Game time: 2:07 p.m. ET
Venue: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Where to watch: MLB Network
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Astros -125, White Sox +105
BetMGM: Astros -128, White Sox +105
Caesars: Astros -121, White Sox +110
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White Sox - Astros preview and analysis
Game 2, American League Division Series: Astros lead 1-0
What a start for the Houston Astros. Dominant pitching, terrific baserunning, and a one-day’s worth revenge on the Chicago White Sox from 16 years ago.
But the Astros, a group who has been there and done that, are likely not satisfied after one win that eased a lot of past pain for Astros fans. Houston took Game 1 of the Division Series 6-1 on Friday in Houston, and the Astros will try to take a 2-0 lead in Game 2 on Friday.
Lance McCullers Jr. was dominant in his first Game 1 start throwing 6.2 IP while striking out four with no walks, and Yordan Alvarez went 2-for-3 with a home run to give Houston an early cushion in this series.
“I think, today, everything went well,” said Alvarez.. “Lance was spectacular, and the offense was able to respond to that and give the run support needed for us to win tonight.”
In what was expected to be a dominant pitching matchup between McCullers and White Sox ace Lance Lynn, it was the Astros’ bats that got to Lynn in only 3.2 innings of work. Lynn gave up five earned runs and struck out four while walking two.
Houston connected on five of its 10 hits off Lynn with the top of the lineup getting the job done. Michael Brantley joined Alvarez, Carlos Correa and Jake Meyers with two-hit games. Brantley also drove in two runs.
But the story was McCullers giving up only one hit through six innings on 104 pitches. Not only did he allow four hits, but the majority of his stuff didn’t leave the infield. It was a busy day for Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, but you’d rather take that kind of game than risk more balls going to the track.
“You get the ball in Game 1, and your team is expecting this from you,” McCullers said. “They're expecting you to come out, have energy, attack the zone, give them a chance to win. Obviously, our offense was spectacular today, and they did a heck of a job with a tough pitcher in [Chicago’s Lance] Lynn, one of the best in the AL this year, and also with a really tough bullpen.”
McCullers made it a quiet day for the American League Central champions. The White Sox didn’t get on the board until the eighth inning on Thursday in what was a rocky start to October baseball.
Jose Abreu and Luis Robert were the only players with more than two hits, while Abreu drove in Chicago’s lone run with a two-out single.
“It wasn't good. I wasn't making pitches when I needed to. I gave up some two-out runs on pitches that could have been better,” said Lynn.. “When all is said and done, I just wasn't making the quality pitches I needed to. That's pretty much it.”
Three of Lynn’s earned runs came with two outs, starting his postseason with a 12.27 ERA; a far cry from his potential AL Cy Young candidacy he had during the first half of the regular season.
Lucas Giolito will take the mound for Chicago in Game 2, while ERA leader Framber Valdez will be on the hill for Houston.
The White Sox finished the second half of the season 34-29 and it showed in Game 1. Chicago made the postseason on the heels of their pitching and the middle of the order. They can’t have another 1-for-4 day from Tim Anderson or Eloy Jimenez. Valdez is going to make life tough on the Chicago order and push the White Sox to the brink in this ALDS. Astros win 5-2
The White Sox are 20-43 (-19.3 net games on the money line) the past three seasons as a road dog between +100 and +150.
The under is 6-0 when the White Sox trail in a playoff series since 1997.
The Astros are 25-6 this season in games after playing five consecutive at home.
Tim Anderson (R) SS
Yoan Moncada (S) 3B
Jose Abreu (R) DH
Yasmani Grandal (S) C
Luis Robert (R) CF
Eloy Jimenez (R) LF
Gavin Sheets (L) 1B
Adam Engel (R) RF
Leury Garcia (S) 2B
Jose Altuve (R) 2B
Michael Brantley (L) LF
Alex Bregman (R) 3B
Yordan Alvarez (L) DH
Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
Carlos Correa (R) SS
Kyle Tucker (L) RF
Jake Meyers (R) CF
Martin Maldonado (R) C
Probable starting pitchers: Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs. Framber Valdez (HOU)
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