The Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox entered the 2021 MLB postseason with similar records but drastically different playoff experiences in recent years -- and those difference showed up in the first two games of their ALDS series.
The Astros have made the ALCS in four consecutive seasons. Houston won the 2017 World Series before their cheating scandal caught up to them and the organization was met with a handful of penalties. After playing in front of empty stadiums in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the Astros were met with a villains tour in 2021 and ended up where they usually do: the playoffs.
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The White Sox, meanwhile, are making their second consecutive playoff appearance following an 11-year drought from 2009 to 2019. The South Siders have only won two playoff games since sweeping the 2005 Fall Classic against … the Astros.
Houston and Chicago are facing off in October once again for the 2021 ALDS. Will the Astros reach their fifth straight ALCS, or could the White Sox kick off another potential World Series run?
Here is everything you need to know for the Astros-White Sox series.
What is the Astros-White Sox ALDS schedule?
Game 1: Astros 6, White Sox 1
Game 2: Astros 9, White Sox 4
Game 3: White Sox 12, Astros 6
Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 12, Astros vs. White Sox, 1:07 p.m. CT
Game 5 (if necessary): Wednesday, Oct. 13, White Sox vs. Astros, 8:07 p.m. CT
The ALDS is played in a 2-2-1 format where the team with the better regular season record gets home field for Games 1, 2 and 5. The Astros finished atop the AL West at 95-67, two games ahead of the AL Central-winning White Sox at 93-69, so the series will begin at Minute Maid Park in Houston before heading to Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Sunday.
How to watch White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live?
NBC Sports Chicago will still air White Sox Pregame Live and Postgame Live before and after every White Sox game. Chuck Garfien and Ozzie Guillén will break down every game with reports from Insider Vinnie Duber on the ground in Houston.
What TV channel is the Astros-White Sox playoff series on?
All games for the series will be broadcast on MLB Network and FS1.
How to stream Astros-White Sox free online
All games can be streamed on MLB.TV, FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports app. Viewers can also check out the series on FuboTV (free trial).
How to listen to Astros-White Sox on the radio
Listeners can tune into ESPN Radio for all MLB postseason games.
Astros and White Sox starting pitchers for ALDS Game 3
Both teams are loaded with pitching, with the White Sox finishing fifth in team ERA (3.73) and the Astros ranking seventh (3.76).
Facing elimination again, the White Sox are going with Carlos Rodon (13-5, 2.37 ERA) to start Game 4. Following Monday's rain postponement, the Astros decided to start Lance McCullers Jr. (13-5, 3.16 ERA) instead of Jose Urquidy (8-3, 3.62 ERA), as they look to punch their ticket to the ALCS.