Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago Cubs series preview
The Kansas City Royals come to Wrigley Field for a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are coming off of one of their biggest wins of the season when Christopher Morel hit a three-run walk-off home run against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night (Hear Pat Hughes on the call here). Wrigley Field was rocking with energy that has not been seen in a couple of years. The Cubs start this series two games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central Divison.
This is an important series for the Cubs to win. Their schedule is pretty soft over the next 10 days before a series against the first-place Brewers at Wrigley Field that starts on August 28th. The combined record of the Cubs’ three opponents (Royals, Detroit Tigers, and Pittsburgh Pirates) before that Brewers series is 147-217. This stretch should give them an opportunity to overtake Milwaukee in the NL Central Standings as the Brewers have to play the Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, and San Diego Padres.
Marcus Stroman remains on the injured list after it was revealed earlier this week that he has a fractured rib cartilage. His timeline is unknown at this point. His injury does not affect the rotation in this series as all three guys can take their normal turns. The Cubs will have to figure out how to fill in for him going forward – starting in the series against the Tigers on Monday. David Ross said earlier this week that he is leaning towards putting Drew Smyly back in the rotation.
Friday, August 18th: 1:20 at Wrigley Field
Cole Ragans (3-4 4.02 ERA) vs. Jameson Taillon (7-7 5.71 ERA)
Saturday, August 19th: 1:20 at Wrigley Field
Brady Singer (8-8 4.91 ERA) vs. Justin Steele (13-3 2.79 ERA)
Sunday, August 20th: 1:20 at Wrigley Field
Jordan Lyles (3-13 6.30 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (4-6 4.00 ERA)