White Sox vs. Astros Predictions, Picks & Odds: Can Alvarez Excel Against Cease on Opening Day?
The Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros face off in a game with one of the best pitching matchups of Opening Day. Let's dive in with our White Sox-Astros prediction based on the best MLB odds.
The defending World Series champions kick off the season without second baseman Jose Altuve, but the Houston Astros will still trot out plenty of firepower in a tough matchup against Chicago White Sox strikeout artist Dylan Cease.
Cease is fresh off finishing third in MLB with a 2.20 ERA while plowing through lineups and overpowering hitters to the tune of an 11.1 K/9 in 2022. That wasn't an outlier season either, as it came after an American League-best 12.3 K/9 in 2021.
The Astros counter with Framber Valdez, creating an Opening Day clash of two dominant American League aces. Valdez keeps the ball in the yard effectively, and he allowed just 11 home runs in 2022 en route to posting a 2.82 ERA.
There will be plenty of wizardry on the mound, but a whole lot of baseball-launching muscle will be at the plate too between both sides. Can one such slugger stand out and get to Cease?
Here is our best White Sox-Astros prediction (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Check out our MLB best bets for Opening Day.
White Sox vs. Astros odds
White Sox vs. Astros game info
- Date: Thursday, March 30, 7:08 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
- Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
White Sox vs. Astros prediction
Yordan Alvarez Over 1.5 total bases (+125 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Cease is absurd, and the sort of scary pitcher who makes you want to be pretty much anywhere else but facing him. Excluding the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, he's been a starter for two full seasons while racking up 453 strikeouts during that time. The hurler finished fifth in that category in 2022, and sixth in 2021.
He's a challenge for any hitter, but Yordan Alvarez isn't normal either, and getting him back to the dugout without damage could prove to be a difficult task even for Cease. Alvarez ranked among the top 1% in average exit velocity and hard-hit rate in 2022, according to Baseball Savant.
But what's even more critical against a punchout purveyor like Cease is that Alvarez's eyes aren't just magnetized to the fences. He's disciplined with an effective plate approach, which led to a .306/.406/.613 slash line in 2022, and a walk rate that sat in the top 4% of MLB (13.9).
He puts righties in a blender so very often, too. Alvarez finished with a 1.052 OPS against right-handed starters in 2022 while hitting 29 of his 37 home runs. Cease is effective regardless of where the batter is standing, but his OPS against lefties is notably higher than when facing righties (.644 in 2022 against lefties versus .527 for righties).
That's key for this prop, as we need Alvarez to accumulate bases. And as is the case with most sportsbooks, DraftKings doesn't count walks for the purposes of this wager. Alvarez needs to use any hit or combination of hits to reach at least two total bases for the Over to cash.
Check out our Yankees-Giants pick and Shohei Ohtani prop picks.
White Sox vs. Astros best odds
|Over 1.5||Over 1.5||Over 1.5||Over 1.5|
Of the four top-rated sportsbooks offering this prop, DraftKings edges out BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook for the best value, and it's even further ahead of FanDuel Sportsbook.
We're still getting 44.5% implied odds from DraftKings on a player whose .613 slugging percentage in 2022 ranked second in MLB. The Over hit on this prop during 49.6% of Alvarez's game appearances in 2022. That's more in line with FanDuel's implied odds, furthering the appeal of DraftKings' offering.
Check out our World Series odds, 2023 MLB MVP odds, and 2023 MLB Cy Young Odds.
White Sox vs. Astros odds analysis
The Astros opened as an even more significant favorite at -170. That line has been moving a fair bit since, and now Caesars offers the best price for Astros backers at -135.
Meanwhile, the best number for the road underdog White Sox is long gone at most sports betting sites after they opened at +150. DraftKings is still featuring a +130 price Chicago bettors should jump on, as others like PointsBet sit at +115. Currently, 71% of the action is on Houston.
The total is now widely up to 7.5. Avoid DraftKings if you're expecting a pitcher's duel and want to take the Under. The Under is priced at -115 through DraftKings, slightly higher than the -110 that's the consensus elsewhere. The Under is getting 45% of the action.
Check out our 2023 MLB home run leader odds and 2023 MLB Rookie of the Year Odds.
White Sox-Astros pick made 3/30/2023 at 9:50 a.m. ET.
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