Chicago White Sox's Yoan Moncada
Chicago White Sox's Yoan Moncada connects for a single off Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. during the fourth inning in Game 1 of a baseball American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

White Sox vs. Astros ALDS Game 2

Kyle Barrette

The ALDS is underway as the Astros took a one game lead in this series as their pummeling of Lance Lynn this season continued. He got knocked around for five runs before getting the hook in the fourth inning. The Astros jumped on Lynn early, and it proved to be all they were going to need as they were able to drive in a run that was left on base by Lynn, but nothing else off this White Sox bullpen. We break down game two and see if the Sox can tie this series up.

White Sox
The Sox were well aware of Lynn’s struggle against Houston, hence why they sent him out there in game one. If the Sox were able to steal one in a sense, it would have been a huge boost seeing them struggle on the road and have two other star pitchers coming right behind Lynn. Although as we saw this plan didn’t not come to fruition, a small gamble has them down 1-0 in the series. The Sox Road struggles continued to show their ugly head and it is a great concern as they are in great danger of going home down 2-0 in this series. Giolito goes for the Sox in game two and he has been great in his last 15 starts outside of one stinker against the Royals where he allowed six runs. In his 14 other starts, he allowed three runs or less and that includes a start against these Astros, although that was a home start. Giolito gives them a better chance to win than Lynn did. His variety of pitches, other than a repetitive fast ball that Houston got with Lynn, should keep them a little more off balance and give his offense more of a chance against Valdez who has had his struggles.

This Houston lineup is just loaded with guys who are patient and will make you throw pitch after pitch and either draw walks or foul off pitches until you make a mistake. We will see the same approach with Giolito here. If they can raise his pitch count, they can likely get him out of the game faster. Houston will have to do a better job against this White Sox bullpen. If they find themselves trailing when Giolito exits, they could send this game back to Chicago 1-1. Valdez gets the nod in game two. An up and down season is a cause for concern for Houston in game two. Valdez had two starts against Chicago this season and allowed a combined seven runs, but he did go deep into both games. It looks like it’s going to be a bend but not break method for Houston in game two. Valdez will eat a lot of innings while keeping Houston in the game, allowing the Astros to keep the bulk of their bullpen fresh where they will likely need more of them when they hit the road in Chicago.

Astros vs White Sox: The Pick
After seven runs were scored in game one, the betting line was bumped up a full run. That’s where we’re going with this one. Giolito has been able to keep the runs down and Houston struggled against this White Sox pen. Valdez will keep his status quo with the Sox struggles on the road and this game will have fewer runs than yesterday and stay under the 8.5 Number.

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