Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#915 Chicago White Sox 9.5 vs.
#916 Houston Astros -180
Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 8:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of American League teams in different situations in the standings close out a series down in the Lone Star State. The Chicago White Sox are on the road as they finish off a four-game series with the Houston Astros Thursday night. Houston claimed the first two games of the series as they prevailed 3-0 on Monday night and then followed that up with a 5-1 triumph on Tuesday night. The pitching matchup for Wednesday night’s contest saw Ivan Nova take the mound for the White Sox against the Astros’ Gerrit Cole. First pitch in the contest was scheduled for 8:10 pm ET.

Chicago White Sox Look to Pick Up Win in Series Finale

Chicago entered Wednesday losers of three straight and four of their previous five as they were dropped by Houston again. The White Sox entered Wednesday third in the AL Central, 10.5 games behind the Twins in the division. Chicago finished with just one hit in the game: Jose Abreu hit his 11th homer of the year with one out in the seventh inning to break up the no-hit bid. Dylan Covey (0-3) took the loss on the mound as he allowed four runs on four hits with four walks and a strikeout in four-plus innings of work.

Lucas Giolito gets the call for the White Sox as he makes his ninth start of the season in this contest. He comes in 5-1 with a 3.35 ERA, a 1.163 WHIP, 18 walks and 50 strikeouts over 43 innings of action on the year. Giolito earned the win in his last outing, which came Saturday at home against the Blue Jays. He threw five innings, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in a 4-1 Chicago victory. Giolito is 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA, a 0.83 WHIP, six walks and 20 strikeouts over 19.1 innings of action in his last three starts. He is 0-3 with a 7.31 ERA, a 1.625 WHIP, 11 walks and seven strikeouts over 16 innings of action in his three career starts against the Astros. Giolito is 0-2 with a 2.57 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, four walks and six strikeouts over 14 innings in two career starts at Minute Maid Park. Michael Brantley (three of seven, two homers), Yuli Guerriel (three of seven, two doubles) and Josh Reddick (three of seven, homer, four RBI) have all had success against Giolito.

Houston Astros Seek to Keep Cruising

Houston won their second straight and 12th in the last 13 games as they cruised to the win in Tuesday’s contest. The Astros have opened up a comfortable 8.5 game lead over the Rangers in the AL West race entering Wednesday’s action. Houston got a pair of hits from Yuli Guerriel (run, RBI) and Aledmys Diaz in the contest with Guerriel launching his fourth homer of the year. Justin Verlander (8-1) cruised through his start to get the victory. He threw eight innings, allowing one run on one hit with one walk and 12 strikeouts before exiting.

Corbin Martin gets the call for his third start of the season for the Astros in this contest. He comes in 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA, a 1.393 WHIP, five walks and nine strikeouts over 9.1 innings of work on the year. Martin didn’t factor in the decision in his last outing, which came Saturday on the road against the Red Sox. He threw four innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with four walks and no strikeouts in an eventual 7-3 Houston victory. In his third major league start, Martin pitches against the White Sox for the first time. He won his lone start at Minute Maid Park, which came in his big league debut against the Rangers on May 12. In that outing, he threw 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in a 15-5 Astros victory. Martin is 1-1 with a 1.48 ERA, a 1.027 WHIP, 11 walks and 28 strikeouts over 24.1 innings in five appearances, four starts, at Triple-A Round Rock this season. He is 10-4 with two saves, a 2.31 ERA, a 0.989 WHIP, 55 walks and 193 strikeouts over 179 innings in 40 career appearances, 29 starts, in the minors.

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As good as Giolito has been in the first quarter of the season, and let’s be honest, he’s been the best arm that the White Sox have had, this is a major challenge. He’s been tagged in his three starts against the Astros in his career. In addition to that, he’s facing a Houston team that is white hot entering Wednesday’s contest. The Astros are threatening to run away with the AL West before we hit June and their offensive assault is battering teams even with guys like Jose Altuve and George Springer banged up. Martin is still trying to prove himself at the big league level but the Astros’ bats more than makes up for his struggles. Houston gets the win here to keep rolling along.

Prediction: Houston Astros -188

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Houston is a brutally efficient offensive unit as they are third in the league with 5.43 runs per game and 89 homers on the season. The Astros lead the majors with a .279 team batting average and an .858 OPS mark on the year. Even with Giolito’s success, Chicago is 26th with a 5.06 team ERA and 29th in WHIP with a 1.49 mark on the season. The White Sox are at a disadvantage on the mound and at the plate: can they find a way to come up with a road win in the series finale here?

The under is 4-0 in the White Sox’ last 4 overall, 4-0 in their last 4 on grass, 7-1 in their last 8 road games, 7-1 in their last 8 road games vs. a right-handed starter and 6-1 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record. Houston has seen the under go 6-0 in their last six overall, 6-0 in their last six on grass, 4-0 in their last 4 games vs. a right-handed starter and 5-1 in their last 6 Thursday games. The teams have stayed under the total in eight of their last 10 meetings in Houston and 18-7-1 in their last 26 meetings overall. Look for this one to fall short of the mark as Giolito does a decent job while the White Sox struggle to adjust to Martin’s stuff on the fly.

Prediction: Under 9

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.