ALDS Game 2 White Sox vs. Astros Odds, Pick, Prediction: Offenses Match Up Well Against Lucas Giolito, Framer Valdez (October 8)
Bob Levey/Getty Images. Pictured: Yordan Alvarez after his home run Thursday.
White Sox vs. Astros Odds
|White Sox Odds||+110|
|Time||2:07 p.m. ET|
After Houston took Game 1 in convincing fashion, the White Sox will send Lucas Giolito to the mound hoping to even up the series before heading to Chicago.
Lance Lynn was knockout out in fewer than five innings, as the Astros’ offense came alive, plating six runs before the sixth inning. Giolito was the White Sox third-best starter this season behind Lynn and Carlos Rodón, so he will need to be on his game if the White Sox are going to even up the series, given how good Houston’s offense is.
The Astros did what they’ve done all season long in Game 1, which is crush right-handed pitching. They’ll have the benefit of facing another righty in Game 2 and will send their best pitcher by the numbers this season, Framber Valdez to the mound, hoping he can give them a 2-0 series lead.
Chicago White Sox
Chicago will have a pretty good matchup against Valdez in Game 2 because not only was it top five in terms of wOBA and wRC+ against left-handed pitching during the regular season, but it also crushes sinkers. The White Sox finished the regular season with a +20.3 run value against sinkers, which is a pitch Valdez goes to more than 50% of the time.
The White Sox also finished in the top five against both curveballs and changeups (combined +35.5 run value), which are Valdez’s only two offspeed pitches. So Chicago should be able to get to Valdez early on.
The Houston Astros showed why they are one of the best offenses in baseball in Game 1, crushing one of the best pitchers this season for five runs. The Astros have been stellar offensively all season long and finished with 116 wRC+, which was the best mark in the majors. What’s even more impressive is they did that without one of their best hitters, Alex Bregman, for a good portion of the season.
Giolito mainly throws a fastball, changeup, slider combination, which won’t be a great matchup against an Astros lineup that is top 10 against all three of those pitches.
Starting Pitching Matchup
Lucas Giolito vs. Framber Valdez
White Sox Starting Pitcher
Lucas Giolito, RHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Giolito is having another tremendous season for the White Sox, posting a 3.29 xERA and 3.75 xFIP. Yet, he’s having issues with the long ball, as his HR/9 rate is all the way up 1.36, which is his highest mark since 2018. However, his hard-hit percentage is at 34.2%, which his his lowest mark since 2017.
He’s been very effective with his off-speed pitches, as his changeup, slider and curveball are allowing an xwOBA under .275. However, he’s been really struggling with his fastball, which is allowing an xwOBA of .340. That’s a problem since he goes to it 43.9% of the time, and the Astros are 10th in baseball against fastballs.
Giolito has faced the Astros once this season, pitching a complete game back on July 17th, giving up only three hits and one earned run.
Astros Starting Pitcher
Framber Valdez, LHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Valdez is a big-time groundball pitcher, which is not shocking since he predominately uses a sinker as his main pitch. Valdez’s groundball rate is sitting at 70.3% for the season, which is the highest mark of his career. However, he’s really struggling with his sinker. Opposing hitters have a .268 xBA and .330 xwOBA against it this season, which will not bode well for him against a White Sox lineup that crushes sinkers.
Valdez has really been dominant with his two main off-speed pitches of curveball and changeup, as both are allowing a xwOBA under .270 and have over a 30% whiff rate. However, the White Sox are the second-best team in baseball against curveballs and fourth against changeups. So, it’s not that great of a matchup for Valdez.
Both the Astros and White Sox made moves at the trade deadline to improve their bullpens, but over the course of the entire season, the White Sox have been the better bullpen. Chicago had a better xFIP, K/9 rate, BB/9 rate, HR/9 rate and LOB% than Houston, so it will have the advantage in the later innings.
White Sox-Astros Pick
Both of these offenses have a good matchup against the opposing pitcher, so I think we are going to see a bit of a slugfest in Game 2, even though both starting pitchers have been very efficient this season.
I have 9.22 runs projected for this game, so I think there is some value on Over 7.5 runs at -118 odds (FanDuel) and would play it up to 8 runs at -110.
Pick: Over 7.5 runs (-118)