Thursday, June 11th Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Betting Guide
After getting postponed last night, the SK Wyverns and LG Twins will play a double-header tonight. When betting the game, be careful to properly identify which of the two games you are betting. Otherwise, there are a few big name pitcher slated to pitch tonight and some offenses primed to blast off.
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):
Doosan Bears @ NC Dinos
After a barnburner series opener that included a whopping 20-runs, the NC Dinos offense specifically came back down to Earth yesterday, and the game finished with just 10 total runs. For a battle between the league’s two highest-scoring offenses, 10 runs is nothing, and Vegas has set the over/under higher than that number once again tonight. The Bears will take on a potentially fraudulent Mike Wright (NCD) who ranks dead last amongst all qualified pitchers in ERA-FIP (-2.24). By comparison, Samsung’s Tae-in Won (SAM) ranks second on that list at -1.89, so there is a sizeable gap between Wright and the next guy. Most of the Bears offense will own the platoon advantage versus Wright as Jose Fernandez (DOO), Jae Il Oh (DOO), Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) and Joo Hwan Choi (DOO) all hit from the left side of the plate. The team has scored eight-plus runs in each game of the two-game series thus far and a similar outcome is certainly possible versus an overrated pitcher on Thursday.
As for the Dinos, they were completely shut down by Raul Alcantara (DOO) last night, and it was the first time since early May that the team scored zero runs through the first four innings of a game. Tonight’s Bears starter, Young Ha Lee (DOO), is a ground-baller who rarely misses bats (14.5-percent K rate) and often struggles with control (9.8-percent BB rate). Alcantara’s velocity is an outlier for the KBO and appeared overpower the Dinos lineup last evening. The same cannot be said for Lee who tops out at about 92mph and has walked one less hitter (23) than he has struck out (24) through six starts. Behind Lee sits one of the league’s worst bullpens as the Bears still sport a 6.79 bullpen ERA over a month into the season. Although Wright’s name may lead bettors to run to the under, this has all the feels of an over game.
Doosan Bears/NC Dinos Over 11.5 Runs +100, 1U
Doosan Bears +160 ML, 0.5U (too much value to pass on)
SK Wyverns @ LG Twins (Game 1 of the Double-Header)
Min Ho Lee (LG) is just 19-years old and began the year as a reliever but has since been moved to the starting rotation. While the sample size is insanely small, Lee kept a Lions lineup, without Ja Wook Koo (SAM), quiet in back-to-back starts (which have been his only two KBO starts to date). Arguably the most encouraging number was the fact Lee already reached 100-pitches in just his second start so there is not much reason to fear a quick hook (outside of poor performance). Lee’s control has been a bit shaky (9.7-percent BB rate) and that is not a perfect fit versus a patient Wyverns lineup that has walked at a 10.1-percent rate this season. Still, the Wyverns strike out at the third highest rate and rank second to last in runs per game (R/G). Both the Wyverns’ top hitters hit from the right side of the plate so bettors would prefer them facing a left-hander. After Lee, the LG bullpen looks like the best in the league, owning a 3.91 ERA at this juncture.
On the other side of this game, Ricardo Pinto (SK) is a tough pitcher to handicap because he is a high-velocity pitcher who is coming off his best game of his young KBO career. Last time out, Pinto held the Lions to just eight baserunners and one earned run (ER) in 6.0 IP and struck out five opposing hitters. That start marked his second straight start in which he struck out five-plus hitters although his seasonal K rate sits at just 13.6-percent (second worst of all pitchers scheduled to pitch on this slate). While Pinto has been susceptible to base hits, he has not allowed much power at all (.095 ISO), which is good news versus KBO home run (HR) leader Roberto Ramos (LG). Pinto seems like a pitcher whose stuff should play in this league so one train of thought is it has just taken him a while to figure it out. The other train of thought is the Lions were without their top hitter and are a bottom-tier offense so Pinto’s last start can be taken with a grain of salt. Since Lee has all the makings of a nice, young pitcher and has a solid offense behind him, the Twins are my slight preference here, especially as just -130 favorites.
LG Twins ML -130, 1U
Note: Tae Hoon Kim was initially announced as the starter for the first game and was moved to the second game. Since I already wrote this tidbit on him, I am going to leave it here for second game bettors: Tae Hoon Kim (SK) is someone who will likely interest the masses due to his slate-high 23.0-percent K rate since the start of the 2018 season. However, it needs to be noted he has only made nine starts during that span, and his K rate this year is significantly lower as a full-time starter. Through five starts in 2020, Kim has struck out just 14.0-percent of batters and walked 13.2-percent of opposing hitters while yielding a minuscule .218 BABIP. In other words, he has actually been luckier than his 4.94 ERA suggests, and his 5.35 FIP is closer to the real skill set. The one negative here for the Twins offense is the fact Kim is a southpaw as Ramos and Hyun Soo Kim (LG) are left-handed and each prefer the platoon advantage versus righties. Even so, Ramos has hit multiple homers versus lefties already, and catcher Kang Nam Yoo (LG) is 10-19 off left-handed pitching (LHP) this year with three bombs and six total extra-base hits (XBH).
Hanwha Eagles @ Lotte Giants
To this point, the Eagles are tied for the most games played of any team (32), and have scored 20 fewer runs than any other squad, including the Wyverns who have played two less games. To put it differently, the Eagles lineup is the clear worst in the league, and their losing streak is now up to a ridiculous 16-games. Opposing starter Jun-won Seo (LOT) owns the worst FIP of any starting pitcher on the slate, strikes out batters at the lowest rate and his wOBA number allowed is just about as bad as any scheduled pitcher as well. Could this be the night for the Eagles? The issues with backing them are plentiful and begin with the fact that the lower part of their lineup was just called up from the Futures League. However, their extreme left-handed lineup could play well against an absolute gas can of a right-handed pitcher (RHP), so tonight could legitimately be the night they snap the streak.
Part of the reason the Eagles have a shot to win tonight is the fact that their starter, Min Jae Jang (HAN), is not as bad as his surface numbers look. Over the course of his last 198.0 innings, Jang has struck out 17.9-percent of the hitters he has faced and has walked a slate-low 6.0-percent of them. That leaves him with a decent 4.42 FIP since 2018 or about a run lower than the Giants’ Seo. Unfortunately, the Giants are red-hot right now, as they have scored 21-runs over the course of their past two games, and have recorded 30-hits in those two games alone. Ah Seop Son’s (LOT) move to the leadoff role was a match made in heaven as he is amongst the most patient hitters in the entire league. Dixon Machado (LOT) has recently moved up the lineup as well which makes this lineup more potent if he is receiving an additional at-bat (AB) as opposed to the other scrubs towards the bottom of the lineup. Lotte will likely get the heavy backing from the public after their last few games but, instead of a picking a team, why not just bet against two mediocre (at best) pitchers?
Hanwha Eagles/Lotte Giants Over 10.5 Runs -122, 1U
Hanwha Eagles ML +156 (if feeling lucky), 0.5U
Kia Tigers @ KT Wiz
Props to anyone who chanced stacking the Kia Tigers in daily fantasy baseball last night, as the threat of rain loomed over that game, and yet they still managed 10-runs in just five innings prior to the game getting called. The team finds themselves in a similarly juicy hitting spot tonight versus Min Soo Kim (KTW) and the porous Wiz bullpen (worst in the league) behind him. Kim’s .358 wOBA allowed since the beginning of the 2018 season is tied for worst on the slate and his 1.26 HR/9 rate allowed during that span is the standalone worst. A righty susceptible to power means Preston Tucker (KIA), Hyung Woo Choi (KIA) and Ji Wan Na (KIA) are all on red-alert to go deep. Newly-minted leadoff man Ho Ryung Kim (KIA) is a powerful fella as well but has struck out at an absurd 33.3-percent rate. Luckily for him, and the Tigers, the Wiz starter has struck out just eight of the 58 batters he has come across this year (13.8-percent K rate), so contact is the likeliest outcome in most ABs. When hitters have put the ball in play against Kim, and the Wiz bullpen for that matter, positive outcomes have usually followed for those offenses.
The return of Baek Ho Kang (KTW) has not exactly sparked the Wiz lineup yet considering they have scored just two runs in the last two games with him back. Probable starter Min-woo Lee (KIA) had almost solely acted as a reliever in his previous three KBO seasons but has been converted to a full-time starter this year…and the results have been solid. Amongst all qualified starter, Lee ranks sixth in FIP and has yet to allow a single homer, all while dealing with a 54.8-percent LOB rate. Lee’s 8.0-percent BB rate is a bit high but the Wiz are a team that rarely ever walk (7.1-percent BB rate rates second worst in the league). Facing the Wiz offense that averages about six R/G is no easy task but Lee is up to it. Back the Tigers.
Kia Tigers ML -178, 3U
Kiwoom Heroes @ Samsung Lions
The masses love to flock to the Kiwoom Heroes in matchups against LHPs, like yesterday, but their lineup is objectively better-suited to face RHP. Byung Ho Park’s (KIW) MLB numbers show him being a bit of a reverse splits hitter and the lefties towards the top of this lineup have clearly preferred hitting against righties. Samsung starter Dae Woo Kim (SAM) is, in fact, right-handed and has pitched significantly worse than his 4.29 ERA this year. Hell, his -2.12 ERA-FIP tally ranks second worst amongst all pitcher with at least 20 innings, behind only the aforementioned Wright. To put that in context, Kim’s 6.40 FIP ranks fifth worst amongst all pitchers with 20-plus innings, and his -3.2-percent K-BB rate ranks second worst of all those pitchers as well. Kim is not good and the Heroes offense is so expect a legit bounce-back performance here.
Won Tae Choi (KIW) is one of the best starters on this slate. The Lions offense ranks below the league average in R/G and HR/G while striking out at the second highest rate. What more can be said here? This is a mismatch.
Kiwoom Heroes ML -205, 3U