Maybe if they weren’t so committed to the line of “we did nothing wrong when we cheated,” people would hate them less. Instead of actually punishing players for cheating their way to a World Series, MLB has decided they’d rather talk about punishing players for doing the egregious act of opting-out of the All-Star Game. So Carlos Correa may have gotten punished for something in a roundabout way.
But I digress ...
The Astros took the last series in Houston in a what can only be described in a painful manner. The White Sox looked like the 2016 team reincarnated. If you removed the cheating, it’d be easier to swallow that the Astros are a good team. The series told the White Sox that winning the American League is going to be harder than expected. The Astros simply played better against the White Sox who, despite significant injuries, have stayed on track to achieving the lofty championship-level goals set in spring training.
The offense took a break that series, scoring eight runs in four games. Lance Lynn lasted four innings. Dallas Keuchel gave up six runs (a season high), three earned, in 2 2⁄3 innings against his former team. Dylan Cease and Matt Foster gave up homers in the 10-2 stomping to open the series.
All in all, it was a terrible weekend. insert fart noise here
How’s it going?
There’s been an All-Star Game, a draft, and some other stuff in the past month. The Astros are atop the AL West, three up on Oakland, with a 55-36 record. There was some dumb jersey-ripping shenanigans against the Yankees right before the All-Star break.
There’s a well-rounded offense to face this weekend. Jose Altuve is leading the team in home runs (20) while Michael Brantley is leading in batting average (.326). Yordan Alvarez leads with 56 RBIs and Carlos Correa is posting a .385 OBP. Yuli Gurriel closes it out for the offense with a team-leading 96 hits.
On the road, the Astros have a 26-17 record, and they’re 12-8 in their last 20 games. They are the only team in the AL with a better run differential than the White Sox. Houston is 12-6 against Central teams, so the White Sox may have an uphill battle ahead of them.
Pitching for Houston
Today is going to see the South Side facing off against Lance McCullers Jr. for the second time this season. This season, McCullers is 6-1, going 79 2⁄3 innings and giving up 57 hits. He’s posted 89 strikeouts and walked 41, with a 2.94 ERA. McCullers is 3-1 in his last five against the White Sox, going 30 1⁄3 innings and allowing 22 hits while striking out 33. He relies on five pitches in is arsenal: sinker (36.6%), slider (24.8%), curveball (20.2%), changeup (16.2%) and cutter (2.1%).
Saturday is going to be old enemy Jake Odorizzi. Since joining the Astros this season, Odorizzi is 3-4 in 47 1⁄3 innings, giving up 35 hits and walking 12 while also striking out 44 and posting a 3.61. He’s 2-2 in his last five games against the White Sox, going 25 2⁄3 innings giving up 23 hits, striking out 35 and walking six. The White Sox are very familiar with Odorizzi from his time with the Twins over the years, and he’s sticking around like a bad rash.
Sunday will be Framber Valdez in his second career appearance against the White Sox. Valez is 5-1 in 54 1⁄3 innings while allowing 49 hits, striking out 52, and walking 22. He faced the White Sox back on June 19. He got the win, lasted seven innings, and allowed six hits while striking out five and walking two. Valdez relies on four pitches: sinker (40.7%), curveball (29.1%), changeup (21.6%), and a 4-seam (8.6%).
Why we hate them
All the previously stated reasons, plus they started that skid we had and made Sox Twitter lose its collective mind. And they ducked out of the All Star game like cowards.— Bill Koester (@Billy_dk_89) July 14, 2021
In 2017, I attended a Brewers/Astros game, in Milwaukee. The guy in front of me was an Astros fan, who constantly explained to the surrounding Brewers fans that he an his wife like to "fly into" cities to see the Astros and "judge" other teams stadiums. Enough said...— Lynn, a bad W Sox kid who doesn't listen (@esjhnsn) July 14, 2021
they got caught, didn't get punished really, and still think they did nothing wrong.— Steve Morck (@YourBoyStove) July 14, 2021
I learned of Gurriel’s racist taunt to Darvish the other day and now hate them more than I already did.— Steve Lim (@Lymb0) July 14, 2021
First, they are cowards for not going to the FANS All-Star Game (Rob Manfred should have forced 1 to go). They are a bunch of Cheating Coward Prima Donnas. Hopefully our WST faithful can give them what their players missed out on in Colorado yesterday. pic.twitter.com/2rbNo3Ztcp— Brian, just happy to be here. (@BDunnChiSox1) July 14, 2021
"Look, we cheated, but that had no impact on us winning the World Series."— J. Coates (@TheCoatesShow) July 14, 2021
Mind the stupid typos— GuitarSox (@Scott_Reichard) July 14, 2021
Mostly the obvious reasons. Does obvious reasons are compounded by their "woe is me" attitude since the whole thing. It's like if someone cuts you off you might call them a jackass or something as they speed away, but if they cut you off & blame you for something, it's enraging.— AJ Gonzalez⚾ (@AJontheguitar) July 14, 2021
Their stadium sucked when I went there last month. How ya gonna build a dome and still have it be 92 degrees inside? Oh, and they're literally the worst and shouldn't be allowed to exist after cheating to win the world series, and Altuve and Correa should be fired into the sun— Extremely Far Southside Eric (@DyeMasterDiscs) July 14, 2021
They are a bunch of babies who couldn't even face the fans at the all star game plus their fanbase might be worse than the Yankees and that's saying something— Michael Ricciotti (@Wh_Sox_Mike24) July 14, 2021
Me coming up with reasons I hate the Astros pic.twitter.com/oFcZNXCSoL— Quentin Finley (@QuentinFinley) July 14, 2021
It’s TOO DAMN HOT in Houston. So they are the worst team. pic.twitter.com/BQmdJbWsTC— Kyle Acevedo (@DaSuperfan3) July 14, 2021
Horrible fans and they said I was ugly and can’t read good.— Matt Zawaski AKA Father Zo (@SouthsideZo) July 14, 2021