Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
Houston at Chi. White Sox
When: 2:10 PM ET, Sunday, April 22, 2018
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois

The Houston Astros ended last season as World Series champions, but they struggled to figure out the riddle of the 67-win Chicago White Sox along the way. The Astros are having no such problem with the White Sox in 2018, however, and attempt to keep rolling Sunday as they attempt to complete a three-game sweep in Chicago.

Houston dropped four of its six meetings with Chicago last year, managing a total of only 16 runs against a pitching staff that finished third-to-last in the American League in ERA. The Astros opened this series against the White Sox on Friday with a 10-0 rout and cruised to a 10-1 victory a day later as Josh Reddick homered twice and drove in five runs to back a strong six-inning effort from Dallas Keuchel. While Houston has outscored the opposition 40-5 during its five-game winning streak, Chicago has been pummeled 54-15 (11 of which came in one game) during its six-game slide and has dropped 11 of 12 overall. The recently acquired Trayce Thompson proved to be the only bright spot of another dismal offensive performance for the White Sox, belting a solo homer in the fifth inning to avoid what would have been their fourth shutout loss of the season.

TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet-Southwest (Houston), WGN (Chicago)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 5.57 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Reynaldo Lopez (0-2, 1.42)

McCullers recorded a season-high 11 strikeouts in a victory on Tuesday, as Robinson Cano's first-inning solo homer was the only offense Seattle could muster against him in seven frames. The former All-Star, who has fanned 34 across 21 innings, was coming off a rough outing at Minnesota in which he was pounded for eight runs in 3 2/3 frames. McCullers hasn't faced Chicago since doing so twice as a rookie in 2015, when he went 0-1 despite posting a 3.18 ERA.

Lopez's mostly dominant start to the season continued to go unrewarded Monday in Oakland, as he took the loss despite giving up two runs and four hits while striking out 10 across six innings. The 24-year-old Dominican has given up only three runs and eight hits while fanning 21 over 19 frames, but his 11 walks rank as the second-highest total in the AL for any pitcher with three or fewer starts. Right-handed batters are hitting .071 versus Lopez, who will face Houston for the first time in his career.

WALK-OFFS

1. White Sox RHP Danny Farquhar, who was rushed to the hospital after passing out in the dugout on Friday, is in stable but critical condition after being diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage.

2. Reddick is the first Astro to hit two grand slams in the same calendar month since Hall-of-Famer Jeff Bagwell accomplished the feat in May 2001.

3. Chicago is in danger of becoming the first team since the 1929 Philadelphia Phillies to give up double-digit run totals in five consecutive games.

PREDICTION: Astros 5, White Sox 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Houston 15-7 W5 6-3 9-4 3-0 3-2 7-4 2-1
Chi. White Sox 4-13 L6 1-7 3-6 2-4 2-4 0-5 0-0
Last Meeting
Houston Chi. White Sox
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
4/21/18 HOU 10 CHW 1 .361 2 1.038 .129 1 .487
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston C. Correa .625 5 2.042
Chi. White Sox J. Abreu .286 2 .661
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston C. Correa 2 4 4
Chi. White Sox T. Thompson 1 1 1
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 0.50 .347 17
Chi. White Sox 10.00 .102 17
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston J. Altuve .349 30 .808
Chi. White Sox J. Abreu .275 19 .843
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston J. Reddick 6 14 15
Chi. White Sox M. Davidson 5 10 11
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 2.28 .254 240
Chi. White Sox 6.15 .225 135