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KBO & NPB Betting Odds: Picks & Predictions For Saturday, Including Heroes vs. Wiz

KBO & NPB Betting Odds: Picks & Predictions For Saturday, Including Heroes vs. Wiz article feature image

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images. Pictured: KT Wiz IF Kang Baek-Ho (#50)

Friday’s Lions vs. Twins game was called after eight innings, with the Lions holding a 9-7 lead after Chun-woong Lee grounded out against Seung-hwan Oh, amid a downpour with two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Given the fact that the teams still have two more games to complete over the weekend, I figured that they would resume Friday’s game from the ninth inning on Saturday before starting a new nine-inning game, but KBO officials decided to call an end to a 9-7 contest in which the Twins had already rallied from a five-run first inning deficit.

Sportsbooks typically follow these two rules for shortened MLB games:

  • Full-game moneylines become official once the game goes five innings, or if the home team leads after 4.5 innings.
  • In contrast, wagers on the over/under, team totals and/or runlines don’t become official until the teams complete nine innings — or the home team leads after 8.5 innings.

Therefore, I had expected both my Twins moneyline wager and my Over bet to meet unkind ends; alas, my book graded all bets on the game as no-action – and all bets were refunded. Always check the rules of your specific sportsbook, but that’s a tough beat if your book applies the standard MLB betting rules to these overseas baseball contests.

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: 80-96 (-10.71 Units)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 43-33 (+14.06 Units)
  • NPB Year to Date: 16-18-1 (+1.71 units)

KBO Odds, Picks, Predictions & Betting Model

Odds as of noon ET on Friday 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.

Kiwoom Heroes vs. KT Wiz

  • Heroes moneyline: -120
  • Wiz moneyline: -107
  • Over/under: 10
  • Time: 5:30 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

Probable Pitchers: Kiwoom Heroes (Won-tae Choi) vs. KT Wiz (William Cuevas)  

The KT Wiz (24-27) and Kiwoom Heroes (32-20) continue their weekend series following a walk-off 3-2 win by the Wiz on Friday, after Odrisamer Despaigne (7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K) and Eric Jokisch (6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K) dueled for the majority of the evening.


— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) July 3, 2020

Since the Dinos (34-16) lost 8-2 to the Tigers (27-21), the Heroes remain three just three games out of first place in the KBO standings.

The Wiz, meanwhile, is the only sub. 500 club sporting a positive run differential (+4), thanks to some early-season bullpen blowups which swung their current record by six to eight wins, and their Pythagorean record is 26-25.

They have yet to make the playoffs since joining the KBO in 2015 but finally got out of the cellar in 2019, finishing sixth, and seemed poised to breakthrough before the start of this season.

The Wiz are currently four games behind the Tigers for the final playoff spot. Still, if Despaigne and Saturday’s starter William Cuevas (4.53 FIP) can continue to perform as above-average pitchers, their offense (110 wRC+) could claw its way back into contention.

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

Cuevas is a flyball pitcher with a four-pitch mix (fastball, slider curveball, changeup) who has performed right around league-average over two seasons and more than 30 starts in Korea.

I’m not particularly enamored with his repertoire or command — both his strikeout and walk rates are around league average, and Cuevas relies on getting whiffs outside of the zone.

He faced the Heroes in a 14-3 loss on May 30 and exited after 93 pitches with only one out in the fifth inning (4.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 2 K).

His opponent in that start, Won-tae Choi (4.22 FIP), will be his opponent again on Saturday, and he will look to defeat the Wiz again after pitching well in that outing (6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K).

Choi is a polished 23-year-old who touches 95 mph and throws a plus changeup, in addition to a sold slider and developing curveball, but he prefers to sit a bit lower (88-89 mph) with his two-seamer to emphasize command and movement.

The two-seamer generates a high number of groundballs, and its fade pairs spectacularly well with Choi’s offspeed pitch, which he’ll throw to both left- and right-handed hitters:

Won-Tae Choi vs @Kiatigers, last season.

— Kiwoom Heroes (@KiwoomHeroes) May 7, 2020

He’s posted a 41-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 10 starts this season, increasing his command ratio from 2.91 to 3.72 strikeouts per walk (K/BB) — nearly double the average league rate. If he continues to improve, Choi could eventually make his way to the major leagues.

I project the Heroes as 54% favorites for Saturday, and I would bet the Heroes to -104 (implied 51%), which is a 3% edge compared to my projection.

Conversely, I would look to bet the Wiz at +133 (implied 42.9%) or better, which is a similar edge compared to my projection. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

I project the total at 9.5 runs and would bet Under 10.5 (-107)  at a 3% edge. 

See all of Saturday’s KBO, NPB, and CPBL projections below, and check back later today for my picks on the Heroes/Wiz game, and Saturday’s other baseball games. 

Kiwoom Heroes vs. KT Wiz Picks

  • TBD

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

Full KBO Betting Card for July 4

  • LG Twins -115 (1.5 units)
  • KIA Tigers +155 (0.5 units)
  • KIA Tigers, Team Total Over 3.5 (-130, 0.5 units)
  • Hanwha Eagles, Team Total Over 2.5 (-123, 0.5 units)
  • SK Wyverns, Team Total Over 4.5 (+108, 0.5 units)

KBO Year to Date: 80-96 (-10.71 Units)

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

Full CPBL Betting Card for July 4

  • Uni-Lions +201 (1 unit)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 43-33 (+14.06 Units)

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

Full NPB Betting Card for July 4

  • Hanshin Tigers +221 (1 unit)
  • Nippon-Ham Fighters +128 (1 unit)
  • Orix Buffaloes +140 (1 unit)

NPB Year to Date: 16-18-1 (+1.71 units)

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

Zerillo’s Baseball Model, July 4

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

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