Wednesday, July 8th 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):
KT Wiz @ Kia Tigers
Min Woo Lee (KIA) is going to have his hands full tonight with a potent Wiz lineup from top to bottom. In fact, Lee has been having issues with most of his opponents as of late, although he bounced back last time out against the league-worst Eagles offense. Still, in that game, there were causes for concern, as he walked four batters on the team with by far the lowest BB rate in the league. Over the course of his past three starts, Lee has allowed four homers, so guys like Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW) and Baek Ho Kang (KTW) are on red-alert to go deep tonight. Dating back to the start of the 2018 season, Lee’s 4.60 FIP ranks third worst amongst starters scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, so he is clearly in trouble versus the team that ranks third in runs per game (R/G).
Speaking of players who have allowed homers, Odrisamer Despaigne (KTW) has allowed exactly one homer in five straight games in his own right. Over the course of his last two games, Despaigne has started to miss bats again (21.8-percent K rate during that span), albeit in matchups versus a few of the most strikeout-prone offenses (Eagles and Heroes). Thus far, the Tigers rank below the league-average in K rate and right around the league-aveage in HR/9 rate. Despaigne is the superior pitcher in this game and the Wiz feature the superior offense so they are worth backing here.
KT Wiz ML -132, 2U
LG Twins @ Doosan Bears
In his last start, Jong Gi Park (DOO) finally came crashing back down to Earth, as he allowed 10 baserunners and three earned runs (ERs) in just three innings versus the Heroes before getting the hook. Through three starts, Park has topped out at 85-pitches, so he certainly does not possess one of the longest of leashes. Once he leaves the ballgame, the Bears bullpen is approaching a 6.00 ERA, which equates to seventh amongst bullpens in the KBO. As of late, the Twins offense has woken back up, with Roberto Ramos (LG) homering in two of his last four games. Partially due to his resurgence, the Twins are averaging 6.5 R/G over that same span (four games), so bettors should like their prospects to light up the scoreboard once again tonight. Amongst pitchers on the slate, only one has allowed a higher wOBA to opposing hitters than Park (.360), and both the top hitters in the Twins lineup will own the platoon advantage against him.
Twins starter Casey Kelly (LG) quietly has allowed at least one home run (HR) in six consecutive starts and owns a 4.68 ERA over the course of his past four starts specifically. The odds-makers continue to price Kelly as an ace as the 32-22 Bears are only listed as -114 favorites at home. Both sides of the plate have hit .280-plus versus Kelly this season and his 4.75 FIP ranks just 25th of 40 qualified starting pitchers. The Bears feature power from both sides of the plate but Jose Fernandez (DOO) and Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) are the likeliest of candidates to take Kelly deep. After Kelly leaves the game, the Twins bullpen is nothing more than league-average, so this low key is a solid environment for the Bears to produce some runs. Instead of backing either team in what appears to be an evenly-matched game, pound the over instead.
LG Twins/Doosan Bears Over 10.5-Runs -108, 1U
Lotte Giants @ Hanwha Eagles
After losing last night’s game in the 12th inning, the Giants will toss their ace tonight in Dan Straily (LOT). Positive regression simply has to be in the cards for a Giants offense that has refused to produce runs on days Straily has toed the mound. Eagles starter Warwick Saupold (HAN) is the best pitcher the team has to offer as well but he relies heavily on pitching to contact. The Giants rarely strike out (sub-16.0-percent K rate) so Saupold will be relying heavily on BABIP luck with by far the worst defense in the league (in terms of defensive runs saved) behind him. Their bullpen also ranks third to last in ERA. Good luck.
On the other hand, the Eagles are simply overmatched versus Straily. Not only does Straily rank second in K rate but also fifth in FIP and third in WHIP. He is arguably the second best pitcher in the league and being priced like simply a “good” starter. It would not be surprising for him to strike out double-digits in this spot and it is not like the Eagles are likely to take advantage of his proneness to fly balls (as they rank dead last in HR/9 rate by a wide margin). Bet this game early before the Giants rise to well over -200 by the end of the day as this may be the line of the year.
Lotte Giants ML -178, 5U
NC Dinos @ SK Wyverns
Control has not really been a specialty of Geon Wook Lee (SK) who has walked a brutal 14.1-percent of batters over the course of his last 36.2 IP this year. Furthermore, his 4.74 FIP is worse than any pitcher not named Casey Kelly on the slate (in 2020 alone and min. 30 IP), so he has just not pitched anywhere near as well as his 3.19 ERA suggests. If there were ever a day of expected reckoning, it would be the day he faces the top offense in the league. Expect the regression in his surface numbers to begin immediately.
On the Wyverns side, Jae Hak Lee (NCD) looks like an average pitcher on paper who just does not miss many bats. To this point, Lee has done a decent job limiting power, but has not done much else well. His 15.0-percent K rate is mediocre, his 9.1-percent BB rate is too high and he has suffered through an unlucky 63.5-percent LOB rate. What can be said here is the Wyverns offense likes to rely on power but Lee at least does a solid job keeping the ball in the ball park. For that reason alone, the Dinos make sense as the play here, although not a high priority play at over -200.
NC Dinos ML -205, 1U
Samsung Lions @ Kiwoom Heroes
Probably the most uninspiring game of the night is the tilt between the Lions and Heroes with mediocre options on the mound. Tae In Won (SAM) has pitched way over his head as evident by the fact his FIP (4.83) is nearly two full runs above his ERA (2.97). He has been fortunate to produce an 83.1-percent LOB rate and has fallen victim to the long ball essentially since the start of 2018.
However, how can you feel great backing a Heroes team that will be starting an extended opener for the second straight day? Sung Hyun Moon (KIW) has made zero starts since the 2015 season and has topped out at 36-pitches this year. The Lions ravaged the Heroes bullpen last night so a tired bullpen will have to try and hold down the fort tonight after allowing eight earned runs (ERs) in seven innings on Tuesday morning. With the Lions actually being listed as underdogs here, the value is strong enough to pray for Won to continue his good fortune for just one more game given the strong setup for the offense.
Samsung Lions ML +108, 1U