It’s the return of Mack! Mattress Mack, that is, as the first American League Divisional Series gets underway in Houston where the Astros hope to begin another postseason run as they host the Chicago White Sox.
The Astros captured the AL West after winning 95 games, while the White Sox took the AL Central crown thanks to a 93-win campaign. Can the Astros take Game 1 as home favorites or do the Pale Hose have value as road underdogs?
Find out with our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Game 1 of the ALDS between the White Sox and Astros on Thursday, October 7.
White Sox vs Astros odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
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White Sox vs Astros picks
Picks made on 10/6/2021 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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White Sox vs Astros game info
• Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston Astros
• Date: Thursday, October 7, 2021
• Time: 4:07 p.m. ET
• TV: FS1, MLB Network
White Sox vs Astros betting preview
Lance Lynn (11-6, 2.69 ERA): After a red-hot start to the season Lynn was a little more mortal down the stretch. The right-hander pitched to a 4.46 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP over his final eight starts this season.
Lance McCullers Jr. (13-5, 3.16 ERA): McCullers earned the Game 1 start in this series thanks to his performance down the stretch. The right-hander pitched to a 3.00 ERA and limited opponents to a .181 batting average over five starts in the month of September.
White Sox vs Astros series odds (via DraftKings)
White Sox: +110
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
White Sox: No key injuries to report.
Astros: Rafael Montero RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Astros are 8-1 in their last nine ALDS games played at home. Find more MLB betting trends for White Sox vs. Astros.
White Sox vs Astros predictions
While only two games separated these teams in the regular season, a deeper dive into their stats might show a bit of a wider gap between the two, particularly in this matchup.
For starters, while the White Sox have an offense that ranked sixth in scoring, fifth in batting average, and seventh in OPS, they spent most of the season feasting on the pathetic American League Central. In fact, they are just 27-29 against teams above .500 and were below .500 on the road.
It is also a little curious the Pale Hose went with Lance Lynn in game one. While the right-hander had a great season overall, he only recorded one quality start over his last eight games. He’s pitched six innings just twice over that span, which means handing the ball to a bullpen with some high-end talent at the back end but can be shaky at times.
Lynn will have to deal with arguably the best lineup in baseball, one that ranked first in batting average and fourth in OPS against right-handed pitching this season. Additionally, in Lynn’s lone start against the Astros this season, he lasted just four innings where he allowed six runs on eight hits.
Combine that with the fact that Lance McCullers is dealing right now and the Astros look like a good bet to take Game 1 of this American League Divisional Series.
Over 8 (-110)
The old saying in baseball goes, great pitching beats great hitting. Particularly in the postseason. And, while this is a matchup of pretty solid starting pitchers, with a total of just 8, we’re actually going to ignore that saying in this one and look at the Over.
It’s easy to like the Over with two offenses like these. The White Sox ranked sixth in scoring, plating 5.1 runs per game this season while the Astros ranked second at 5.4 runs per contest.
While McCullers comes into this game hot, the White Sox still ranked fifth in batting average and ninth in OPS when facing right-handers this season. On top of that, the Astros bullpen comes into this series with some question marks, finishing the season ranked 15th in ERA and 14th in WHIP.
We’ve already spoken about how the Astros lineup can have success against Lynn in this matchup, so this number feels a touch too low for Game 1.
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