Royals vs. Cubs Prediction and Odds for Friday, Aug. 18 (Hot Offenses Give Value)

Get our best bet for today's Royals vs Cubs early-afternoon matchup

Aug 16, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Christopher Morel records a hit earlier this season.
Aug 16, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Christopher Morel records a hit earlier this season. / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs sent Jameson Taillon to the mound in a series opener against the Royals and Cole Ragans today with Chicago as sizeable favorites at home.

Taillon is coming off a rough eight-run outing against Toronto but had surrendered three or fewer runs in six consecutive starts prior to that. Ragans has been impressive since coming to Kansas City at the trade deadline, though his command has been erratic and he issued four walks to the Cardinals in his last start.

Both teams are playing well offensively and I think we're in store for an offensive battle today. I'll explain why the OVER is my favorite bet in the matchup below, but you first can guarantee yourself a win today with FanDuel Sportsbook's limited-time Illinois promo.

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Royals vs. Cubs Odds, Run Line and Total

Royals vs. Cubs Prediction and Pick

After trading away their three best relievers at the trade deadline, Kansas City's bullpen has been miserable. The over has hit in each of the Royals' last four games and Royals' opponents have averaged nearly seven runs per game over the previous six.

That's bad news against a Cubs team that ranks second in MLB in team OPS (.832) over the last month. Ragans has been impressive for Kansas City, but he struggles with command and Chicago averages the third-most walks per game (3.6) for the season.

On the other side, Taillon has labored to a 4.76 xFIP (Expected Fielding Independent Pitching) this year and Kansas City's bats are hot. The Royals have a .887 OPS off right-handed pitchers last month with Bobby Witt Jr. leading the charge.

Even if the starters find success early, the lineups should score against each bullpen eventually. Chicago's bullpen has a 4.46 xFIP in August while Kansas City is essentially trotting out minor league relievers.

Trust each offense to put enough runs on the board to push this total over.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.