Astros-White Sox Game 4 FAQ (LIVE, FS1)

October 12th, 2021

CHICAGO -- White Sox fans began chanting “Sox in five” during the final outs of a 12-6 victory over the Astros on Sunday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. But that win simply staved off elimination for the South Siders, who trail, 2-1, in the American League Division Series.

With Monday’s scheduled Game 4 getting postponed, the teams will resume the series this afternoon in Chicago. The White Sox will stick with scheduled starter Carlos Rodón in Game 4, while the Astros will bring back Game 1 starter Lance McCullers Jr. on normal rest.

Houston needs only one win to advance to its fifth straight AL Championship Series. Chicago needs one win to force a Game 5 on Wednesday in Houston, where the Sox have an 0-6 record this year.

“The last few days, it seemed like I've turned a corner,” said Rodón, who has battled left shoulder soreness and fatigue. “Ball is coming out good. I feel good. I feel ready.”

When is the game and how can I watch it?
The game will air on FS1 at 1:07 p.m. CT Tuesday. It is also available to stream on MLB.TV with authentication.

What are the starting lineups?
Houston struck out a season-high 16 times in Game 3, but manager Dusty Baker essentially stuck with the same lineup, only flip-flopping Yuli Gurriel and Kyle Tucker.

White Sox: With the right-handed McCullers starting for the Astros, White Sox manager Tony La Russa went with a left-handed-heavy lineup, with Gavin Sheets, Leury García and Cesar Hernandez starting. Luis Robert is batting in the three-hole vs. McCullers after hitting fifth against him in the ALDS opener.

Who are the starting pitchers?
Monday’s rainout allows the Astros to bring back Game 1 starter McCullers on four days of rest for Game 4. In his Game 1 start in Houston, McCullers allowed one hit through six innings and was pulled after 104 pitches with two outs in the seventh. He gave up four singles, struck out four and didn’t walk a batter for the first time this year. 

McCullers has dominated the White Sox this year. In three starts, he’s 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA, 0.71 WHIP with eight hits allowed and 19 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings. He had the best season of his career in 2021, going 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA, which ranked second best in the AL. 

McCullers has actually pitched better on the road (7-2, 2.70 ERA) than at home (6-3, 3.51 ERA) in the regular season, so the Astros are well-positioned to be able to close out the Sox with McCullers on the mound.

White Sox: Rodón (13-5, 2.37 ERA) will make his first career postseason start against a team he dominated twice during the regular season. In fact, Rodón’s last start of more than five innings came on July 18, when he struck out 10 Astros batters and limited them to one hit over seven scoreless innings.

“Well, it all depends on which Rodón is present,” Baker said. “I mean, according to our reports, he hasn't been throwing quite as hard as he was before, but maybe the rest did him well. We'll see [Tuesday]. We'll see which Rodón that we'll be facing.”

Rodón last pitched on Sept. 29, when he allowed one hit over five scoreless innings against the Reds. His velocity was down on his fastball, but Rodón described his situation as more soreness and fatigue than an injury.

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
If McCullers starts can give the Astros at least six innings and leave with the lead, they’ll have a rested Ryne Stanek, Kendall Graveman and All-Star closer Ryan Pressly to follow.

White Sox: Reynaldo López figures to back up Rodón, and Garrett Crochet will be back ready for action. Otherwise, it should be business as usual for the White Sox over the final few innings, finishing with closer Liam Hendriks.

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Monday’s rainout should reset the Astros’ bullpen. Cristian Javier threw 56 pitches Sunday, so he still might not be available in Game 4.

White Sox: Michael Kopech threw 47 pitches in Game 3, so he will not pitch in Game 4. Ryan Tepera worked two innings, so his availability could be in question.

Any injuries of note?
White Sox: None.

Who is hot and who is not?
Bregman (5-for-11), Tucker (4-for-12, two homers) and Brantley (4-for-13) have been pacing Houston’s offense in the ALDS. Tucker has driven in seven of the Astros’ 21 runs in the series. Meanwhile, Altuve (2-for-11) and AL batting champion Gurriel (1-for-12) have struggled, along with Maldonado (0-for-11).

White Sox: Anderson had three more hits in Game 3 and has a hit in all six postseason games he's played in during his career, as have Robert and Abreu. Anderson has 16 career postseason hits, which includes five three-hit games.

Anything else fans might want to know?
Grandal hit his sixth career postseason home run (his third with the White Sox) in Game 3. It was the first postseason home run hit by a White Sox player at Guaranteed Rate Field since Jermaine Dye in the sixth inning of Game 4 of the ALDS on Oct. 6, 2008, against the Rays. That series also marked the last time Chicago had played at home in the postseason.