The Chicago White Sox will travel home to take on the Houston Astros for Game 3 of the ALDS Sunday night.
The Astros won the first two games of the series at home and now have three chances to move on to the ALCS, although a victory tonight would come as MLB betting road underdogs.
The White Sox waited a while to announce a starter for this game, deciding between lefty Carlos Rodon and righty Dylan Cease, and ultimately decided the right-hander will get the call for Game 3, leaving Rodon available out of the bullpen if necessary.
Was this the right move for the White Sox? Find out in our MLB picks and predictions for Astros vs. White Sox on Sunday, October 10.
Astros vs White Sox odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
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Astros vs White Sox picks
Picks made on 10/10/2021 at 10:03 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Astros vs White Sox game info
• Location: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL
• Date: Sunday, October 10, 2021
• Time: 8:07 p.m. ET
• TV: FS1
Astros vs White Sox betting preview
Luis Garcia (11-8, 3.30 ERA): While he won't win the Rookie of the Year Award, Luis Garcia had a fantastic debut campaign, going 11-8 with a solid ERA in being one of the more consistent arms all season long. However, he has slumped in the last 30 days, with an xFIP of 5.00 and an ERA of 3.67 since September.
Dylan Cease (13-7, 3.91 ERA): While lefties have fared better against the Astros lineup over the last 30 days, Cease has an xFIP sitting at 2.97 over that same stretch and has allowed just one run in his last three starts combined (14 1-3 innings). Throughout that span, Cease has tallied 21 strikeouts — which is one of the main reasons why he’ll get the ball in a must-win game.
Astros vs White Sox series odds
White Sox: +650
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Astros: Pedro Baez RP (Out).
White Sox: Evan Marshall RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Astros are 0-5 in their last five road games against teams with a winning record. Find more MLB betting trends for Astros vs. White Sox.
Astros vs White Sox predictions
White Sox ML (-121)
The White Sox playing to save their season, sitting down 2-0 in this best-of-five ALDS. This means that after starter Dylan Cease's day is done, it's all hands on deck for the Sox — they could feature lefty Carlos Rodon or any and all of the big-time pitchers out of the bullpen, like Craig Kimbrel, at any point in the game.
Don't expect Cease to go more than five frames today as he averaged fewer than five innings per outing throughout September and October. Even though his starts have been cut short, Cease has an xFIP of 2.97 with a 38.7-percent strikeout rate over the last 30 days. In this same time frame, however, Cease has walked 12 percent of batters faced, while only 37.8 percent of his contact allowed are ground balls — and nearly 30 percent of it is line drives, which is concerning.
Over the last month, the Astros are hitting line drives on just over a quarter of all their contact and have a wOBA of .347. The Astros have an .837 OPS in 38 at-bats against Cease this season, which is higher than you’d like for a pitcher.
On the other hand, Luis Garcia has a 5.00 xFIP for the Astros, with 15.9 percent strikeouts and 10.1 percent walks, over the last 30 days. Garcia is turning more than half of his contact (52 percent) into ground balls and is giving up just 18 percent line drives throughout that span, which has helped Garcia to escape jams.
But, just like the Astros, the White Sox have been hitting righties hard too. They’re hitting 25.3 percent line drives over the last 30 days against righties, but Chicago is also hitting ground balls at a 45.2-percent clip — and facing a ground ball pitcher like Garcia can be a bit concerning.
After two rather non-competitive games in Houston, this should be a closer game. But with Cease on the mound — and knowing the White Sox will do whatever it takes to win — we’ll take the White Sox with the short price on the moneyline.
Over 8 (-110)
While Cease racks up the strikeouts, the Astros have a track record of limiting whiffs against righties.
Houston also showed some power in the first two games of this series, and for how well Cease has been pitching, he has struggled lately against lefties — giving some reason to believe the Astros can have some success scoring tonight.
On the other hand, Garcia has also been rocked by lefty sluggers, coughing up a .416 wOBA and ISO of .300 in his last 44 plate appearances against lefties. The White Sox should have four lefties in the lineup tonight, including switch-hitting power sluggers Yoan Moncada and Yasmani Grandal.
It's not a terribly high total, as we just need both teams to score at least four runs, so Over 8 is the direction we’ll go with for the total.
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