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Odds presented by: DraftKings Sportsbook
|Team||Run Spread||Money Line||Total|
|Houston Astros||-1.5 (+130)
|O 8.5 (-120)
|Chicago White Sox||+1.5 (-150)
|U 8.5 (-100)
The All-Star break is the longest these teams have had a break since February, so it’s always interesting to see how they will respond. This is a classic instance of which team has less rust and which pitcher you can trust more. To me, that feels like Houston, so we’re going to go Astros moneyline.
The best odds for this match
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Garcia’s 2021 record: (35-31-2)
|Houston Astros vs Chicago White Sox Information|
|Teams||Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox|
|Location||Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois|
|Time||Friday, July 16, 8:10 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports Chicago, MLB.TV|
If somebody was told they needed to pick two teams from each league with the best odds to make the World Series this year, there’s a very good chance these are the squads that would represent the American League
Houston is of course in that conversation for the best team in baseball and it’s led by its dynamic offense. The Astros lead baseball in runs scored (496), team batting average (.269) and on-base percentage (.344) while ranking fourth in slugging percentage (.439).
Chicago isn’t all that far behind, ranking in the top 10 in the same four categories. The White Sox are second in on-base percentage (.341), fourth in runs (456), fourth in batting average (.257) and ninth in slugging percentage (.417).
And it’s not like either team is lacking in the pitching department, either. Chicago is top 10 in most major categories, including seventh in quality starts (37), eighth in earned run average (3.58), and 10th in WHIP (1.21) and batting average against (.228).
The Astros are sightly better in almost every category, coming into the second half of the year fourt in batting average against (.222), tied for fifth in quality starts (40) and ninth in both WHIP (1.20) and earned run average (3.60).
Point being, these are two dominant squads facing off to set the tone for the second half of the season and fans are in for a treat.
It’s going to be a matchup of two big right-handed arms when Dylan Cease and Lance McCulllers square off.
Cease is having one of the better seasons of his young career — he’s currently 7-4 overall with a 4.11 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 117 strikeouts in 92 innings. The White Sox are certainly hoping the All-Star break may have served has a bit of a reset button for Cease.
The righty has a 6.97 ERA in two starts in the month of July, thanks in large part to giving up six in five innings in a loss to the Twins.
On the other side, Lance McCullers has dominated this season for the Astros. The 27-year-old is 6-2 on the season with a 2.94 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 89 strikeouts in 79.2 innings.
McCullers picked up one of his wins against the White Sox last month, when he went six innings, giving up two runs on two hits and four walks to go with four strikeouts.
With these power lineups there’s plenty of people to choose from to keep an eye on, but we think we’ve found the two to really watch.
Anytime Houston is facing a righty, the ultimate attention must be given to Michael Brantley. The veteran outfielder continues to dominate, batting .362 this year off righties, with a .408 OBP, and .932 OPS in 177 at bats.
For Chicago, let’s go with Tim Anderson. The shortstop is hitting .316 against righties this year with a .354 OBP and .797 OPS in a team-high .228 at bats.
He likely can’t wait to get back in the box, too. He was red-hot before the break, batting .415 (17-of-41) in the month of July.
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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