MLB Pick: Astros & White Sox Tussle To Stay South Of High Total

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 1:01 PM GMT

Wednesday, May. 18, 2016 1:01 PM GMT

The AL-leading White Sox have dropped five of their last six, but look to rebound tonight behind Mat Latos in the second of a 10-game home stand. Free MLB pick and analysis inside!

Houston Astros vs. Chicago White Sox

Houston Astros (16-24) – Doug Fister (3-3, 4.22 ERA)
Houston’s .400 winning percentage is the lowest in the American League behind the abysmal Twins. Poor pitching dooms last year’s Wild Card winners on the MLB odds boards. Gifting 4.92 runs per game, the staff allows the most opponent at-bats (35.60) and hits (9.75) per game in MLB.

Doug Fister is the most consistent starter thus far. He has pieced together five straight quality starts, going 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA during the stretch. Houston has allowed three or fewer runs in all but his first two starts this season, the most out of any in the rotation.

White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier, who leads the team in homeruns (12) and RBIs (32), but missed last night’s matchup because of illness, sees Fister well. He (3 for 8), catcher Alex Avila (3 for 7) and outfielder Melky Cabrera (5 for 14) are hitting over .300 lifetime against the right-hander. Frazier is questionable for today’s game.

The OVER is 15-5 with a combined score of 10.2 runs when the Astros hit the road this season. Unfamiliar confines coupled with high-leverage situations have the staff yielding 6.1 runs per game. The UNDER is 3-1 in Fister’s away outings, though.

Houston pulls out its “A” game against better quality starters. It is 11-8 SU versus those with a lower ERA than its own, as opposed to 1-9 SU versus higher.

Chicago White Sox (24-15) – Mat Latos (5-0, 3.40 ERA)
Chicago’s stellar pitching is the catalyst for its 24 wins; second most in the bigs behind cross-town rivals the Cubs (27). Its achievement is largely due to Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and today’s starter Mat Latos’ success. The Sox are 20-3 this season when the trio takes to the rubber this year.

Latos started the season on fire, going 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA. Failing to locate his slider, he’s faltered a bit in his last three starts, compiling a 7.63 ERA despite earning a win with two no-decisions. The big right-hander has failed to get past 5.1 innings in his last three outings, gifting four earned runs or more in each.

Latos is 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA in seven career outings against Houston. The current Astros roster has seen little of the veteran journeyman, however. Colby Rasmus (6 for 11) and Jose Altuve (4 for 8) roughed him up in the past, slugging two doubles combined with only two strikeouts.

The White Sox are 10-4 as home chalk this season. Three of those defeats occurred behind lefty Carlos Rodon and one behind fill-in starter Erik Johnson. Working under Latos, Sale, and Quintana, they are 9-0, allowing just 1.4 runs per game.

 

Final Analysis
Fister’s tossing the bell well, and arguably Houston’s best starter to date this season. When healthy, he usually finds a way to keep his team competitive, even against above average run producers. Lifetime, the UNDER is 40-18-6 in Fister’s away starts versus teams that knock in 3.9 runs or more per contest. Chicago is crossing the plate 4.4 times per game. Latos, who is struggling with his command, should benefit from a home outing after taking the pill on the road twice in his last three outings. UNDER 9 is the free MLB pick.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 8.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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