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ALDS Game 2 Preview. October 8, 2021, 1:07 CDT. White Sox @ Astros

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Framber Valdez goes to the mound today to put the White Sox right on the brink.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

So the Astros get the worst time slot yet again.

Why?

Don’t tell me about the television markets. Surely the nation’s 3rd and 4th largest cities representing the 2nd and 6th largest states in the country have larger markets than Tampa and Boston, or Atlanta and Milwaukee.

Oh well, I’m watching. Hope you get to too.

Lance McCullers is starting to become another Astros playoff legend. We saw his fiery determination to win on display last night in a performance for the ages: 6.2 shutout innings, no walks, only four hits. We all remember what he did to the Yankees in the 2017 ALCS. He’s even better now, and his career playoff ERA is 2.87. His career championship win probability added is 9.8%. That means he gives us a 10% better chance of winning a World Series.

Well, you got to get there first, and that’s what Lance helped us do last night, improving our chances 2,2% in one game alone.

But he wasn’t alone. Yordan with a long double and home run. Brantley with a clutch two-out, two-run single. Rookie Jake Meyers with two hits and a ribbie in the 6-1 win.

Does anyone wish we’d maybe have Joe Smith back instead of Kendall Graveman? Since leaving Houston Smith has a 2.00 ERA and a WHIP under .900. Graveman’s ERA is over 3.00 with Houston but he sure makes you nervous with a WHIP at almost 1.400. He managed to get three outs last night, but not before allowing two hits, a walk, and a run. And all three outs were well-hit warning track flies.

I think I’ll wear a Graveman Halloween costume. Perfect name.

Framber Valdez goes for the Stros tonight. If you’re worried that his left-handedness won’t play well against the right-handed Sox lineup, don’t. I mean, like anyone he could have a bad day, but for the season Valdez is actually better against right-handers than left-handers.

His wOBA against lefties is .320, against righties, .281.

Valdez’s opponent is Lucas Giolito. His ERA is higher than Valdez’s (3.53 - 3.14) but his peripherals are comparable. Against the Stros Giolito has good success. In 2019 and 2021 he has thrown 18 innings against the Astros, allowing only one run, with a K% around 27% and a BA against just north of .100. But so was his BABIP, so maybe today the Astros luck against Giolito changes.

Here’s the lineups.

Media Access

Game 2: Lucas Giolito (RHP, 11-9, 3.53 ERA, 201 K’s) vs Framber Valdez (LHP, 11-6, 3.14 ERA, 125 K’s)

When: Friday, October 8th @ 1:07 pm CDT

Listen: White Sox - WMVP 1000 AM, ESPN Radio, WRTO 1200 / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2, ESPN Radio, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010

Watch: MLBN, MLBN-INT