Wednesday, July 15th Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Betting Guide
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 @ KT Wiz
Alright, Eagles, time to see what you are made out of against a subpar pitcher who has never had any prospects of pitching in the big leagues. While Odrisamer Despaigne (KTW) shut them down last night, Min Soo Kim (KTW) is no Despaigne or anything close; his 14.5-percent K rate in the KBO dating back a few years ranks third worst amongst pitchers on this slate. Furthermore, his 1.05 HR/9 rate, 4.81 FIP, .349 wOBA allowed and .134 ISO allowed are not pretty either, and the Eagles are better-suited to face right-handed pitching (RHP). After Kim leaves the ballgame, the Wiz bullpen is as shaky as they come, as they have officially past the Dinos for dead last in ERA (6.28) once again. Expect the Eagles to put up a fight.
Oh boy, Bum Soo Kim (HAN) is in some trouble on Wednesday versus a KT Wiz squad that has scored fewer than seven runs just once in the span of a week. Amongst starting pitchers on the slate, Kim ranks dead last in four major categories since the start of the 2018 season: BB rate (13.1-percent), HR/9 rate (1.31), FIP (5.62) and ISO (0.170) allowed. Unfortunately for him, the Wiz are loaded with right-handed hitters, beginning with switch-hitter Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW) and his eight bombs already in the split versus left-handed pitching (LHP). Additionally, Jeong Dae Bae (KTW), Kyun Soo Park (KTW) and Jae Gyun Hwang (KTW) have all posted ISOs over .200 in the split, so this team is well-equipped to smash lefties. Behind Kim, the bullpen ranks third to last in ERA, so it would be shocking if this was not another offensive explosion from the Wiz. With both teams’ offensive prospects looking juicy, the over is the safest play in this game.
Hanwha Eagles/KT Wiz Over 10.5-Runs -120, 2U
Kia Tigers @ Samsung Lions
Probable Lions starter Jung Hyun Baek (SAM) has fallen apart as of late as he has allowed 10 earned runs (ERs) in his past two starts (10 innings) alone. Only three hitters on the Tigers sport extra-base hit (XBH) percentages of at least 15-percent versus LHP and only one of those guys is of the right-handed variety: Ho Ryung Kim (KIA). Even so, Baek has been susceptible to power from both sides of the plate, as lefties have already hit five bombs off him. The Tigers headed into Tuesday morning one of the hottest offenses in the league and then decided to sit a few guys and basically roll out their “C-Team” lineup. Assuming they go back to the starters tonight, the matchup is not perfect, considering how left-handed they are, but Baek almost always brings out the upside in his opponents. Since 2018, Baek’s .169 ISO allowed ranks second worst on the slate as does his 1.22 HR/9 rate.
The deep Tigers rotation is tossing one of their best tonight in Drew Gagnon (KIA) and, as was the case for Gagnon in the MLB, lefties have hit him much harder in the KBO. Seriously, lefties have produced an average 140 points higher against him, and righties have managed just three XBHs against him (compared to 15 from lefties). The timing of the return of Ja Wook Koo (SAM) is therefore poor for Gagnon as he retired from his injury last night and he is the clear top left-handed bat in the lineup. Between him, Hak Ju Lee (SAM) and Hae Min Park (SAM), who has moved to the two spot in the lineup, there are certainly obstacles to Gagnon in this lineup. However, the majority of the lineup is still right-handed (five in the lineup last night), and the Lions rank below the league average in runs per game (R/G). Four lefties are slightly more than Gagnon backers would like to see in a lineup against him so the matchup is not perfect for either pitcher. Due to the fact the Lions are only +104 underdogs, there really is not enough value to pull the trigger on them, although this game could admittedly go either way. Normally, this article is more bullish on Gagnon, but one unit seems like enough in this low-key mediocre setup for him.
Kia Tigers ML -126, 1U
LG Twins @ Lotte Giants
Is Adrian Sampson (LOT) allergic to strikeouts? Without consulting with his physician, the likeliest answer seems like “yes,” as he has only struck out 9.5-percent of opposing batters over the course of his last three starts combined. During that span, he has allowed three homers, and lefties specifically have inflicted a majority of the damage against him: .353 AVG (!), two homers and only two XBH less than righties have produced against him in fewer at-bats (ABs). Arguably the three top hitters in the Twins lineup all hit from the left side of the plate: Roberto Ramos (LG), Hyun Soo Kim (LG) and Ji Hwan Oh (LG). In his one previous meeting versus the Twins, Sampson was beat up to the tune of 10 hits and six ERs in 5.1 IP, and that was during the stretch where Ramos was out.
The favored Giants will do battle against Tyler Wilson (LG) who has been battling some struggles of his own as of late. The last time Wilson allowed fewer than three ERs in a start was Jun. 12 so we are talking over a month’s time at this point. In 2020, Wilson ranks top 15 in FIP amongst qualified starters, so he has gotten a bit unlucky with the results. Targeting RHP against the Giants is always a risky proposition with names like Ah Seop Son (LOT), Jun Woo Jeon (LOT) and Dae Ho Lee (LOT) towards the top of the lineup. Still, the bad luck has to stop at some point for Wilson, although it should be noted the LG bullpen is nothing more than league average. This game is as close as the line suggests but I think the value here lies with the Twins ever-so-slightly.
LG Twins ML -104, 1U
NC Dinos @ Kiwoom Heroes
Woah, the Dinos are listed as +176 underdogs, which, regardless of context, is highly irregular. Sure, Eric Jokisch (KIW) has proven time and time again that he is one of the top pitchers in the league but he also relies on contact a lot more than most of the other top pitchers (18.5-percent K rate). The Dinos are without Sung Bum Na (NCD) but the trio of Aaron Altherr (NCD), Jin Sung Kang (NCD) and Eu Ji Yang (NCD) are more than fit to hold down the fort against LHP. Even if Jokisch does not string together a perfect start, the Heroes bullpen tops the league in ERA, so the task is difficult from beginning to end for the Dinos offense.
On the other side of the game, the Heroes will face Sung Young Choi (NCD) whose results this year have…not been pretty. Through six appearances (five starts), Choi’s FIP sits at a brutal 7.18 on the heels of a 10.2-percent K rate, 9.4-percent BB rate and massive 2.12 HR/9 rate. Choi has thrown 90-plus pitches in three straight starts heading into this slate but has also allowed at least one homer in every single appearance this year. Naturally, the Heroes are loaded with power (third in HR/9 rate), so they very likely extend this HR streak. As if that were not enough, the Heroes lead the league in BB rate by a wide margin (11.0-percent) as well. After Choi’s watch has ended (Game of Thrones reference), the Dinos bullpen is battling the Wiz for worst in the league, so it is tough to put faith in the team with the league’s best record (which feels like a strange thing to say). Without their best bat, and with a terrible pitcher on the mound, the Dinos are not worth betting even at this massive number.
Kiwoom Heroes ML -220, 2U
Kiwoom Heroes -1.5-Runs -106, 1U
SK Wyverns @ Doosan Bears
Speaking of games that are lopsided, this is the most lopsided of the night, as Raul Alcantara (DOO) has been absolutely rolling. In order to slow down the Wyverns and their 19.0-percent K rate, opposing pitchers need to possess the ability to miss bats, and Alcantara’s 35.4-percent K rate over his last two games jumps off the freaking page. Dong Min Han’s (SK) addition to the Wyverns lineup cannot be overstated as he gives a thin lineup a badly needed additional layer/option. Alcantara throws a fastball upwards of 95mph which is simply unheard of in the KBO and, even with another upper-echelon bat, the Wyverns are still overmatched. Meanwhile, Ricardo Pinto (SK), who throws hard in his own right, almost never misses bats and is facing the team that ranks dead last in K rate. The Bears also happen to rank second in R/G and third in BB rate (which matters versus Pinto and his 11.1-percent BB rate over 67.1 IP). The Wyverns came through for us as underdogs yesterday but do not expect a similar fate tonight.
Doosan Bears ML -300, 1U
Doosan Bears -1.5-Runs -140, 1U