The Chicago White Sox look to avoid a ALDS sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros on Sunday.
Handily beaten in the first two games, Chicago needs a quick turnaround, otherwise it’s curtains for its 2021 campaign.
Houston is the underdog with MLB betting odds, but the sweep could be on the cards.
Astros in Complete Control
Riding a four-game winning streak and winning the first two games of the ALDS, Houston is firing on all cylinders.
It scored a 6-1 win to kick off the series before doubling down with a 9-4 win on Friday. Winning at home has been easier for the Astros, but they should feel confident about pulling off the road upset.
They are 44-37 on the road and confidence is always key in MLB playoff games. They are also 14-11 as the underdog, so playing as the +106 dog won’t be an issue.
The sportsbook is giving Houston plenty of credit. Chicago’s home record is 53-28, so it’s a dominant home team, but Houston is playing much better baseball at the moment. That has been factored into the opening lines.
The @Astros go up 2-0!
Will they complete the sweep Sunday? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/tSzGm82Me5
— MLB (@MLB) October 8, 2021
Carlos Carrea has been instrumental in the 2-0 lead. He hit a double during Houston’s five-run seventh inning on Friday, which sparked the inning.
Manager Dusty Baker knows his players have belief, as most of them have been in this situation before.
“They’ve been here before and they’ve experienced it,” Baker told Fox News. “Belief is a big part of this game and belief will take you a long, long ways, and these guys as a unit, they believe.”
Correa, who was getting the home crowd riled up after his big double, also believes experience plays a factor.
“I think experience plays a huge part of it,” Correa said. “The moment is never too big for the guys in that clubhouse.”
The Astros send Luis Garcia to the mound. The right-hander went 11-8 during the regular season, with an ERA of 3.30. He is only a 24-year-old, but he is pitching well beyond his years.
He has been economical with a 1.17 WHIP, so he shouldn’t have any troubles producing the goods in Game Three.
Do or Die for White Sox
There is no tomorrow if the White Sox don’t win Game 3. The American League Central winners won their division by 13 games, but are in danger of getting swept in the opening round.
It would be a shocking exit from the playoffs, but it’s never too late. The White Sox are the favorites with MLB lines at -116, and playing at home gives them a much-needed confidence boost.
Scoring only five runs in the first two games isn’t good enough, but hitting hasn’t been the strong point for the Sox. They hit only 796 runs on 1373 hits, which compares poorly to the 863 and 1496 posted by Houston.
Game 3. pic.twitter.com/AGnLAHEqG6
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) October 9, 2021
The Astros also have more home runs and a better pitching ERA, so the statistics are clearly in favor of the visitors. However, starting pitcher Dylan Crease is 13-7 and a big strikeout guy.
He recorded 10 strikeouts from five innings in a recent game against Texas, so if he’s pitching well, he could give Chicago a base to work from.
Astros vs White Sox Betting Trends
The Astros are 19-7 in the last 26 meetings against Chicago, but are just 1-4 in the last five in Chicago.
They are 5-1 in their last six playoffs games and 11-4 in the last 15 playoff games as an underdog.
Chicago is 6-1 in the last seven as a favorite and against a right-handed starter. A concerning statistic for the White Sox is 1-5 in the last six Divisional Playoff games, and 0-4 in the last four playoff games.
Some teams are better than others at winning playoff games, so the betting trend edge is with Houston.
Astros vs White Sox Pick
Bettors get value odds for Houston, which is an excellent betting proposition come playoff time.
Our MLB picks have Houston winning in a close game, so bettors can either take the +106 moneyline, or the +1½ runs at -190 for a little more insurance.
Luis Garcia should give Houston at least six quality innings, before the quality bullpen takes over and seals the deal.