The Chicago White Sox will look to turn around their sluggish start to the season when they welcome the defending World Series champion Astros to Guaranteed Rate Field for the first game of a three-game set. J.P. France (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 strikeouts) takes the mound for Houston against Chicago righty Michael Kopech (1-3, 5.97 ERA, 36 strikeouts). First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m.
The Astros are -150 favorites on the moneyline on DraftKings Sportsbook, while the White Sox are +130 underdogs. The total sits at 8.5.
Astros-White Sox picks: Friday, May 12th
Out: OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder), 2B Jose Altuve (fractured thumb), SP Lance McCullers Jr. (right arm muscle strain), José Urquidy (right shoulder inflammation), Luis Garcia (right elbow discomfort)
Day to day: Yasmani Grandal (right hamstring tightness)
Out: 3B Yoán Moncada (lower back soreness), INF/OF Romy Gonzalez (right shoulder inflammation), 3B Jake Burger (left oblique strain), RP Liam Hendriks (cancer treatment),SP Garrett Crochet (left elbow surgery), OF Eloy Jiménez (appendectomy)
J.P. France vs. Michael Kopech
After five years in the Minors, France is getting a shot in the Astros rotation thanks to a plethora of injuries across the team’s staff. He turned in a quality outing in his MLB debut last weekend, tossing five scoreless innings against the Seattle Mariners. France threw all five of his pitches in his debut (curveball and changeup to lefties, cutter and slider to righties) and only surrendered three total hits.
Kopech is in the midst of his worst Major League season, and has already allowed 25 earned runs in 37 2/3 innings. He’s in the bottom two percentile in expected slugging, hard-hit rate, expected ERA and barrel rate, and hitters are batting .266 on his fastball and .278 on his slider.
With so much uncertainty surrounding this pitching matchup, I’m taking the over. While Kopech has proven in the past that he has the ability to get Major League hitters out, he’s allowed multiple runs in five of his seven starts this year. And although France didn’t allow a run in his debut, he finished the start with an expected ERA of 3.43. Both teams have cleared this line in three of their last five games, and I’m expecting that to happen once again.
Pick: Over 8.5
I’m going with the better offense. While neither team has lived up to their billing so far this season, the Astros have a better lineup, and should be able to take advantage of Kopech’s ineffectiveness.