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KBO Odds, Picks & Betting Model (May 7): NC Dinos vs. Samsung Lions; Fubon Guardians vs. Rakuten Monkeys & More

KBO Odds, Picks & Betting Model (May 7): NC Dinos vs. Samsung Lions; Fubon Guardians vs. Rakuten Monkeys & More article feature image

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

If you’re going to bet on mostly underdogs in baseball, as I do, it’s important to keep track of your win rate relative to your average odds and not to just focus on your won/loss record.

In 2019, for example, I only won 49.5% of my MLB bets – but compared to average odds of just about +130 (implied 43.5%), those bets won 6% more often than their odds would suggest.

Through two days of KBO betting, I have wagered on six moneylines at average odds of +143 (implied 41.5%), but those underdogs are a combined 2-4  (33%), including two close one-run losses on Wednesday.

Flip either of those contests, and I’m at 50% and back up over our two-day KBO sample, even accounting for a 1-2 record on totals – with both losses coming in the Dinos/Lions series. Those two teams have launched eight home runs over two days, with just 11 runs to show between them – that’s just bad luck.

We’ll see both teams back in action on ESPN for Thursday morning’s broadcast, so the over figures to take some public action. Is there value in betting that total once again?

Let’s get into to the morning slate, and break down the five KBO games at 5:30 a.m. ET, and the one CPBL game at 6:35 a.m. ET, to get your day started correctly.

If you are looking for more information about the KBO League, check out my season primer. If you want to know more about Taiwan’s CPBL, you can find that here.

  • KBO Year to Date: 3-6 (-1.42 Units)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 24-14 (+8.13 Units)

Odds as of Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

KBO Betting Odds

NC Dinos vs. Samsung Lions

Dinos moneyline: -177
Lions moneyline: +138
Over/under: 8.5
5:30 a.m. ET

Probable Pitchers:  Chang-mo Koo (Dinos) vs. David Buchanan (Lions)

I mentioned this before the jump, but it bears repeating – the Dinos and Lions have hit eight home runs in two games, but scored just 11 runs combined. Seven of the eight home runs were solo shots.

The ball seems to fly a bit differently in Daegu than it does in other venues around the KBO, and the park factor data confirms that observation.

I think we were a bit unfortunate to lose our over bet on Wednesday morning, but I’ll gladly go back to the well again with the total set at 8.5, compared to my projection at 10.1 (-110)

I’m continuing to play KBO totals as half-units for now, but I would bet Over 8.5 up to -110, a 6.2% edge. I was lucky to buy-in early at even money.

Former Phillies starter David Buchanan makes his KBO debut for the Lions after three seasons in Japan – where he struggled to a 6-8 record with a 4.82 ERA over 25 starts in the NPB last season.

Buchanan posted a 4.38 xFIP between 2014-2015 in Philadelphia, showing a nice cutter/changeup combination, but he has never exhibited a high strikeout total or strong command (1.89 K/BB in MLB; 1.87 in NPB; 2.08 K/BB in minors) at any level.

Dinos starter Chang-mo Koo is a 23-year-old southpaw who took a step forward in 2019 for the Dinos, likely due in part to increased confidence while throwing a de-clawed KBO baseball.

After posting a career-worst 5.42 FIP in 2018, Koo improved to a 3.76 FIP in 2019, posting personal bests in K/9 (9.6) and BB/9 (3.4) along the way. His BABIP also dropped off by 71 points from the preceding year.

Koo’s slider and changeup both look like friendly out pitches:


I saw the Lions open as high as +145 and hoped that they would move to +150 (implied 40%) or higher, a 6% edge compared to my projection at +117 (implied 46%), before making a play, but they were bet down to +130 as of writing.

I’ll wait until closer to game time to see if +145 or better pops up for the Lions. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

If or when that happens, I’ll add that play to this section.

NC Dinos vs. Samsung Lions Picks

  • Dinos/Lions Over 8.5 (+100, 0.5 units)
  • Samsung Lions +150 (1 unit)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN, and WV only.]

Hanwha Eagles vs. SK Wyverns

Eagles moneyline: +155
SK moneyline: -200
Over/Under: 9
5:30 a.m. ET
TV: Twitch

Probable Pitchers:  Shi-hwan Jang (Eagles) vs. Jong-hoon Park (SK)

After cashing with the Eagles as my biggest underdog (+175) on opening day, they were the one underdog showing value that I bypassed on Wednesday, betting on a starter with a career 1:1 strikeout to walk ratio isn’t my thing.

However, I’m ready to go to war on Thursday with Shi-hwan Jang, a 32-year-old righty who joins the Eagles from the Lotte Giants – the only team who finished below the Eagles in the 2019 standings.

After working out of the bullpen for most of his career, Jang started 27 games last season and posted a 4.30 FIP – which was below average, but still an improvement upon his 4.95 ERA – and now he moves to one of the best defensive teams in the KBO.

While his strikeout rate is acceptable – Jang’s command is an issue, with a walk rate a few ticks below league average.

But Jong-hoon Park is no world-beater for SK – posting a 4.55 FIP in 2019 – he just eats more innings than Jang would throughout a season.

He’s also, and I can’t stress this enough, a submarine starting pitcher:

some mix of pitches from Park Jong-Hoon's start from tonight. The submariner struck out 9 in 7 IP vs. Hanwha. Season ERA at 2.70. #KBO

— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) May 7, 2019

Park finished the 2019 season with the worst strikeout rate of his career, and his worst K/BB ratio since 2016.

I bet the Eagles at +165 (implied 37.7%) an 8.7% edge compared to my projection, and I would play them down to +150, a 6.5% edge. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

Hanwha Eagles vs. SK Wyverns Picks

  • Hanwha Eagles +165 (1 unit)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN, and WV only.]

CPBL Betting Odds

Fubon Guardians vs. Rakuten Monkeys

Guardians moneyline: +235
Monkeys moneyline: -315
Over/Under: 11.5
6:35 a.m. ET
TV: Twitter

Probable Pitchers:  Bryan Woodall (Guardians) vs. Justin Nicolino (Monkeys)

I added the CPBL projections to the now combined CPBL and KBO spreadsheet below.

There is slight moneyline value on the Guardians as underdogs in this matchup. Still, they have been abused by the Monkeys all season long, and Guardians manager Hong I-Chung has yet to defeat his old team – a mental edge that you cannot quantify at the moment.

The Guardians have repeatedly choked in pressure spots against the CPBL-champs, and while they will break through eventually, I’m not sure that Bryan Woodall is the pitcher that I want to back to get it done.

Essentially, this game is a rematch from Justin Nicolino’s CPBL debut on April 28, won by 3-0 by the Monkeys.

The Monkeys were a -270 favorite in that contest, so after accounting for the home field and Nicolino’s performance, the current line adjustment looks pretty acceptable.

He looks to be showing improved velocity from his MLB days, and his best pitch, a changeup, will only improve with increased speed to all of his offerings.

Just keep in mind that he owed pretty stark reverse splits as an MLB pitcher – allowing a .364 wOBA to righties, but a .415 wOBA against lefties.

Guardians starter Bryan Woodall allowed eight hits and hit two batters against only one strikeout in that start, but he escaped after 5.2 innings have allowed just two runs.

The Monkeys blew him up for six runs back on April 17, and his 6:3 strikeout to walk ratio in 14.2 innings this season isn’t particularly encouraging, after his FIP declined from 3.68 to 5.61 from 2018 to 2019.

I would need +275 (implied 26.6%) on the Guardians, something higher than a 5.5% edge, to consider betting against the Monkeys. I bet them, just for a half unit, at +329 (implied 23.3%), a 9% edge. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

I also bet Over 10.5 (-115) for a half-unit, a 3.8% edge compared to my projection at 12.1 – but that’s the most juice that I would lay on that total.

However, now that the total is at 12.5, I will look to play a middle on the under if it moves to 13 – or I might even try to play Under 12.5 (-105).

Full CPBL Betting Card for May 7

  • Guardians/Monkeys, Over 10.5 (-115, 0.5 units)
  • Guardians/Monkeys, Under 13.5 (-118, 0.5 units)
  • Guardians +329 (0.5 units)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN, and WV only.]

CPBL Year to Date: 24-14 (+8.13 Units)

Full KBO Betting Card for May 7

  • Hanwha Eagles +165 (1 unit)
  • Dinos/Lions Over 8.5 (+100, 0.5 units)
  • Samsung Lions +150 (1 unit)
  • KT Wiz -115 (1 unit)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN, and WV only.]

KBO Year to Date: 3-6 (-1.42 Units)

Zerillo’s Full CPBL + KBO Model, 5/7

Download the Excel doc with my projections to input odds from your sportsbook. These projections cover the full game moneylines and over/unders. A sample of one of the sheets is below: 

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