The Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros meet one last time before they move on to a new opponent. The White Sox are still in a rebuilding phase, but appear to be turning a small page. They are 3rd in the AL Central which is a small win for the White Sox. It doesn’t amount to much playing in this division, but it looks decent on paper at least.
The Cleveland Indians ran far away from everyone last season early, and in 2019 the Minnesota Twins are flipping the script and going on a run of their own. The Twins look like they can hang with the big boys this season, as they’ve gotten off to a hot start of 32-16. That puts them 7 games ahead of the Indians, who are clinging above .500. It looks a lot like what happened last season just with different teams.
That leaves the White Sox behind the Indians in 3rd. Again, it doesn’t mean much, but they’re showing signs of life and getting solid production out of young players like Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson. There were rumors about the White Sox acquiring Bryce Harper and Manny Machado for like five minutes in the offseason, but I think they’re on the right path and don’t need to spend all their money on one heavy bat. This all said, the White Sox are not up to par with the Astros and a lot of teams in the American League.
The White Sox draw a matchup against rookie Corbin Martin, who will be making just his third start at the major league level. Martin has been a solid option for the Astros in place of Collin McHugh. Though, he has pitched just 9.1 innings in two games, so there is a lot more to see with Martin on the bump. Lucas Giolito, who is participating in just his second full season, will get the call for the White Sox. Giolito has been on a nice little run recently and we’ll see if he can keep things rolling in Houston. Head below for our free White Sox vs. Astros pick.
Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The White Sox have been waiting for Giolito to become a meaningful contributor and he’s been playing the role well lately. In his last three starts, he’s allowed just 2 runs across 19.1 innings of work. He carries an ERA of 0.93 with a 0.83 WHIP in his previous three outings, so he has plenty of momentum going into a tough matchup with the ‘Stros in Houston. The Astros have been really hard on Giolito in the past. It hasn’t been an even matchup, with Houston getting to Giolito for a .340 batting average and .443 OBP in 50 at-bats. They’ve also connected for 5 deep balls with Michael Brantley responsible for two of them.
Giolito has been performing on the road in 2019, as he’s been rock solid with a 2.42 and 0.96 WHIP. He hasn’t played the Astros yet, though, a team he has clearly had issues against. Houston are 3rd in the major leagues at home with 5.82 runs scored per game, so they can put up runs at Minute Maid Park. The Astros were quiet early on Wednesday evening, but started to frustrate Ivan Nova in the 4th inning. They took a 3-2 lead in the 4th inning after Nova shut them out through 3 innings. The White Sox erupted in the top of the 6th, including a grand slam by Charlie Tilson to go ahead 8-3.
Corbin Martin is gearing up for his third major league start. His numbers have been solid in two outings and the most impressive fact is that he did it against two pretty good offenses. Martin was sharp against the Rangers and Red Sox, who constitute the No. 1 and 6 scoring teams in baseball. Every now and then expensive plays carry some value. I think the Astros should be in the -235 to -240 range here, so the runline at a price of -105 or better looks like an attractive option on the Thursday MLB card. Consider the Astros in what I feel is a 2 or 3-run win in the series finale against the White Sox.