Astros face the Royals with 2-1 series lead
Kansas City Royals (30-50, fifth in the AL Central) vs. Houston Astros (53-28, first in the AL West)
Houston; Thursday, 2:10 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Royals: Kris Bubic (1-5, 7.27 ERA, 1.87 WHIP, 37 strikeouts); Astros: Justin Verlander (10-3, 2.03 ERA, .83 WHIP, 90 strikeouts)
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Astros -350, Royals +278; over/under is 8 runs
BOTTOM LINE: The Houston Astros play the Kansas City Royals with a 2-1 series lead.
Houston is 53-28 overall and 26-12 at home. The Astros are 29-3 in games when they hit two or more home runs.
Kansas City has a 30-50 record overall and a 16-25 record on the road. The Royals have the eighth-ranked team on-base percentage in the AL at .307.
The teams match up Thursday for the seventh time this season. The Astros are up 4-2 in the season series.
TOP PERFORMERS: Yordan Alvarez has 10 doubles, two triples and 25 home runs while hitting .312 for the Astros. Jeremy Pena is 10-for-42 with a double and three home runs over the past 10 games.
Andrew Benintendi has 13 doubles, two triples and three home runs for the Royals. Whit Merrifield is 12-for-39 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and four RBI over the past 10 games.
LAST 10 GAMES: Astros: 8-2, .261 batting average, 3.00 ERA, outscored opponents by 25 runs
Royals: 4-6, .255 batting average, 5.11 ERA, outscored by eight runs
INJURIES: Astros: Jason Castro: 10-Day IL (knee), Blake Taylor: 60-Day IL (elbow), Michael Brantley: 10-Day IL (shoulder), Josh James: 60-Day IL (lat), Parker Mushinski: 15-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (forearm)
Royals: Bobby Witt Jr.: day-to-day (hand), Josh Staumont: 15-Day IL (neck), Daniel Lynch: 15-Day IL (blister), Salvador Perez: 10-Day IL (thumb), Jake Brentz: 60-Day IL (flexor), Adalberto Mondesi: 60-Day IL (knee), Tyler Zuber: 60-Day IL (shoulder)