Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago Cubs: Preview, Prediction & Odds - Aug. 21, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 2:20 p.m. ET
Venue: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Where to watch: Bally Sports Kansas City, Marquee Sports Network

Season-to-date
Royals: 53-68 (Last place, AL Central)
Cubs: 54-70 (4th place, NL Central)

Recent form
Royals: 4-6 in last 10
Cubs: 2-8 in last 10

Projected lineup


Royals:
Whit Merrifield (R) 2B
Nicky Lopez (L) SS
Salvador Perez (R) C
Carlos Santana (S) 1B
Andrew Benintendi (L) LF
Michael A. Taylor (R) CF
Ryan O'Hearn (L) RF
Emmanuel Rivera (R) 3B
Kris Bubic (L) P

Cubs:
Rafael Ortega (L) CF
Frank Schwindel (R) 1B
Ian Happ (S) LF
Patrick Wisdom (R) 3B
Matt Duffy (R) SS
Jason Heyward (L) RF
David Bote (R) 2B
Austin Romine (R) C
Keegan Thompson (R) P

Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Cubs -115, Royals -105
BetMGM: Cubs -110, Royals -110
PointsBet: Cubs -110, Royals -110

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Royals - Cubs preview


The Kansas City Royals and the Chicago Cubs will continue their three-game series in Wrigley Field on Saturday.

The Cubs have hit a low point since entering Phase: Windy City Rebuild, going through a 12-game losing streak before shockingly winning two of three against the Cincinnati Reds this week to make it seem like the world isn’t completely falling apart in Chicago.

Kansas City took the first game on Friday afternoon 6-2 by way of two solo home runs from All-Star catcher Salvador Perez. The former World Series champion continued his power renaissance from the plate, totaling to 32 homers on the season.

Andrew Benintendi also got in the RBIs parade by hitting a solo home run on a 2-for-4 day to give the Royals a win for the fourth time in five games. It was a solid day for the Royals’ offense by way of the long ball.

Right-hander Brad Keller threw 6 innings of four-hit ball and struck out eight. Kris Bubic will get his turn Saturday for Kansas City.

The Royals aren’t going to make any waves in the American League Central, but Friday was a great start to get trending in the right direction. Even though it was only four months ago, there was a time the Royals were shocking the baseball world. Even in this weird instance of being in last place, there’s still some talent on this roster. They at least showed that against the lowly Cubs.

Which makes that unfortunate for Chicago considering the Cubs should be on such a high from those back-to-back wins against the Reds. Zach Davies went six innings and struck out five, but the homers from Perez and Benintendi shut the door. Davies fell to 6-10 on the season with an ERA that has now shocked over to 5.04.

The Cubs got a home run from third baseman Patrick Wisdom, who gave them a 1-0 lead in the second period. Wisdom has become the new man at the hot corner since the Cubs traded Kris Bryant, and is one dinger from his first career 20-homer season.

There’s still a month and some change to go for Cubs fans to deal with this long rebuild, knowing Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez are no longer in town. Unfortunately it’s not going to get any better.

Right-hander Keegan Thompson will get the start Saturday.

Betting trends


Kansas City is 17-14 (-1) as a favorite.

The Royals are 3-0 this season when Bubic starts when the moneyline is at least -100 in their favor..

The Cubs are 24-15 at that same line.

Prediction


The reality is we haven’t seen enough from the Cubs to believe they can do this again. It’s August; they are who we thought they were. Kansas City may not have another power game like Friday, but it’ll be enough. Royals win 7-3.

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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