Key things to watch for in today’s games

The Royals may have the best record in the American League, but they'll have to go through Toronto and the Majors' highest-scoring offense this weekend. In Thursday's 7:07 p.m. ET opener, Kansas City will start Danny Duffy, who has logged a 2.15 ERA in six starts since returning from the disabled list. The Blue Jays will counter with Marco Estrada, who has gone 7-6 with a 3.55 ERA in 21 appearances between the bullpen and rotation.

At home with Cubs, Lester set for stretch run

Jon Lester doesn't forget July 31. It's his son Hudson's birthday. It's also the day Lester was traded from the Red Sox, which had been the only team he'd played for, to the Athletics a year ago. "Last year made for an interesting birthday," Lester said after a dominant performance in the Cubs' 3-2 victory over the Rockies on Wednesday.