Image licensed from USA Today Sports
American League West and AL Central get another game to show who is the best first-team team as the Houston Astros face the Chicago White Sox for the final game of their three-game series on Sunday afternoon. With the series all paired into one game piece, the Astros turn left-handed Framber Valdez to start, while the White Sox counter with the right hand Carlos Rodon.
Houston is finally slipping up against Chicago
By the time he got into Saturday’s game, Houston had won five straight against Chicago this season without showing any signs of giving up. In fact, through the first five games, the Astros had surpassed the White Sox with an overall score of 34-9. Saturday’s game, however, told a different story when the hot Houston bats were shut down and held for a single run in a 10-1 defeat where the Astros were already down 10 races before getting their only race in the eighth.
The 27-year-old Valdez has had a very solid year since making his debut on May 28, as he has amassed a 5-1 record with a 2.98 ERA over nine starts and 54 innings this season. That said, Valdez has started running into command issues as late as he has not been able to find his seats as he had been in June. So far in three July starts, Valez is 1-0, but he has so far given up on nine runs in 16 innings, which is good for a 5.06 ERA. That said, the Astros have won seven of the nine games he has started this season
White Sox finally beat Astros!
Chicago looked like a shell by themselves in their first five games against Houston this year when they were swept by the Astros about a month ago and lost the first game of this series at home. Maybe they got a big pep talk from manager Tony LaRussa because they came out and shot on all cylinders on Saturday, jumped out to a 10-run lead and tied the series. Most important was starter Lucas Giolito’s three-hit complete game that completely suffocated Houston’s first offense.
Rodon has been one of Chicago’s best starters this season, and that says something to a rotation that includes both Lance Lynn and Giolito. This year, Rodon has set a 7-3 record with a 2.31 ERA across 15 starting to go with a 0.96 WHIP. When you look deeper into the numbers, you will see that Rodon has struggled a bit in July, giving up five runs in two starts and 11 innings. He has also not done so well during day games, where he has a 3.60 ERA in five starts.
The White Sox are 2-7 in their last 9 games against AL West.
The Astros are 5-1 in their last 6 games against a team with a winning record.