Royals begin 4-game series against the Guardians

The Kansas City Royals host the Cleveland Guardians to begin a four-game series

Cleveland Guardians (51-27, first in the AL Central) vs. Kansas City Royals (44-38, third in the AL Central)

Kansas City, Missouri; Thursday, 8:10 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Guardians: Ben Lively (7-3, 3.03 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 56 strikeouts); Royals: Michael Wacha (4-6, 4.07 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 61 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Guardians -116, Royals -104; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Kansas City Royals start a four-game series at home against the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday.

Kansas City is 44-38 overall and 27-15 in home games. The Royals have a 15-6 record in games when they hit two or more home runs.

Cleveland is 51-27 overall and 25-18 on the road. Guardians hitters have a collective .411 slugging percentage to rank ninth in MLB.

The matchup Thursday is the third time these teams square off this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Bobby Witt Jr. has 22 doubles, eight triples and 12 home runs for the Royals. Freddy Fermin is 9-for-33 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI over the last 10 games.

Steven Kwan has 12 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 24 RBI for the Guardians. Will Brennan is 13-for-35 with two doubles and three home runs over the past 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Royals: 3-7, .178 batting average, 3.86 ERA, outscored by 16 runs

Guardians: 7-3, .277 batting average, 4.09 ERA, outscored opponents by 18 runs

INJURIES: Royals: Adam Frazier: 10-Day IL (thumb), Dan Altavilla: 10-Day IL (oblique), Josh Taylor: 60-Day IL (biceps), Kris Bubic: 60-Day IL (elbow), Kyle Wright: 60-Day IL (shoulder)

Guardians: Nick Sandlin: 15-Day IL (back), Eli Morgan: 15-Day IL (elbow), Gavin Williams: 60-Day IL (elbow), Shane Bieber: 60-Day IL (elbow), Trevor Stephan: 60-Day IL (elbow), James Karinchak: 60-Day IL (shoulder)

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The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.