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KBO & NPB Picks & Betting Odds (Wednesday, June 24): Can Lions Pad Record vs. Eagles?

KBO & NPB Picks & Betting Odds (Wednesday, June 24): Can Lions Pad Record vs. Eagles? article feature image

Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images. Pictured: Park Hae-Min

KBO favorites nearly swept the board to start the week on Tuesday, but the Lotte Giants (+125) mounted a ninth-inning comeback against the KIA Tigers, giving them a 4-3, walk-off win while pulling within two games of the Tigers for the KBO’s final playoff spot.

The call of today’s Lotte Giants walk-off win over the Kia Tigers from KBSN Sports >>>>

I think you can hear who had the winning hit: “KIM JOON-TAE! KIM-JOON-TAE! KIM JOON-TAE!”#KBO #LotteGiants @sung_minkim @MyKBO

— Connor Newcomb (@ConnorNewcomb_) June 23, 2020

The Giants will be likely favored to pull within one game on Wednesday with their ace and KBO strikeout leader (62) Dan Straily (1-2, 2.10 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 2.79 FIP) making his tenth start.

The MLB veteran has allowed only five runs over his past five outings (33.2 IP, 20 H, 36 K, 7 BB) while looking utterly dominant against KBO competition:

Have a day, Dan Straily!!

His 12 Ks are the most from an SP in an outing this year. He now passes Koo Chang-mo (52) for the KBO K lead with 62.

— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) June 18, 2020

The Giants finished with only 48 wins in 2019 but under the guidance of new leadership and with an improved focus on analytics, they have quickly made themselves into a competitive club.

And for so long as Straily continues to take the ball every five days, they have a good chance of staying in the hunt.

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: 72-83 (-6.17 Units)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 38-31 (+10.31 Units)
  • NPB Year to Date: 6-4 (+2.63 units)

KBO Odds, Picks, Predictions & Betting Model

Odds as of 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday 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.

Hanwha Eagles vs. Samsung Lions

  • Eagles moneyline: TBD
  • Lions moneyline: TBD
  • Over/under:  
  • Time: 5:30 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

Probable Pitchers: Hanwha Eagles (Shi-hwan Jang) vs. Samsung Lions (Yoon-dong Heo) 

To put the Eagles’ 10-33 start into perspective, if they were an MLB team, their .232 win percentage would translate to a 38-win season over the course of a 162-game schedule, and it would give them the worst winning percentage of the modern era — surpassing the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics (36-117, .235).

With a -134 run differential, the Eagles have actually overachieved to reach double-digit wins by this point in the season; their Pythagorean winning percentage is .214, which translates a 9-34 expected record.

Conversely, the Samsung Lions have probably underachieved, as the only sub-.500 club in the KBO with a positive run differential (+12). While all of the other KBO teams have faced the Eagles at least three times, this is the first series matchup between the Lions and Eagles in 2020, so the Lions need to take advantage in order to pad their record.

The Dinos, for example, are a combined 12-3 against the bottom-feeding Eagles and Wyverns, and 17-9 against the rest of the league.

There isn’t a ton separating the top teams in the KBO, but playoff seeding means everything, and all games count the same; so you really need to take advantage against the worst clubs.

Eagles starter Shi-hwan Jang has seen his strikeout rate return to pre-2019 levels of greater than one batter per inning, after declining to 7.8 K/9 last season. He struggles with his command (career 1.63 K/BB), and has a walk rate greater than 4.0 BB/9 over his career, but he can often respond with a  strikeout when he needs one:

#HanwhaEagles SP Jang Shi-hwan gets out of his own mess striking out the side with bases loaded, not allowing a run

— Prospects Worldwide (@ProspectsWorldW) May 24, 2020

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.

19-year-old Yoon-dong Heo (6.54 FIP) will make his fourth KBO start for the Lions. He has completed five innings in each of his three outings to date and has yet to allow more than three runs.

18-year old Samsung rookie pitcher Heo Yoon-dong went 5 innings, 4 hits, 1K, & got the W in his KBO debut.

I think back to 18-year old MyKBO & I was probably getting ready to graduate high school, but mostly planning my senior week trip to a lovely place called Ocean City, MD😬

— Dan Kurtz (@MyKBO) May 28, 2020

I project the Lions as 57.8% favorites for Wednesday and I would bet the Lions to -120 (implied 54.6%), which is a 3.2% edge compared to my projection.

Conversely, I would look to bet the Eagles at +160 (implied 38.5%) or better, which is a 3.7% edge compared to my projection (42.2%). Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

I project the total at 11 runs and would bet Over 9.5 (-118), Over 10 (-107), or Over 10.5 (+103), at a 3% edge. 

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

Hanwha Eagles vs. Samsung Lions Picks

  • Hanwha Eagles +176 (0.5 units)
  • Hanwha Eagles, Team Total Over 4.5 (-104, 0.5 units)

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

Full KBO Betting Card for June 24

  • Hanwha Eagles +176 (0.5 units)
  • Hanwha Eagles, Team Total Over 4.5 (-104, 0.5 units)
  • SK Wyverns +146 (1 unit)

KBO Year to Date: 72-83 (-6.17 Units)

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

Full CPBL Betting Card for June 24

  • N/A
  • CPBL Year to Date: 38-31 (+10.31 Units)

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

Full NPB Betting Card for June 24

  • Yokohama DeNA Baystars -115 (1 unit)

NPB Year to Date: 6-4 (+2.63 units)

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

Zerillo’s Baseball Model, June 24

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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