Chicago Cubs (64-46) at Kansas City Royals (34-76)
|Date & Time||Monday August 6, 2018, 8:15 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Kansas City Royals +185 / Chicago Cubs -210 --- Over/Under: 9.5
The Chicago Cubs and the Kansas City Royals square off in the opener of a three game interleague set from Kauffman Stadium in MLB action on Monday.
The Chicago Cubs will be looking to rebound after having to settle for a series split with the San Diego Padres, dropping the finale of the four game set by a final score of 10-6 on Sunday. Javier Baez led the Cubs with two RBIs, going 2 for 5 with a solo home run and two RBIs. Ben Zobrist added a solo homer while Anthony Rizzo and Albert Almora Jr. each added an RBI as well in the losing effort. David Both went 2 for 3 with a double and Willson Contreras added two hits as well while Ian Happ added a base hit as well in the loss. Jon Lester gave up five runs on eight hits over five innings of work, not factoring in the decision. Carl Edwards Jr. took the loss to fall to 3-2 this season. Cole Hamels will start the opener and is 6-9 with a 4.53 ERA and 123 strikeouts this season. In his career, Hamels is 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 35 strikeouts against Kansas City.
The Kansas City Royals will be out to snap a four game losing streak following a 6-5 loss in their series finale with Minnesota resulting in a three game sweep for the Twins. Whit Merrifield and Lucas Duda each had a home run and two RBIs, with Merrifield going 4 for 5 at the dish. Alex Gordon went 2 for 4 with an RBI to round out the scoring for KC in the loss, while Alcides Escobar went 2 for 4 with a double. Hunter Dozier, Rosell Herrera and Salvador Perez each added a base hit to round out the offense for the Royals in the loss. Danny Duffy took the loss, falling to 7-10 with the loss after allowing all six runs on eight hits while striking out six over six innings of work. Jakob Junis will start game one and is 6-11 with a 5.12 ERA and 106 strikeouts this season. This will be Junis’ first career start against the Cubs.
Chicago is 5-0 in their last 5 games against the AL Central and 7-2 in their last 9 interleague road games while the under is 14-6 in their last 20 series opening matchups. Kansas City is 2-8 in Junis’ last 10 starts and 13-39 in their last 52 games overall while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 home games against a team with a winning record. The under is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
Hamels has had his moments this season, but he had quite the debut in a Cubs uniform, allowing just an unearned run over five innings of work. If Hamels can replicate something remotely close to that start, he will give the Cubs a good chance to bounce back in this one, considering that Junis has allowed three or more earned runs in nine of his last ten starts. I think the Cubs bounce back and given the pitching matchup, I’ll back Chicago to get the job done on the run line to cancel out the heavy juice.