White Sox-Astros Preview: Cease Overcoming Pitcher's Duel


March 30

Baseball is back. Let’s get to it. The reigning champion Houston Astros will be on the national stage tonight as they welcome in the Chicago White Sox. The ‘Stros will unveil their World Series banner after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games in last year’s Fall Classic. They are the betting favorite to repeat at +600 on the FanDuel Sportsbook.White Sox @ Astros Game Information

  • Location: Minute Maid Park 
  • Time: 7:00 p.m ET | TV: ESPN

Despite front-office questions days after the parade, Houston acquired 2020 AL MVP Jose Abreu on a three-year contract to headline their offseason acquisitions. Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander left for the Big Apple on a lucrative deal with the New York Mets, with additional departures including Yuli Gurriel, Trey Mancini, and Christian Vazquez.

The Astros face the injury bug to start the season, with Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, and Lance McCullers Jr. expected to miss extended time to start the season.

The White Sox started their offseason with a leadership change, bringing Pedro Grifol in as manager after a tumultuous tenure with Tony La Russa at the helm. Andrew Benintendi was their big offseason addition, coming to Chicago on a five-year deal.

Longtime first baseman Abreu will be in the opposite dugout tonight, with Johnny Cueto and AJ Pollock two more notable losses. All-star closer Liam Hendriks will be away from the team to start the season as he progresses in treatment for cancer. 

White Sox @ Astros Game Odds on FanDuel
  • Moneyline: White Sox (+120) | Astros (-142)
  • Run Line: White Sox +1.5 (-170) | Astros -1.5 (+140)
  • Total: Over 7.5 (-100) | Under 7.5 (-122)

Framber Valdez gets the opening-day nod as the Astros’ new ace, coming off of a 2022 campaign where he finished fifth in Cy Young voting while leading the AL in innings pitched. He’ll be opposed by Dylan Cease, who put together an incredible 2022 season and finished second in Cy Young voting.

I believe in this White Sox team, as they have a talented group that struggled from injuries and bad vibes in the locker room in 2022. On the past three Opening Days, the reigning champion has lost their first game. Hangover much?

That, combined with the injuries facing the ‘Stros, I see value on the White Sox side with their ace on the mound. I’ll target their moneyline. 

White Sox @ Astros Prop Picks
  • Jeremy Pena 2+ Total Bases
  • Dylan Cease OVER 6.5 Strikeouts /White Sox to Win
  • No Run First Inning (-122)

I want to carry over my favorite bet from the World Series and ride with Jeremy Pena to record 2+ total bases. This hit in five out of six World Series games, and (presumably) sitting in the leadoff spot, he’ll have plenty of opportunities. 

Cease ranked fifth in the Majors in strikeouts last year, and even though Houston is a contact team, I’m riding with the Chicago ace. This correlates with the World Series hangover, and he should look forward to playing spoiler. Cease can outduel Valdez, and a strong outing would give Chicago great odds of coming out on top.

Target this player-performance double.

It’s a good day when the best bet in sports returns. The NRFI is a gem of a wager and worth a ride here with two studs on the mounds. You can get this at -122, which is a good value, given the pitchers. 

Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Picked For You