The Houston Astros look to extend their two-game winning streak when they face the Chicago White Sox in the second of a three-game series on Saturday night. The game is scheduled for a 7:15 p.m. ET first pitch at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
The Astros won the series opener 7-1 on Friday night to improve to 56-36. Houston is in first place in the AL West standings, leading the second-place Oakland Athletics by 3½ games and the third-place Seattle Mariners by seven games.
Chicago had its five-game winning streak snapped. The White Sox are 54-36 and in first place in the AL Central, leading the second-place Cleveland Indians by eight games.
MLB odds have both teams with a moneyline of -105. The over/under for the contest is set at 8½ runs.
The Astros have won their first five meetings with the White Sox by a cumulative score of 34-9. Houston has won all but one game by at least four runs, adding to its 43-22 record against teams that are .500 or better, the best in the major leagues.
“It seems like they rise to the occasion,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said after Friday’s win. “They know that we’re facing good teams, and they love the competition, especially the good pitchers.”
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi will try to keep things rolling against his home-state team, bringing in a 3-4 record and 3.61 ERA Odorizzi has 44 strikeouts and 12 walks in 47⅓ innings.
The 31-year-old has allowed three earned runs over his last five starts. His last start came July 9 against the Yankees, as he went six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking none. He took the loss in a 4-0 New York victory.
Outfielder Michael Brantley went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored in Friday’s win. He’s batting .329, which ranks fourth in the majors, while hitting 23 doubles, two triples, and six home runs, driving in 32 runs and scoring 44 times.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel had a two-run double in Friday’s victory, upping his team-high RBI total to 56. Gurriel is sixth in the majors with a .318 batting average, hitting 20 doubles and 10 home runs and scoring 45 runs.
Needing A Win
The White Sox are comfortably ahead in the AL Central currently, but they want to win the last two games of this series — the last two meetings between these teams in the regular season. Having the stigma of being swept by a potential playoff opponent isn’t something Chicago wants to deal with in the postseason.
Looking to get his team its first win will be right-hander Lucas Giolito. The 27-year-old is 7-6 with a 4.15 ERA, striking out 125 and walking 33 in 104 innings.
Giolito got a win in his last outing, pitching 5⅓ innings against Baltimore and allowing two runs on six hits while striking out nine and walking two. That was a major improvement over his previous start, against Detroit on July 4, when he gave up six runs on 10 hits over five innings.
Shortstop Tim Anderson had a triple among his two hits on Friday night, scoring the White Sox’s lone run in the loss. He’s batting .311 to rank 10th in the majors, hitting 18 doubles and six home runs, driving in 32 runs and scoring a team-high 56 times.
First baseman Jose Abreu was 0-for-4 with a strikeout on Friday, but he leads the White Sox with 15 home runs and 66 RBIs. The reigning AL MVP is batting .250 with 14 doubles, one triple and 45 runs scored.
Astros Continue Streak
Houston is extremely deep in its lineup and should be able to get some runs on the board against Giolito, who hasn’t been sharp lately. The White Sox are feeling the pressure to get a win against the Astros, but it won’t be coming on Saturday night.
When making your MLB betting picks, take Houston to get the win on the road.