KBO’s Preview, Predictions and Betting Odds for June 3

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Adrian Sampson former #52 of the Texas Rangers. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

After an exciting Tuesday in the KBO, we’re back in action on Wednesday. The KBO features three import pitchers and a few rookies on the slate. Which starters should you fade? Here are the best bets in the KBO for Wednesday with betting odds available at BetOnline Sportsbook.

Lotte Giants vs. Kia Tigers

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 – 5:30am EST

Probable Pitchers Per MyKBO Website:

  • Lotte: Adrian Sampson (0-1 5.40 ERA)
  • Kia: Yang Hyun-jong (3-2 4.85 ERA)

Adrian Sampson will make his second start of his KBO career after his first start didn’t go as planned. He went just 3.1 innings, allowed two runs on three hits, allowed a walk and struck out three.

Sampson was getting his feet wet in his first start of the season. The second start in these scenarios are almost always better. He’ll get to face the Lotte Giants who have struggled scoring runs all year long. While his ERA is  5.81 after the first start, he has a FIP of 2.68. He had solid stuff in that start and it just didn’t work out to be quite frank.

The Kia Tigers will pitch Yang Hyun-jong who is 3-2 with an ERA of 4.85 on the season. His FIP is 4.62 which means Yang Hyun-jong is basically what his stats say he is.

Last season for the Tigers, Hyun-jong had an ERA of 2.29 and a FIP of 2.58 in 29 games started, It was a breakout season for Hyun-jong but it hasn’t translated into this season just yet.

He’s allowing one homer per nine innings while striking out a career-low 6,.2 batters per nine innings along with 2.8 walks per nine innings. Hyun-jong is a much better pitcher than he’s been showing so far this season. Against the Lotte Giants, his stats will likely improve.

Hyun-jong struck out nearly eight batters per nine innings last year and limited the walks to 1.6 per nine innings while allowing .3 home runs per nine innings. He finished last season with a 5.97 WAR and had a 3.92 WAR in his rookie season.

Prediction

I’m sure you understand where I’m going with this one. Sampson was shaky in his first start but has the stuff to be a premier ace in the league. Hyun-jong was one of the most dominant pitchers in the KBO last season and hasn’t started off well this season. A game against the Lotte Giants is what the doctor ordered. 

I’ll take the under in this match-up.

Lotte/KiaU8.5
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Casey Kelly former #68 of the San Francisco Giants. Henderson/Getty Images/AFP

Samsung Lions vs. LG Twins

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 – 5:30am EST

Probable Pitchers Per MyKBO Website:

  • Samsung: Heo Yoon-dong (1-0 0.00 ERA)
  • LG: Casey Kelly (2-0 4.05 ERA)

It’s time that we start appreciating Samsung’s pitching talent. They’ve got a couple of young studs in their starting rotation and have been able to put together a solid season thus far compared to projections.

Samsung won the first of three games 2-0 as LG was shutout for the entirety of the game. For an offense as good as LG, it seems hard to believe it’ll happen again.

Heo Yoon-dong started his first game of the season against Lotte and held them scoreless through five innings of work. It was a shaky performance where he only struck out one and walked four batters and allowed four hits. In five innings, he allowed nine base runners and didn’t allow a single run.

While Yoon-dong has an ERA of 0, he’s got a FIP of 6.18. He pitched against the worst team in the league, in the Lotte Giants. We just went over how bad Lotte has been hitting the ball. Yoon-dong got out of jams against the Giants.

Getting out of jams shows some maturity where he didn’t break down and found a way to get out of jams. What’s interesting is that Yoon-dong is a lefty and the Twins are made up of left-handed power bats.

Still, if the Twins remain patient at the plate, they’ll get on base without worrying about hitting the ball. They won’t need too many runs with Casey Kelly on the mound.

Kelly is 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA to start the season. The 4.05  ERA seems pretty high for a pitcher of his caliber but his FIP is at 2.48 on the season. Kelly finished off last season with an ERA of 2.55 but is actually striking out more batters per nine innings this season compared to last season. He’s been a bit unlucky with balls in play this year as the batting average of balls in play is now .355. Last year, it was .282.

Kelly hasn’t allowed a single homer in 20 innings pitched and has allowed no runs in two of his last three starts after going six innings in each start.

Prediction

Heo Yoon-dong is going to be the real deal eventually. The 18-year-old was thrown into the fire after injuries to the starting rotation. I’m not sure he’s ready for the KBO major leagues just yet.

The LG Twins should claw out a couple of runs and Kelly should be able to hold the lead in this one.

LG Twins-1.5 (-140)
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Hanwha Eagles former pitcher Warwick Saupold. Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

Kiwoom Heroes vs. Hanwha Eagles

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 – 5:30am EST

Probable Pitchers Per MyKBO Website:

  • Kiwoom: Jo Young-gun (0-0 0.00 ERA)
  • Hanwha: Warwick Saupold (2-2 2.65 ERA)

The Hanwha Eagles have lost nine straight games and are currently in the last place while the  Kiwoom Heroes just got over .500 with a win in the first game of the series against  Kiwoom.

Hanwha is hitting a league-worst .242 and has a team ERA of 5.58. Without Warwick Saupold, that team ERA would be a lot worse.

Saupold is 2-2 with a 2.65 ERA to start the season. He’s pitched in five games and has faced some of the toughest competition in the league thus far, including the Dinos, Twins, and Kiwoom. Saupold hasn’t been perfect by any stretch of the imagination. He’s allowed at least three runs in three of his last four starts but has gone at least six innings in each start and has finished with 100+ pitches in every start this season.

Saupold is basically a bend but doesn’t break kind of guy. He’s got 4.5 strikeouts per nine innings but is only walking 1.6 batters per nine innings on the season. The strikeout numbers concern me as he had 6.3 strikeouts per nine innings last season and Kiwoom has been hitting extremely well as of late.

However, Kiwoom will be sending out Jo Young-gun who has just one career start in the KBO last season. He started against the Dinos last year and pitched .1 innings, threw 39 pitches and allowed three runs in that inning before getting taken out of the game.

This year, he has one relief appearance and finished it with a scoreless inning. However, in that one inning, he had a FIP of 6.54. He escaped damage luckily. He hasn’t found the strike zone in the KBO and if Hanwha stays patient, good things can happen.

Prediction

I expect Hanwha to score some runs against Young-gun quickly. The losing streak won’t last forever and Saupold and the Eagles have a clear advantage going into this game. Saupold has been tremendous for Hanwha to start the season.

Who knows what we’ll get from Young-gun but so far, his career in the KBO, through 1.1 innings of work, has been ugly. Imagine what a couple more innings could do.

Hanwha-105
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