KBO’s Preview, Predictions and Betting Odds for May 23

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A live broadcast of a baseball game between the Doosan Bears and LG Twins. Photo by STR / AFP

Saturday’s KBO slate features a couple of premium starting pitchers in Aaron Brooks of Kia and Eric Jokish of Kiwoom. When these pitchers are on the mound, you might want to consider betting on their team. Here are Saturday’s best bets in the KBO.

KT Wiz vs. LG Twins

Saturday, May 23, 2020 – 1:00am EST

Probable Pitchers Per MyKBO Website:

  • KT: Kim Min (1-0 9.00 ERA)
  • LG: Cha Woo-chan (2-1 5.63 ERA)

The LG Twins came back from down 5-1 to win 6-5 in the first match-up of the three-game series. The KT Wiz have dropped to 6-9 on the season while LG is 10-5 this year.

The Wiz bullpen has blown lead after lead to start the season. The weird thing about their bullpen and that they were the best bullpen last season. While we continue to wait and hope they’ll turn things around, they just strictly haven’t.

Kim Min will take the mound for the Wiz on Saturday. He’s started two games this season and is 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA in ten innings pitched. He averages around six strikeouts per nine innings and has always walked more hitters than the average. Last season he walked four batters per nine innings in 26 games started.

Min has a career ERA of 5.18 and currently has a FIP of 5.88 in his first two games this season. While he only allowed four hits in his most recent game against Samsung, he also walked three batters.

The Twins will counter with Cha Woo-chan who is 2-1 with a 5.63 ERA. Woo-chan has a career ERA of 4.48 since starting in the league in 2006. He’s now 32-years-old but has looked un-hittable at times this season. He’s averaging 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings but his walk numbers have also been high. They’ve been high this season and throughout his career.

However, his FIP is 4.69, lower than his actual ERA of 4.69. You can expect a decline in his ERA sooner than later as his BABIP is .349 this season. Usually, he’ll average around .300 per season. He’s thrown 16 innings in his three starts and each has ended in a decision.

Prediction

The LG Twins are coming off a come-from-behind victory that didn’t seem imaginable until the 9th inning.

Now they’ll face Kim Min who has struggled against lefties to start the season. Lefties are hitting .480 against Kim Min in his first two starts and he’s allowed two homers of the 12 hits.

Roberto Ramos is one of the most powerful left-handed bats in the KBO, with six homers in 14 games this season.

I’ll roll with the LG Tigers who are now 7-3 at home this season.

KBO Pick: LG Tigers (-140) at BetOnline

LG Twins vs. Doosan Bears. Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP

Doosan Bears vs. Samsung Lions

Saturday, May 23, 2020 – 4:00am EST

Probable Pitchers Per MyKBO Website:

  • Doosan: Raul Alcantara (2-1 4.00 ERA)
  • Samsung: Kim Dae-woo (0-0 3.86 ERA)

The Doosan Bears saw 8.2 innings of Samsung bullpen and scored 12 runs in the game after Ben Lively left the game due to another injury.

The Doosan bullpen did exactly what they usually do. They allowed Samsung back in the game but the Bears bats came alive once again and took the win.

The Bears will now pitch Raul Alcantara who is 2-1 with a 4.00 ERA. Alcantara has won in his two most recent games against Lotte and Kia. This will be his fourth start on the road this season. Alcantara has looked solid in his second season in the league. He’s averaging eight strikeouts per nine innings and just one walk per nine innings.

While his ERA is 4.00, his FIP is lower at 3.67. He’s also done a solid job minimizing walks after not walking a batter in his last two starts this season. Alcantara will go deep into games and throw over 100 pitches per start. This means that the bullpen might not come out until the 8th inning or so. He pitched seven in his last start against Kia.

Samsung will pitch Kim Dae-woo who will be pitching his first start since 2018. He’s pitched two games from the bullpen this season and has allowed four hits, three runs (two earned) in 3.2 innings this season.

While his ERA looks fine at 3.86, he actually has a FIP of 5.21, which is much worse than his actual ERA. This implies that Dae-woo has had some luck to start the season with batters hitting a BABIP of just .200 in 3.2 innings.

He’ll now have to face one of the best offenses in the league and there’s likely no way he’s able to go beyond five innings. The bullpen was used in its entirety in the first game of the series.

Look for Doosan to take advantage with their wRC+ of 126.7 which is second-best in the league.

Samsung’s hitting is currently the worst in the league, even after scoring seven runs against Doosan.

Prediction

Samsung pitched their bullpen all game in the first match-up of the series opener. Now, they’ll turn to another bullpen arm that hasn’t pitched a full start since 2018.

Doosan’s bats were hot in the first game of the series and you can expect the same in this one.

KBO Pick: Doosan Bears (-200) at BetOnline

Photo by SAM YEH / AFP

Kiwoom Heroes vs. Lotte Giants

Saturday, May 23, 2020 – 4:00am EST

Probable Pitchers Per MyKBO Website:

  • Kiwoom: Eric Jokisch (2-0 0.53 ERA)
  • Lotte: Lee In-bok (0-0 0.00 ERA)

The Lotte Giants scraped and clawed through the Kiwoom Heroes for their first win of the series. Surprisingly, the Giants’ offense finally got going with nine runs after scoring just 17 in their previous seven games.

The Giants will pitch Lee In-bok who has just two relief appearances to start the season. In his two innings, he has allowed no runs, no hits, no walks, and also doesn’t have a strikeout.

While his ERA is 0.00, his FIP is 3.58 after two innings of work. Last season, he had an ERA of 11.68, and then the previous season before that, he had an ERA of 10.18. And the previous season before that? He had a 15.43 ERA.

He’s had a negative WAR in all three seasons in the KBO and this year likely won’t be any more different. He’s only started one game in his entire career in the KBO and that was in 2015. Although, it’s good to note that he took a break from the KBO from 2016-2018.

Kiwoom will send out their ace, Eric Jokisch who is 2-0 with a .53 ERA in his second season in the league. Jokisch has already shut down Kia and LG along with Samsung. In 17 innings pitched, Jokisch has allowed just ten hits and has struck out 14 batters while walking just two batters.

His FIP is extremely low at 2.21 and his BABIP sits at .227 through three  starts. He averages north of seven strikeouts per start and walks under two batters per nine innings.

Prediction

Currently, Lotte has the second-worst team FIP at 5.11, and Kiwoom is starting to progress with their bats this week. As long as the Heroes are able to tack on a couple of runs, that should be more than enough for Jokisch.

Jokisch is currently fourth in the KBO in FIP with 2.21. Aaron Brooks, who is pitching for the Kia Tigers tomorrow, leads the league in FIP.

Roll with Kiwoom after a gut-wrenching loss yesterday. The Lotte bats looked good but Jokisch will put that to an end.

KBO Pick: Kiwoom Heroes (-190) at BetOnline