Royals host the Red Sox to start 4-game series
Boston Red Sox (53-53, fifth in the AL East) vs. Kansas City Royals (41-64, fifth in the AL Central)
Kansas City, Missouri; Thursday, 8:10 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Red Sox: Nick Pivetta (8-8, 4.47 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 114 strikeouts); Royals: Kris Bubic (2-6, 5.45 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 61 strikeouts)
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Red Sox -134, Royals +113; over/under is 8 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: The Kansas City Royals host the Boston Red Sox on Thursday to open a four-game series.
Kansas City has a 41-64 record overall and a 22-30 record at home. The Royals are 24-14 in games when they scored five or more runs.
Boston has a 53-53 record overall and a 27-26 record in road games. Red Sox hitters have a collective .407 slugging percentage to rank fifth in the AL.
Thursday’s game is the first time these teams square off this season.
TOP PERFORMERS: Bobby Witt Jr. leads the Royals with a .255 batting average, and has 19 doubles, five triples, 15 home runs, 20 walks and 52 RBI. Michael A. Taylor is 10-for-34 with three RBI over the last 10 games.
Rafael Devers leads the Red Sox with 23 home runs while slugging .605. Alex Verdugo is 10-for-39 with three doubles and three RBI over the past 10 games.
LAST 10 GAMES: Royals: 3-7, .211 batting average, 4.24 ERA, outscored by 23 runs
Red Sox: 5-5, .219 batting average, 3.84 ERA, outscored by eight runs
INJURIES: Royals: Angel Zerpa: 60-Day IL (knee), Edward Olivares: 10-Day IL (quadricep), Jake Brentz: 60-Day IL (flexor), Adalberto Mondesi: 60-Day IL (knee), Tyler Zuber: 60-Day IL (shoulder)
Red Sox: Brayan Bello: day-to-day (groin), Eric Hosmer: day-to-day (neck), Rob Refsnyder: 10-Day IL (knee), Kike Hernandez: 60-Day IL (hip), Chris Sale: 15-Day IL (finger), Trevor Story: 10-Day IL (hand), Matt Strahm: 15-Day IL (wrist), Matt Barnes: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Michael Wacha: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Tyler Danish: 15-Day IL (elbow), Josh Taylor: 60-Day IL (back), James Paxton: 60-Day IL (elbow)