The best game on the MLB schedule Friday night features the Houston Astros hosting the Chicago White Sox. The Astros took the first game of the series on Thursday night, dominating in a 10-2 win. However, the betting odds are even for Friday’s game, with both teams having a moneyline of -110.
The Astros have the appearance of being one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. They’ve won four in a row and are now 11-4 during the month of June. However, with the A’s being equally hot at the moment, Houston still trails Oakland by two games atop the AL West standings.
Of course, the White Sox have been just as hot despite Friday’s loss. They’ve won 10 of their last 14 games, putting them in a tie with Tampa and Oakland for the most wins in the American League. But with Cleveland also red-hot, Chicago’s lead atop the AL Central is down to 3.5 games.
Carlos Rodon, who threw a no-hitter earlier this season, will get the start for Chicago on Friday. Of course, Rodon has been great all season, even when he isn’t throwing no-hitters. Through 11 starts, he’s 6-2 with a 1.89 ERA, allowing one run or less in nine of his 11 starts this year.
Of course, the lefty will have his work cut out for him against the Astros, who are averaging 9.5 runs per game over their last four games. The caveat is that Alex Bregman had to go to the IL earlier this week, depriving the Astros of one of their key hitters. But the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Michael Brantley are all mashing at the moment to help make up for it.
Parade of Youngsters
The Houston rotation has found success this year with a slew of young starters, with Luis Garcia being next in line on Friday. The 24-year-old is 5-4 with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP over 11 starts and two relief appearances. He’s yet to allow more than three runs in a start this year, although he did pick up a loss in his last start against the Twins last weekend.
The silver lining for Garcia is that Chicago’s lineup is a little diminished right now because of injuries. Yoan Moncada and a few others are also struggling at the moment, with Moncada battling an illness that’s keeping him out of the lineup. As a result, they’ve scored three runs or less in three of their last five games.
Against the Grain
The White Sox have a clear advantage in this game, with Rodon being the better starting pitcher. But with the way Garcia has pitched this season, there isn’t much of a gap. Meanwhile, the Astros are close to unstoppable offensively at the moment.
Even Rodon may not be able to keep the Houston offense contained three or four times through the lineup. With Chicago’s limitations offensively, the White Sox will only have a chance to win a low-scoring game. That means the Astros have better value despite the betting odds being even.
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