Friday, July 3rd Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Betting Guide
Friday’s slate of games includes just one monstrous favorite and one game truly at threat of being postponed. Underdogs stand out on this slate more than usual so bettors will want to get their money in on this slate if they have a heavy tolerance for risk.
This chart shows how tonight’s probable pitchers have fared specifically in the KBO since the start of the 2018 season (including their 2020 stats) and the FanDuel Sportsbook betting lines for each game (along with implied team totals):
Hanwha Eagles @ Doosan Bears
Welcome to the mismatch of the slate as the Eagles, without the services of Brandon Barnes (HAN), will take on the Bears with Raul Alcantara (DOO) on the mound. As the season has progressed, Alcantara has looked more and more impressive, as he has kept his team competitive in back-to-back games versus the Dinos and Twins heading into tonight. Over the course of Alcantara’s last five starts (which includes two starts versus the Dinos, one versus the Twins and one versus the Wiz), Alcantara has posted a 2.54 ERA, 21.5-percent K rate and just 3.7-percent BB rate during that span…and now he gets to face the Eagles. What really is there to say here other than the worst team in the league is overmatched?
Oh, by the way, Eagles starter Bum Soo Kim (HAN) has been burned for a 5.71 FIP, 15.9-percent BB rate and 1.24 HR/9 rate in 29.0 innings this year while getting lucky with just a .287 BABIP. Kim is one of the worst starting pitchers in a bad rotation and the bullpen behind him ranks seventh in ERA. Back the Bears with confidence.
Doosan Bears ML -430, 1U
Doosan Bears -1.5-Runs -180, 2U
Kia Tigers @ NC Dinos
Sung Young Choi (NCD) is coming off his longest appearance of the season as he lasted 96-pitches in his second straight appearance versus the Bears. Whereas Choi had not lasted over 3.2 IP in either of his only other two starts this year, Choi held down the Bears for a full six innings on Jun. 27. The overall sample is not pretty considering Choi has produced a 7.48 FIP, 9.0-percent K rate, 9.0-percent BB rate and ridiculous 2.16 HR/9 rate. Not only are the Tigers an extremely patient team but they also strike out at about the league-average rate. If strikeouts are not a real threat in a matchup, and the ability to rack up walks is in play, that is when this offense is at their best. Since the two best hitters in the lineup are left-handed, facing a righty is preferable, but Ho Ryung Kim (KIA) and Ji Wan Na (KIA) are two powerful righties who are susceptible to the strikeout. Pitching to contact is a risky proposition and the Tigers look primed to bring the power tonight. As icing on the cake, the Dinos bullpen now ranks dead last in ERA by a wide margin, so bettors should feel great about the prospects of the Tigers.
Happy Drew Gagnon (KIA) night and, as per usual, Gagnon is not receiving much love from the odds-makers. Despite ranking third amongst all qualified pitchers in FIP and seventh in K rate, Gagnon and the Tigers are only being listed as ever-so-slight favorites versus the Dinos with a converted long reliever on the mound. Neither of Gagnon’s last few starts have been overly sharp but the Tigers have won each of those games (so at least the right-handed starter has kept his team competitive). On paper, the Dinos are the superior team of the two, but the pitching matchup is so uneven that the Tigers are rightfully favored here.
Kia Tigers ML -112, 1U
LG Twins @ Samsung Lions
Can the Twins offense be trusted at this point? They headed into last night’s game having averaged just 2.9 runs per game (R/G) over their last 10 games and scored just three runs again on Thursday morning. However, Roberto Ramos (LG) woke up a bit, as he registered three hits in four at-bats (ABs), although all of those hits were singles. Samsung starter Jung Hyun Baek (SAM) is a southpaw which bodes poorly for an offense that is headlined by a left-handed Ramos and Hyun Soo Kim (LG). Amongst starters on the slate, Baek’s .162 ISO allowed since the start of 2018 ranks second worst on the slate, but who is there to worry about in the Twins lineup other than Kang Nam Yoo (LG)? Beyond the starter Baek, the Lions feature one of the top bullpens in league, ranking second with a 4.34 ERA.
On the Lions side of the ball, Tyler Wilson (LG) is a solid pitcher in this league, but one who rarely misses bats. In 2020 alone, Wilson has struck out just 16.7-percent of opposing hitters, including a 13.7-percent K rate over the course of his last three games (two of which came against top three teams in terms of K rate). All of this is a long-winded way of saying the Lions represent a solid value at +112.
Samsung Lions ML +112, 1U
SK Wyverns @ Lotte Giants
The weather is looking a bit iffy in Busan-Sajik so there is certainly a possibility this game is either delayed or does not play. Having said that, this game features an interesting pitching matchup between Ricardo Pinto (SK) and Adrian Sampson (LOT). It seemed like only a matter of time before Sampson’s skill set would translate to this league and that seemed to be the case a few starts ago for Sampson (as he shut down the Wiz to the tune of five baserunners, seven Ks and zero earned runs (ERs) in 6.0 IP). Unfortunately, Sampson reverted back to the struggling version of himself versus the Lions in his last start, so he continues to be a difficult pitcher to gauge. Thus far, the Wyverns rank ninth in R/G, second in K rate (19.3-percent) and eighth in HR/9 rate, so the matchup is a favorable one for the right-handed starter. Still, it should be noted Sampson has yielded a slate-worst .368 wOBA, so he is just a strange pitcher altogether.
Meanwhile, the Giants will take on Ricardo Pinto (SK) who rarely ever misses bats and is wild in the control department. To this point, the Giants offense has fared better against right-handed pitching (RHP), but are noticeably lacking in the power department. Only Dae-Ho Lee (LOT), Jun Woo Jeon (LOT) and Hoon Jung (LOT) own ISOs over .140 this season and that should be music to Pinto’s ears considering he has limited opponents to a 0.075 ISO. Both pitchers possess the ability to limit damage, so instead of taking sides, simply pound the under.
SK Wyverns/Lotte Giants Under 9.5-Runs -126, 1U
Kiwoom Heroes @ KT Wiz
The once dominant-looking Odrisamer Despaigne (KTW) has now allowed exactly four ERs in three of his past four starts and has looked like a shell of what he looked like when he took the league by storm. This is not a matchup where a pitcher can afford to be anything but sharp as the Heroes are back to full strength with Ha Seong Kim (KIW) back in the lineup. Since Despaigne’s K rate has depreciated as the season has gone on, he is susceptible to ByungHo Park (KIW), who has struck out at a 32.7-percent rate (10th highest amongst qualified hitters). At the same time, his .225 ISO ranks 23rd, so he makes pitchers pay when they fail to miss his bat (as he did last night with two more bombs). The Heroes are amongst three teams battling it out for second in R/G and average the third most HRs per game (HR/G).
The Wiz will have to face a true ace in Eric Jokisch (KIW) and, other than Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW), the team is not exactly filled with elite hitters in the split versus left-handed pitching (LHP). Jae Gyun Hwang (KTW), Jeong Dae Bae (KTW), Han Joon Yoo (KTW) and Sung Woo Jang (KTW) will all also own the platoon edge versus Jokisch but righties have hit just .202 against him this year with only two bombs. He is simply the better pitcher in the game, the Heroes feature the league’s top bullpen and the Vegas line should be closer to -200. Therefore, the Heroes still represent one of the top investments of the slate.
Kiwoom Heroes ML -140, 2U