Introduction To The KBO and League Rules
The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) has historically been known for its bat flips, wild celebrations, and fans going crazy but the 2020 version of the league will look quite different. Not only will there be no fans in the stadium but high-fives and spitting have also been outlawed. It is a different world we live in right now but having any semblance of sports being in action feels like a victory and, for the team being, the KBO is the only show in town.
Unlike some other foreign versions of sports we are accustomed to in the United States, the rules are almost identical to that of American baseball, with some tiny differences. Whereas extra innings last until a team wins in the USA, a 12-inning limit is imposed in regular-season games and 15-innings is the limit for playoff games before games end in a tie. Furthermore, the league places a cap on the number of foreign players allowed on each individual teams’ roster (three). Otherwise, the only noticeable difference is the use of a universal designated hitter (DH), whereas those are only deployed in the American League of Major League Baseball.
The KBO schedule is comprised of 144 games per team with each team playing one another exactly 16 times. Games are played every day from Tuesday to Sunday with Monday being every team’s day off. In other words, there is more symmetry to the KBO schedule with the MLB schedule, which should be welcomed in the DFS community (since those setting lineups can adhere to a consistent routine).
2019 Regular Season Standings and Team Facts
Doosan Bears – 88-55 record, 5.11 runs per game (R/G), 3.82 R/G allowed
SK Wyverns – 88-55 record, 4.55 R/G, 3.79 R/G allowed
Kiwoom Heroes – 86-57 record, league-high 5.42 R/G last year, 3.98 R/G allowed, one of two teams that has never won a championship
LG Twins – 79-64 record, 4.45 R/G, 4.40 R/G allowed
NC Dinos – 73-69 record, 4.68 R/G, 4.38 R/G allowed, one of two teams that has never won a championship
KT Wiz – 71-71 record, 4.51 R/G, 4.59 R/G allowed
Kia Tigers – 62-80 record, 4.20 R/G, 5.02 R/G allowed, have won a record 11 championships
Samsung Lions – 60-83 record, 4.32 R/G, 5.08 R/G allowed
Hanwha Eagles – 58-85 record, 4.22 R/G, 5.12 R/G allowed
Lotte Giants – 48-93 record, league-low 4.01 R/G, 5.31 R/G allowed
Ex-Angel Jose Miguel Fernandez ranked second in the league in AVG last year (.344)
-Ex-Twin Byung-Ho Park led the KBO in HR last year with 33
-Ex-MLB journeyman Jerry Sands hit 28 HR with a league-leading 113 RBI last season
-Ex-Giant Darin Ruf tied for sixth in the league in HR with 22 (and he drove in over 100 runs)
-Ex-Brewer Josh Linblom topped the KBO with 20 wins in 2019 and a league-leading 189 Ks
-Ex-Pirate Angel Sanchez won 17 games last year with a 2.62 ERA
-Other recognizable names include Mike Wright, Adrian Sampson, Warwick Saupold, Jacob Turner Aaron Altherr and Tyler Saladino.
Betting On The KBO
Betting KBO is quite similar to betting the MLB except moneylines do not account for ties. In the MLB, there are no ties, so there is always going to be a winner on one side of the moneyline. In the KBO, similarly to soccer, that is not the case, as a tie would result in the moneylines for both teams losing.
Otherwise, games are given an over/under in terms of runs and there are both spreads (often 1.5-runs) and moneylines available to be bet as well. Player props are sporadically available as well which are over/under outcomes for specific players. For example, over/under 0.5 hits for a player would be offered, and, if you bet the over, the player would need to register at least one hit in order for the bet to be won.
Some sports leagues are quite different across the world, sort of like the Canadian Football League (CFL) versus the National Football League (NFL). There are very few rules that are different in the KBO comparatively to the MLB so understanding the sport should be relatively painless.
For those looking to research the Korean Baseball Organization and maybe play KBO DFS, mykbostats.com is the best resource online.