The Chicago White Sox is about to take on the Houston Astros. It is going to be a very good series between two very good teams. The White Sox are the AL Central Division Champions with their 93-69 record so you know they are a really good team. In order to go far in the postseason, you need a lot of things to go your way. It all begins with Houston. They will win if these five things happen:
1. Lucas Giolito
Lucas Giolito is one of the most important players in the Chicago White Sox organization.
Lucas Giolito is going to start the second game of the series in Houston. I would have started him in game one, given that he has had much more success this season against the Astros than Lance Lynn has had.
There are two big reasons why Giolito starting one of these first two games is vital to the White Sox. Number one, his change-up is the perfect antidote to the Astros’ great capacity to hit fastballs. The best change-ups look like a fastball coming out of the pitcher’s hand. Giolito has one of the best in Major League Baseball which is why he gets lots of swings and misses with it.
He pitched once against the Astros this season and the game was in Chicago. It was a nine-inning complete-game victory. In this game, he struck out 8 batters, walked no one, gave up 1 run on 3 hits. The lone run was a home run.
Then we have Lance Lynn losing a blowout to the Astros in Houston in June. He gave up 6 runs in 4 innings. Giolito’s one-game mastery of the Astros very much connects to reason number two. The White Sox, desperately, needs to win one of these first two games in Houston. Both the White Sox and Astros are great home game teams.
The Astros are at their best at home. Their strength as a team is their lineup, especially in conjunction with their home-field advantage. The good news is if the White Sox bats can help steal a game in Houston with a well-pitched game, it gives them lots of momentum to go to Chicago and close out the series. The bad news is if the White Sox do not win one of these first two games in Houston, they will have a very steep mountain to climb for them to win this series.