The Houston Astros lead the Chicago White Sox 2-0 in a five-game series, meaning that if the Astros win Game 3, the series will officially be over. In a win-or-go home scenario, the White Sox have decided to pitch Dylan Cease over Carlos Rodon.
Rodon was placed on the roster while the Sox other left-handed starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel was left off the roster. Despite posting an ERA of 2.37 on the year, Rodon might not get the chance to start in a postseason game this year, although there is a possibility that Rodon will be available out of the bullpen if necessary.
Cease has been electric as of late but looking at the stats analytically, the White Sox would match up better against the Astros with a left-handed pitcher.
White Sox vs Astros ALDS Game 3 Prediction
Chicago White Sox @ Houston Astros, October 10, 8:07 PM EST on FS1
Probable Starting Pitchers:
- Dylan Cease, White Sox (13-7, 3.91 ERA)
- Luis Garcia, Astros (11-8, 3.30 ERA)
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All hands are on deck for the White Sox, who are down 2-0 in a best-of-five series. Cease has been electric, there’s no doubt about it. In the last 30 days, Cease has an xFIP of 2.96 with a strikeout rate of 38.7 percent. The walks are a bit high, along with a low ground ball percentage and a high line drive percentage nearing 30 percent.
The Astros are hitting 25.5 percent line drives against righties in that same time span with a wOBA of .347. With Cease throwing high strikeouts, this matchup against the Astros will be interesting knowing that the Astros have struck out under 17 percent of the time in the last 30 days against righties.
Cease didn’t have much luck against the Astros this year, giving up an ERA of 9.00 and with a an OBA of .263 in two lackluster starts.
On the flip side, the Astros will send out Luis Garcia, who has a 1.29 ERA against Chicago in one start this season. Against the White Sox, he went seven innings and allowed seven hits but just one run and eight strikeouts. No matter how well he’s pitching, Garcia won’t be throwing seven innings in this game.
Garcia, in the last 30 days, has an xFIP of 5 with low strikeouts of just under 16 percent, and 10.1 percent walks. He’s capable of inducing big time ground balls and limits line drives. You could end up seeing a stat line of about a hit and walk per inning, but Garcia is capable of getting out of jams and does it often.
Meanwhile, the White Sox lineup, at home, could wake up. They’ve hit a .182 ISO and .339 wOBA in the last 30 days against righties along with 25.3 percent strikeouts. A couple clutch hits would go a long way, but understand that the White Sox hit ground balls 45.2 percent of the time.
At this point, Cease is the better pitcher, but Garcia is the one who can find ways out of jams with getting a high amount of grounders.
White Sox vs Astros ALDS Game 3 Pick: White Sox 5, Astros 4
White Sox vs Astros ALDS Game 3 Best Bets
Best Bet: White Sox Moneyline (-121) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
The White Sox get their first home game and while both teams kind of profile well against their opposition, Cease has been much better with an xFIP below 3. For the White Sox, they’re going to send out every single reliable pitcher in this game, even if it’s Rodon for the sixth to eighth inning.
Best Bet: Astros vs. White Sox Over 8 (-120) at BetMGM
Wager: 1.30 Units
When both teams score four runs, this over will already hit. Another run has to score. I like how both teams profile, knowing each team has hit hard line drives against righties in the last 30 days.
The White Sox are the one team hitting a lot of heavy ground balls, and Garcia is a ground ball pitcher, but like I said earlier, he won’t be going seven innings in this start. With the White Sox home, I’ll trust them to do some damage offensively as well in a must-win game.
- Read our full White Sox vs Astros ALDS Predictions & Best Bets.
Best Bet: White Sox Over 3.5 Team Total (-143) at Unibet
Wager: 1 Unit
So far this season, Garcia is the “worst" pitcher to pitch in the MLB playoffs based off stats from the last 30 days. His xFIP is 5 and he hasn’t been able to get a ton of strikeouts while allowing more than 10 percent walks in that time frame.
At the top of the order, the White Sox are patient against righties and at the bottom of the order, there’s some sneaky power. If the White Sox are going to win this game, they’re going to need at least four runs.