The Chicago Cubs have been tearing it up in the early part of the shortened 2020 MLB season as they sit atop the National League Central with a 10-2 record. They shoot for their seventh consecutive victory and 10th in 11 contests when they visit the Kansas City Royals on Thursday for the finale of their four-game series. Chicago began the set with a pair of close victories before rolling to a 6-1 triumph on Wednesday. Javier Baez went 2-for-4 with two RBIs as the Cubs scored twice in each of the final two innings to turn a tight contest into a comfortable win. Kansas City, which registered only five hits in the setback, has dropped six in a row and resides in the basement of the American League Central at 3-10.
First pitch at Kauffman Stadium is set for 7:07 p.m. ET. Chicago is the -160 favorite on the money line in the latest Cubs vs. Royals odds, while the over-under for total runs scored is nine. Before making any Royals vs. Cubs picks, check out the latest MLB predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model, which simulates every MLB game 10,000 times, is coming off a banner 2019 season. The model returned more than $1,400 on its top-rated money-line and run-line MLB picks, and anyone who followed it saw huge rewards.
- Cubs vs. Royals money line: Chicago -160, Kansas City +150
- Cubs vs. Royals run line: Chicago -1.5
- Cubs vs. Royals over-under: 9 runs
- CHC: The Cubs have won at least 10 of their first 12 games for the first time since 1969 (11-1)
- KC: C Salvador Perez has gone 6-for-16 during his four-game hitting streak
Why you should back the Cubs
Chicago ranks second in the NL with 19 home runs and sits in the middle of the pack in several other offensive categories, as it is seventh in both batting average (.241) and hits (95) -- numbers that are indicative of the team's strong start. One of the main reasons for the Cubs' early success has been their starting rotation, which boasts a superb 1.95 ERA. Four of Chicago's five starters own a mark under 3.00, with Tyler Chatwood leading the way at 0.71.
The 30-year-old right-hander has yielded just one run over 12 ⅔ innings in his first two outings of 2020, allowing six hits while recording 19 strikeouts. Chatwood has yet to pitch on the road this season but gave up just one run over four innings at San Francisco in his only start away from home last year. He has posted a 24-21 record and 3.49 ERA on the road during his career as opposed to 27-34, 5.05 at home.
Why you should back the Royals
Kansas City owns the worst record in the American League but has handled itself fairly well at the plate. The Royals are in the middle of the pack in batting average, ranking seventh at .233, and are tied for third with 104 hits -- including a second-best total of 25 doubles. Whit Merrifield recorded one of the team's five hits on Wednesday and has notched six over his last five contests.
The Royals should receive a spark from Brad Keller, last year's Opening Day starter who will be making his 2020 debut after testing positive for COVID-19 during summer camp. The 25-year-old right-hander should be raring to go, considering he missed the final month of last season with arm fatigue. Keller has posted a respectable 3.77 ERA in 10 career games -- seven starts -- against NL teams.
How to make Cubs vs. Royals picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, as the simulation gives Kyle Schwarber the best chance to drive in at least one run for the Cubs, while Jorge Soler has the highest probability for the Royals. It also says one side of the money line has the value. Head to SportsLine now to see the pick.
So who wins Cubs vs. Royals? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Royals vs. Cubs spread to jump on Thursday, all from the advanced model that returned over $1,400 on MLB picks last year.