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Chicago Cubs Preview
The visiting Chicago Cubs will go for their seventh straight win and a sweep of a four-game, interleague home-and-home against the Kansas City Royals when the teams meet at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday.
The Cubs’ rotation has a major-league-best 1.95 ERA in 74 innings while limiting opponents to a .172 batting average. Thursday starter Tyler Chatwood (2-0, 0.71 ERA) has contributed to that success. The right-hander is coming off 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, when he scattered three hits and two walks while striking out 11.
In three career appearances (two starts) against the Royals, Chatwood is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is 4-for-11 with a home run in three games since returning from a stomach ailment.
Kansas City Royals Preview
Mired in a six-game losing streak, the Kansas City Royals will hope to reverse course Thursday as they host the Chicago Cubs in the finale of a four-game, interleague home-and-home set.
Royals right-hander Brad Keller, who contracted COVID-19 early in summer camp, is set to make his season debut. Kansas City’s Opening Day starter in 2019, Keller is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in one previous start against the Cubs, scattering four runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in August 2018.
He was 7-14 with a 4.19 ERA in 28 starts last season. Salvador Perez, who leads the major leagues with 13 starts at catcher, is batting .375 (6-for-16) during a four-game hitting streak.