If I were to tell you that the Houston Astros would lose four straight games in early June before the season started it wouldn’t surprise you much. However, if I were to say that the Astros would have a 34-24 record despite losing four straight games, you would think I am a crazy person. But that is how it has been for the Astros. An impressive season, but just a bump in the road right now for them. If this four game losing streak snowballs into a ten game losing streak then we might need to start worrying about the Astros. A veteran team might go through stretches like that and bounce back, but it would be interesting to see how young of a team like the Astros would react. The ‘Stros do need to keep their foot on the pedal, because we often seen how teams that are looking great before the break turn to mush in the second half of the season. Every win is going to matter big for them, as I think they are going to be in a dog fight in September for a postseason bid. If they do pull it off, what a turnaround from last season. If they don’t, well, the future is still bright in Houston, so nothing to fret about too much.
The Chicago White Sox are in the crowded AL Central with a few contenders that look like they will be battling for the division crown down the stretch. The White Sox are not one of those teams. The Twins, Royals, and Tigers all have a legitimate chance of winning it, but the White Sox are still a couple years off from being contenders. I can tell you one thing about the White Sox, Chris Sale is going to waste in their starting rotation. Without a suitable team around him he isn’t going to win much for his success on the mound. Insert Felix Hernandez into this predicament as well. Hopefully for Sale, that drought doesn’t go as long as it has for Felix in Seattle. The Astros and White Sox meet today in Chicago.
Houston Astros vs. Chicago White Sox
Lance McCullers (2-0, 1.88 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (5-2, 3.27 ERA)
Dallas Keuchel has asserted himself as the ace of the Houston Astros’ pitching staff. But for the Astros to be a successful team they need to have a nice compliment to Keuchel, McCullers has been doing his best to not only do that, but become another ace on the Astros’ staff. Keuchel has proved himself from last year to this year. McCullers, though, is on the right track of doing what Keuchel has done. McCullers has been lighting batters up with an electric ERA of 1.88 and a 1.00 WHIP. And it has been like that in all of his starts in 2015. In his four starts this season, McCullers hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs in any. He’s given up 1, 2, 1, and another 1 spot for a 1.88 ERA.
McCullers might need another start like those to compete with Chris Sale today. Sale has been a machine lately after he had a couple of bad starts in early May. Since then he’s been pitching like Chris Sale. In his last two starts he didn’t allow 1 run over 14.2 innings pitched. Sale’s last three outings yielded a 1.19 ERA with a 0.66 WHIP and batter OBP of just .193. The Astros offense has been struggling of late, and should continue to find it hard against Sale tonight. I thought the total would have been a 7 here, but we are getting 7.5 so I definitely like what we are getting with the UNDER 7.5.
PICK: UNDER 7.5 RUNS (-120)