Kansas City Royals (39-84, fifth in the AL Central) vs. Chicago Cubs (62-58, second in the NL Central)
Chicago; Friday, 2:20 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Royals: Cole Ragans (3-4, 4.21 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 51 strikeouts); Cubs: Jameson Taillon (7-7, 5.71 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 91 strikeouts)
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK MLB LINE: Cubs -180, Royals +152; over/under is 8 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: The Kansas City Royals head into the matchup with the Chicago Cubs as losers of three games in a row.
Chicago has a 33-29 record in home games and a 62-58 record overall. The Cubs have the 10th-best team batting average in MLB play at .254.
Kansas City has a 16-44 record in road games and a 39-84 record overall. The Royals have a 27-14 record in games when they scored five or more runs.
The matchup Friday is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.
TOP PERFORMERS: Cody Bellinger leads the Cubs with a .327 batting average, and has 20 doubles, a triple, 18 home runs, 29 walks and 59 RBI. Nico Hoerner is 11-for-35 with a home run and an RBI over the past 10 games.
Bobby Witt Jr. has 24 doubles, seven triples and 23 home runs for the Royals. MJ Melendez is 17-for-39 with three doubles and three home runs over the last 10 games.
LAST 10 GAMES: Cubs: 6-4, .228 batting average, 5.17 ERA, outscored by eight runs
Royals: 3-7, .315 batting average, 5.20 ERA, outscored by two runs
INJURIES: Cubs: Marcus Stroman: 15-Day IL (rib), Brad Boxberger: 60-Day IL (forearm), Brandon Hughes: 60-Day IL (knee), Nick Burdi: 60-Day IL (appendicitis), Codi Heuer: 60-Day IL (elbow), Ethan Roberts: 60-Day IL (elbow)
Royals: Brad Keller: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Zack Greinke: 15-Day IL (elbow), Taylor Clarke: 15-Day IL (elbow), Nick Pratto: 10-Day IL (groin), Daniel Lynch: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Josh Staumont: 60-Day IL (neck), Josh Taylor: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Vinnie Pasquantino: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Kris Bubic: 60-Day IL (flexor), Jake Brentz: 60-Day IL (elbow)
The Associated Press