Series Preview: Royals at Cubs, August 20 - August 22, 2021

Social Navigation

Series Preview: Royals at Cubs, August 20 – August 22, 2021

Chicago Cubs

Here’s the thing: I will *not* be rooting for losses next season. I don’t have it in me and the Cubs should NOT be tanking next year.

But this year? When the Cubs play an American League team who happens to be a 0.5 game ahead of them in the reverse standings in late August … I’m sorry, but losing this series – being swept, in fact – would be the best long-term outcome. Remember, it’s not just about the spot you get to draft in the first round, it’s also about the overall size of the bonus pool each team receives.

I hope Keegan Thompson absolutely kills it on Saturday (I’ll actually be at that game), but if they could drop at least two of these games, I wouldn’t complain. It’s just the reality of our current situation.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (54-69) broke their 12-game losing streak with two consecutive wins against the Cincinnati Reds. They are now 15-games under .500 and over 29 games out of first place. The Kansas City Royals (52-68) have lost 6 of their last 10, but did recently take 3 of 4 from the Astros and 2 of 3 from the White Sox. They are able to win games.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Friday, August 20th at 1:20 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score
•   Saturday, August 21st at 1:20 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Sunday, August 22nd at 1:20 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Brad Keller (R) vs. Zach Davies (R)
Game 2: Kris Bubic (L) vs. Keegan Thompson (R)
Game 3: Carlos Hernandez (R) vs. Alec Mills (R)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Robinson Chirinos
•   1B – Frank Schwindel/Patrick Wisdom
•   2B – David Bote
•   3B – Matt Duffy/Patrick Wisdom
•   SS – Andrew Romine/Sergio Alcantara
•   LF – Ian Happ/Patrick Wisdom
•   CF – Rafael Ortega
•   RF – Jason Heyward

Unavailable: Dillon Maples, Nico Hoerner, Willson Contreras, Adbert Alzolay, Jonathan Holder, Nick Madrigal, Jose Lobaton, P.J. Higgins, Kohl Stewart, Brad Wieck

Kansas City Royals

•   C – Salvador Perez
•   1B – Carlos Santana
•   2B – Whit Merrifield
•   3B – Emmanuel Rivera
•   SS – Nicky Lopez
•   LF – Andrew Benintendi
•   CF – Michael A. Taylor
•   RF – Hunter Dozier

Unavailable: Adalberto Mondesi, Kyle Zimmer, Greg Holland, Jesse Hahn, Ronald Bolaños

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -88
Royals: -106

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.16
Royals: 4.08

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.88
Royals: 4.97

Keep An Eye Out For …

Frank “The Tank” Schwindel has a seven-game extra-base hit streak going on right now, and five multi-hit games in that stretch. His strikeout rate remains better than the league average and I certainly hope he just keeps killing it.

Ian Happ has finally created a stretch of average offensive baseball. Since July 27th (85 PAs), he’s slashing .221/.294/.455 which is good for a 100 wRC+. He’s also got 8 hits in his last seven games, including four for extra bases and a strikeout rate under 29%. That’s progress. He needs to sustain some really high-level offensive success from now through the end of the season, but for now, I’m just happy to see there’s some positivity shining through.

Keegan Thompson! The Cubs may have been forced to shorten the timeline on Thompson a bit, who was with the team as a reliever earlier this season before being sent down to Triple-A to stretch out as a starter like Justin Steele. I am very excited to be going to his first start *as a member of the rotation* and will be rooting for him big time.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami