KBO & NPB Picks & Betting Odds (Saturday, June 20): Bears’ Left-Handed Lineup a Problem for Twins


Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images. Pictured: Choi Joo-Hwan

The Kiwoom Heroes (23-17) recorded yet another walk-off win on Friday, defeating the SK Wyverns (12-27) 2-1 after a ninth-inning rally against closer Jae-hoon Ha, who posted 1 .98 ERA with 35 saves in 36 attempts last season.

The Wyverns won the 2018 KBO Series and finished second during the 2019 regular season, but now have a -49 run differential on the year and are five games back of eighth place after Ha’s sixth blown save in 10 tries.

Despite good pitching and defense, SK’s season is already in the dumps, with a 1% chance of making the playoffs.

The NC Dinos (99% playoff probability), Doosan Bears (97%), LG Twins (95%), Kiwoom Heroes (94%), and KIA Tigers (68%) have done well to put themselves in playoff position early. In comparison, the Samsung Lions (23%) and KT Wiz (15%) seem likely to pass the Lotte Giants (8%), eventually, and are the likeliest wild card spoilers.

There are still more than 100 games left to go in the season for each of these teams, but the KBO’s unique step-ladder style playoff format should keep the playoff race interesting, with only 5.5 games separating first place from fifth.

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: 69-78 (-3.37 Units)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 36-30 (+8.69 Units)
  • NPB Year to Date: 0-3 (-3.20 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.

Doosan Bears vs. LG Twins

  • Bears moneyline: TBD
  • Twins moneyline: TBD
  • Over/under:  TBD
  • Time: 4 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

Probable Pitchers: Doosan Bears (Won-joon Choi) vs. LG Twins (Casey Kelly)

The Bears obliterated Woo-chan Cha (1 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 3 BB, 1 K) and the Twins bullpen on Friday in an 18-10 victory. These two clubs teams might score a ton of runs through the weekend, thanks to two of the best offenses in the KBO and a relatively substantial workload for both pitching staffs this week.

Overs are now 17-4 (81%) when the Bears (118 wRC+) are on the road and guaranteed nine turns at-bat, and their left-heavy lineup gets an optimal matchup on Saturday against Twins’ righty Casey Kelly (4.09 FIP).

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.

Kelly offers good command and keeps the ball on the ground, and while he didn’t have a true out-pitch during his brief MLB career (4.71 xFIP),  his curveball was just about league-average and plays up as a wipeout pitch against KBO hitters:

He faced the Bears four times in 2019, and went 1-3, allowing 29 hits and 18 runs over his first three outings before responding with a dominant start (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K) in September.

I project the Twins as 59.1% favorites for Friday, and I would bet the Twins to -125 (implied 55.6%), which is a 3.% edge compared to my projection.

Conversely, I would look to bet the Bears at +167 (implied 37.4%) or better, which is also a 3.5% edge compared to my projection (40.9%). Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

I projected the total at 11.46 runs would bet Over 10.5 (-104) or Over 11 (+104), but I ‘ll likely be targeting a wager on the Bears team total Over 4.5 (-125) or better. 

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

Doosan Bears vs. LG Twins Picks

  • Doosan Bears, Team Total Over 4.5 (-115, 1 unit)

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

Full KBO Betting Card for June 20

  • Doosan Bears, Team Total Over 4.5 (-115, 1 unit)
  • KIA Tigers -139 (1 unit)

KBO Year to Date: 69-78 (-3.37 Units)

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

Full CPBL Betting Card for June 20

  • Fubon Guardians +138 (1 unit)
  • Rakuten Monkeys +162 (1 unit)

CPBL Year to Date: 36-30 (+8.69 Units)

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

Full NPB Betting Card for June 20

  • Chunichi Dragons / Yakult Swallows, Under 11 (-115, 0.5 units) 
  • Chiba Lotte Marines +127 (1 unit)
  • Nippon-Ham Fighters +123 (1 unit)
  • Yokohama DeNA BayStars +103 (1 unit)

NPB Year to Date: 0-3 (-3.20 units)

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

Zerillo’s Baseball Model, June 20

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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