Scherzer scheduled to start as Washington hosts Kansas City

Kansas City Royals (30-59, fifth in the AL Central) vs. Washington Nationals (45-42, third in the AL East)

Washington; Saturday, 4 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Royals: Glenn Sparkman (2-4, 5.09 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 31 strikeouts) Nationals: Max Scherzer (8-5, 2.43 ERA)

LINE: Nationals favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Nationals are 24-20 on their home turf. The Washington pitching staff averages 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings, Stephen Strasburg leads them with a mark of 10.7.

The Royals are 14-31 on the road. Kansas City’s lineup has 87 home runs this season, Jorge Soler leads the club with 23 homers. The Royals won the last meeting 7-4. Brian Flynn secured his second victory and Adalberto Mondesi went 3-for-6 with a double, a triple and two RBIs for Kansas City. Jonny Venters registered his first loss for Washington.

TOP PERFORMERS: Anthony Rendon leads the Nationals with 20 home runs and is slugging .615. Juan Soto is 8-for-30 with a triple, three home runs and six RBIs over the last 10 games for Washington.

Whit Merrifield leads the Royals with 42 extra base hits and is batting .307. Hunter Dozier is 8-for-40 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and seven RBIs over the last 10 games for Kansas City.

LAST 10 GAMES: Nationals: 8-2, .244 batting average, 2.87 ERA, outscored opponents by 14 runs

Royals: 3-7, .259 batting average, 6.32 ERA, outscored by 21 runs

Nationals Injuries: Austen Williams: 10-day IL (shoulder), Justin Miller: 10-day IL (shoulder), Jeremy Hellickson: 60-day IL (shoulder), Koda Glover: 60-day IL (forearm), Kyle Barraclough: 10-day IL (forearm).

Royals Injuries: Trevor Oaks: 60-day IL (hip), Jesse Hahn: 60-day IL (elbow), Salvador Perez: 60-day IL (elbow).