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After a nearly 24-hour delay, the Astros will try to punch their ticket to the ALCS while the White Sox hope to defend home field and live another day.
The winner gets a matchup with the Red Sox, who eliminated the Rays on a walk-off sacrifice fly on Monday night. Chicago should be familiar with McCullers, but there’s a lot of uncertainty around Rodon.
Because there are fewer question marks, we’re going to take the Astros money line and the over.
Mother nature got in the way for what was supposed to be Game 4 on Monday afternoon. Rain washed it away so now it will be Tuesday, which has changed the nature of this game.
Had it been played Monday, Jose Urquidy would have started. Urquidy is a solid pitcher who had a very nice season, going — 8-3 overall with a 3.62 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 90 strikeouts in 107 innings.
His numbers are almost comparable to Lance McCullers Jr., who started and picked up the win in Game 1. But the 26-year-old doesn’t have the playoff acumen as the World Series champion and with an additional day’s rest, McCullers slides into the rotation.
He was nearly flawless in the series opener, throwing 6.2 shutout innings, giving up just four hits while striking out four others.
Carlos Rodon, who was originally scheduled to start Monday, will get the ball on Tuesday. The question now is what will Chicago get out of their crafty lefty?
Rodon has suffered from shoulder soreness and fatigue, making just two starts over the past month, throwing 89 pitches or fewer on each occasion.
So whether he goes one inning or six, the White Sox are better with him on the mound. He threw 132.2 innings, leading the team with a 2.37 ERA and 185 strikeouts.
So far in this series, two of the three games have easily gone “over” the total. The one game that didn’t — the opener which had McCullers on the mound — just narrowly missed.
But with McCullers on the mound (and it being later in the series, so every pitch is even more scrutinized) some might expect this to be lower scoring.
However, a white-hot White Sox team just saw his arsenal less than a week ago, so it’s hard to imagine they won’t fare at least somewhat better than they did in the series opener.
On the other side, the White Sox are hoping Rodon can be even a shell of the no-hitter throwing version of himself from earlier this year to prevent the Astros from putting up more crooked numbers.
For Houston, the man to watch is Yuli Gurriel. For starters, he got moved down to No. 7 in the lineup for game three (something no competitor wants to have happen) but he happens to rake against lefties.
Gurriel hit .326 (59-of-181) in the regular season, with eight home runs, 34 RBIs and a .925 OPS.
For Chicago, it’s gotta be Jose Abreu. He had two hits in Game 1 vs. McCullers — the only White Sox player to reach base more than once in the first game. He has been the best hitter for Chicago in the series — posting at least one hit and one RBI in all three games.
|Teams||Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox|
|Location||Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL|
|Time||Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2:07 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||FS1|
Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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