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Gamethread: Astros at White Sox

South Siders look to extend their win streak and secure an important series win

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
Michael Kopech will take the mound again tonight, fresh off of a stellar outing against the Detroit Tigers.
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Is it just me or have these last few days felt like some of the most fun baseball of the season? That fun will (hopefully) continue tonight as the Houston Astros play against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field in Game 3 of this four-game set. Now at 61-56, Chicago hopes to continue to climb farther above .500 and get closer and closer to first place.

The last two games have felt like what we have longed for the entire season. The team feels alive, the fans are electric, and it actually isn’t agonizing right now to sit down at night and watch this team! Another win would be the cherry on top, but it won’t come easily against the top team in the American League.

Prior to tonight’s game, there was a roster move, as Leury García heads to the IL and Romy González gets recalled from Triple-A Charlotte.

Now, onto the game. Michael Kopech will be on the mound tonight. He currently has a 3.18 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. His record isn’t the best, at 4-8, but he is showing signs of improving his control after his last outing against the Detroit Tigers. He was phenomenal, with six innings of no-hit baseball and 11 strikeouts. Kopech uses four pitches, with his fastball being thrown the most at 61.7%. He follows that with a slider (26.2%), curveball (10.9%), and changeup (1.2%). The key tonight will be getting good movement on his fastball and hitting his spots with his sliders.

Lefty Framber Valdez is on the bump for the Astros, who is having a terrific year at 11-4. He has a 2.73 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. His last game was against the Texas Rangers, where he went seven innings with four hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts. Usually it would be exciting for this White Sox lineup to face a lefty, but Valdez is one of the best pitchers in the American League this year, and has thrown 19 quality starts in a row. He relies on five pitches, with his sinker being used the most at 49.7%. He follows with his curveball (27.7%), changeup (9.1%), cutter (9%), and fastball (4.4%).

AJ Pollock will secure another leadoff spot start, followed by Andrew Vaughn and Eloy Jiménez. José Abreu is back at first base, with Yoán Moncada at third and Yasmani Grandal behind the plate. Josh Harrison will play second base, followed by Adam Engel in center and González at shortstop to close out the lineup.

Game time is at 7:10 p.m. CT. Watch on NBCSCHI and listen in at ESPN 1000.