The 2021 American League Division Series starts Thursday, October 7, at Minute Maid Park in Houston, so here’s the best White Sox vs. Astros betting pick along with the latest team news, stats, and betting trends.
Chicago opened at +125 for Game 1, according to Bovada Sportsbook. Houston is a -145 home fave, and the Astros are listed at -130 to win this series. They were 5-2 against the White Sox this past regular season, while Chicago has dropped 15 of its previous 21 meetings with Houston.
The ChiSox aim for their third playoff win since 2005
The Chicago White Sox made it to the postseason for the second straight year, clinching the AL Central title with a 93-69 record. Last season, the White Sox lost a three-game wild-card series against Oakland, and they’ve recorded just a couple of wins in the postseason since 2005 when they swept the Astros in the World Series.
Chicago finished the 2021 season with the fourth-lowest ERA in the majors (3.93) while scoring 4.91 runs per game (tied-7th). Over the last couple of weeks of the regular season, the ChiSox have gone 8-3 with a 3.29 ERA, tallying 52 runs in the process and slashing .278/.353/.466.
Lance Lynn will take the mound Thursday, and the 34-year-old righty went 11-6 with a shiny 2.69 ERA in 28 starts (157 innings) in 2021. He’s had some ups and downs since the All-Star break, but through his four starts in September, Lynn has registered a 3.38 ERA and 2.56 FIP while punching out 24 across 21.1 innings of work.
Lynn met the Astros on June 19, 2021, and got pounded for six earned runs on eight hits through just four innings. He’s 5-7 with a 4.41 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 13 career starts and one relief appearance against the Astros.
The Astros eye their fifth straight trip to the ALCS
The Houston Astros are inevitable, making it to the playoffs for the fifth straight year. Over the previous four seasons, the Astros have made it to the World Series twice while winning in the ALDS on all four occasions. This time around, the 2017 champions have recorded 95 wins and 67 losses (51-30 at home).
Houston owns the highest-scoring offense in baseball, averaging 5.33 runs per game. The Astros rank second in the majors in defensive runs saved (the White Sox are 26th) while posting the sixth-lowest ERA of 4.06. Over the last two weeks of action, they’ve gone 5-6 with a 4.93 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, tallying 47 runs on a .230/.301/.414 triple-slash.
Lance McCullers Jr. will toe the slab Thursday, and he was 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 28 starts (162.1 innings) this past regular season. The 28-year-old righty has recorded a 3.00 ERA and 3.37 FIP through his five starts in September.
McCullers have met the ChiSox twice in 2021, emerging victorious on both occasions. He’s tossed 13 frames in the process and has surrendered only three earned runs on four hits and six walks while striking out 14.
- 2-10 in the last 12 road games against Houston
- 15-6 in the last 21 games against the White Sox
- 5-2 in the last seven games at home
Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros Pick
I’m a big fan of Lance Lynn, but the Astros know him very well, which is the reason why I’m backing Houston to take the first blood. The current Astros are slashing .283/.340/.491 in 165 at-bats against Lynn. Jose Altuve is 13-for-34 with a couple of home runs, while Alex Bregman also took Lynn deep twice in 15 at-bats.
On the other side, the current White Sox are slashing only .237/.323/.316 in 63 at-bats against Lance McCullers Jr. On paper, the White Sox have a better bullpen than the Astros, and their mid-relief is one of the best in baseball, so Tonny La Russa will make a move as soon as Lynn starts to struggle.
Pick: Take Houston Astros at -145
Five of the last eight meetings between the Astros and White Sox went in the over, including four of their seven encounters in 2021. It’s tough to go with the totals in the first clash of the division series, but I’ll take the over, as both teams have plenty of dangerous weapons on their lineups. Last year, Lance Lynn played for Texas and surrendered a whopping 15 earned runs on 20 hits across 11.2 innings of work against the Astros.
The White Sox might miss Jose Abreu (flu), but they still can do a lot of damage, especially against the Astros bullpen that owns a 4.06 ERA and 4.21 FIP. On the other side, the White Sox bullpen has a 3.97 ERA and 3.75 FIP. In the last two weeks of action, Chicago’s relievers have registered a 4.33 ERA, while Houston’s relievers have posted a poor 5.37 ERA.
Pick: Go over 8.0 runs at +100