ALDS picks: White Sox vs. Astros, Red Sox vs. Rays
The Divisional Round of the MLB postseason gets underway this Thursday! The American League will have the spotlight as the Chicago White Sox visit the Houston Astros in the afternoon, before the Boston Red Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays at night.
Below are our predictions and plays for both contests.
Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros, 4:07 p.m. ET, FS1
Thu, October 7 2021, 8:07 PM
CHI White Sox
The Astros appear to have a significant edge in the starting pitching matchup in Game 1 of their ALDS against the White Sox.
Lance Lynn gets the nod for Chicago, and his lone outing against Houston this year (June 19) was dismal, as he surrendered six earned runs over four frames. Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley, and Alex Bregman are a combined 34-for-86 (.395) all-time off Lynn with six home runs. Altuve has been particularly dangerous at the plate over the last month, registering a .970 OPS in that span.
Just another 4-hit game for Jose Altuve.#CarryTheFreight x #ForTheH pic.twitter.com/orxHmhss8X— Houston Astros (@astros) October 3, 2021
Lance McCullers Jr. counters for the Astros, and he went 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA over five efforts in September. He won both his starts against the South Siders this season, recording a 2.08 ERA and .103 opponent batting average.
The White Sox have an apparent edge in the bullpen department, as their relievers were second in WAR (7.8) on the year, while the ‘Stros ranked 14th (3.6). While bettors should be dubious about Houston’s ability to hold the lead in this one, they should be fairly confident that the Astros will have the advantage after five frames.
MLB pick: Astros -141 (first five innings)
Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays, 8:07 p.m. ET, FS1
Fri, October 8 2021, 12:07 AM
BOS Red Sox
The Red Sox are riding high following their Wild Card victory over the hated New York Yankees, but the Rays should knock them down a peg in Game 1 of their ALDS matchup on Thursday night.
Eduardo Rodriguez will toe the rubber for Boston, sporting a 2.11 ERA over his last five appearances of the regular season. However, his four outings against Tampa this season were a mixed bag, as he authored a 4.71 ERA.
Rodriguez will have to pitch carefully to Brandon Lowe, who’s taken him deep three times in 13 prior at-bats. Lowe homered three times against the Yankees last Saturday.
ALL OF US ARE WANDER FRANCO! 🤯— Bally Sports Sun: Rays (@BallyRays) October 2, 2021
Brandon Lowe has accounted for 7 of the @RaysBaseball runs today! pic.twitter.com/cRzWAkmqUE
Shane McClanahan responds for the Rays, and he’s 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 12 starts since the All-Star break. He owns a solid 2.81 ERA over 16 innings of work against Boston this year.
Tampa also holds a decided edge in the bullpen battle, as they own a 3.03 ERA over the last two weeks, while Boston has produced a 4.66 ERA in the same span.
MLB pick: Rays -162