Could there be a mini Championship hangover in Houston tonight? On Sunday the Astros clinched their first division title since 2001 and celebrated appropriately with some questionable, albeit Patriotic men’s swimwear. Houston had won four in a row despite having a commanding 15 game lead over the Angels in the West. Although they are still chasing Cleveland for home field through the AL playoffs (1.5 GB) the Astros now find themselves in the peculiar spot for the 9/19 free MLB pick of not every game being especially crucial down the stretch.
There’s one team that Houston has played this year and hasn’t beat and it just so happens to be their opponent Tuesday night. In early August the White Sox were able to sweep the Astros back in the Windy City. The White Sox wouldn’t mind a win or two down the stretch to avoid a 100 loss season and they’ve played 6-4 baseball their last 10.
9/19 Free MLB Pick Pitching Matchup
Chicago sends Lucas Giolito (2-2, 2.56) to the mound to try and make it four in a row over Houston for the White Sox. The second year player is showing promise in his first real extended time in the big leagues. Giolito has pitched into the 7th inning in 3 of his 5 starts this season and has held opponents to under 1ER also in 3 of 5. His last time out against Kansas City the right hander threw 6.1IP of 1 run ball and back on September 3rd he had a 10K game against Texas. This will be Giolito’s first appearance against any batter in the Houston lineup – something that usually favors the pitcher the first couple times through the order.
Lucas Giolito pitches today and today will be a good day because of that.
The future is now & he will be the greatest pitcher to ever live.
— Mike (@ChiSoxFanMike) September 19, 2017
The Astros turn to Collin McHugh (2-2, 3.61) tonight, not necessarily to get the win but to see if the pitcher can hold up for a possible postseason roster spot. After making 25+ starts in each of his first three years with Houston, McHugh was sidelined for the first 3-1/2 months of this season on the DL with dead arm. He got gradually better upon his return dropping his ERA from 7.71 to 3.61 but had to leave his last start after 3.0 IP with a broken fingernail. The 9/19 Free MLB pick will be McHugh’s first start since that September 8th outing but over his previous three before that he allowed just 1ER in 16.2 IP. He’ll be pitching on 11 days rest, but holds a 5.27 ERA with 6+ days in between starts.
Tonight’s start vs. the White Sox is an important one for Collin McHugh. 7.2 IP in his two previous starts combined. #Astros
— Climbing Tal’s Hill (@astrosCTH) September 19, 2017
9/19 Free MLB Pick Betting Matchup
The Astros opened as -202 moneyline favorites but betting has pushed that up to -214. The total of 9 has a great shot at coming in under due to the potential of both of the starting pitchers. The betting public isn’t on the Astros in the landslide that you’d expect, with 34% siding with the White Sox.
What the game really comes down to is how healthy is Houston pitcher McHugh and how really invested in this game are the Astros going to be? It’s a weird time of year for MLB Betting because teams have to run the slippery slope of resting up for the postseason but also staying mentally focused for October. Players on the other side of the diamond however are trying to gain momentum going into the offseason with youngsters trying to prove they belong in the Bigs. The value is on the White Sox for the 9/19 free MLB pick.
Pick: Chicago White Sox +196