement, the 2021 ALDS Astros at White Sox matchup is back underway Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Chicago is hoping the break didn’t cool off their bats after a 12-6 win on Sunday cut the South Siders ALDS series deficit to 2-1.
Houston is still in an elimination situation as they try to make their 5th straight trip to the ALCS. The Astros used the day off to switch up their pitching rotation to start veteran Lance McCullers, Jr. instead of Monday’s scheduled starter Jose Urquidy. The White Sox stick with Carlos Rodon in his first appearance since September 29th. Oddsmakers have this one nearly a toss up with HOU -102 and CHW -106.
Astros Use Day Off to Reflect
Houston thought their offense had traveled well in game 3 while taking a 5-1 lead by the 3rd inning and on the verge of a trip to the ALCS. To their credit though, Chicago battled back with a 5-run frame in the bottom of the 3rd and belted out a franchise postseason record 16 hits en route to the 12-6 win as -115 home favorites.
The Astros had an up-and-down day at the plate in game 3. On one hand they plated 6+ runs for the third time this series but also struck out 16 times and didn’t get a hit over the last five innings of the game vs. the Sox bullpen. Houston faces Rodon in the ALDS Astros at White Sox matchup, scoring just 1 run against him over 14.0 IP in the regular season with 18 K’s.
There have been 31 runs scored over the last two games of this series but Tuesday might be a little bit lower scoring (O/U 8.5). Rodon has a 0.64 ERA in two outings vs. Houston this season, while Astros starter Lance McCullers, Jr. (13-5, 3.16 ERA) didn’t allow a run vs. the White Sox offense over 6.2 IP in picking up the win in game 1. McCullers picked up the win in both of his regular season starts vs. Chicago while posting a 2.08 ERA.
What to Expect From Rodon?
Carlos Rodon (13-5, 2.37 ERA) has had a great season and even threw a no-hitter in his second start of the year. Rodon battled some arm fatigue down the stretch but finished strong in allowing 6 ER total over his last five outings of the season.
The big issue with Rodon is that he hasn’t started since a September 29th win against the Reds. That’s a lot of rest which is great for a guy who had some arm issues towards the end of the year, but it’s also a lot to ask for Rodon to be plugged in with his team’s season on the line. A 13 MPH win blowing out to left-field on the South Side doesn’t help either.
Regardless of the uncertainty surrounding Rodon, Chicago has a couple advantages here. The first is that they’re at home in a postseason series for the first time since 2008. The Sox bullpen was also great on Sunday, and got some rest with Monday’s postponement so should be at full strength.
ALDS Astros at White Sox Game 4
McCullers, Jr. is a tough matchup but Chicago’s offense was clicking on Sunday as five players had multi-hit games. The Astros starter was stellar in game 1, but that was at home and a road playoff game is a completely different animal. There’s no wrong side pick in this coin flip game that could go either way, but the best play seems to be on the total even with a significant wind blowing out.
White Sox 4 – Astros 3
Free Pick: Under 8.5