KBO, CPBL Odds, Picks & Betting Model (May 10): LG Twins vs. NC Dinos & KIA Tigers vs. Samsung Lions

Credit:

JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: LG Twins’ Jeong Keun-woo (R) slides at home plate as Doosan Bears’ Park Sei-hyok (L).

Three of the five KBO games were rained out on Saturday, meaning that instead of seeing all 10 pitching rotations turn over on Sunday, only four need to do so, with the Eagles, Heroes, Tigers and Lions each starting a pitcher for the second time this season.

The Lotte Giants will also turn back to Dan Straily for his second start, as last year’s 10th-place team looks to remain undefeated against SK Wyverns.

A couple of pitchers who will be back in action include Warwick Saupold, who tossed a two-hit shutout on opening day for the Eagles, and Hyun-jong Yang, who led the KBO in FIP (2.58) and pitching WAR (5.97) in 2019, for the Tigers.

And Casey Kelly (2.55 ERA, 1.14 WHIP in 2019) will make his 2020 debut for the Twins, on ESPN, in place of Saturday’s scheduled starter, Chan-gyu Lim

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: 8-9 (+0.68 Units)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 25-17 (+6.54 Units)

Odds as of Saturday at 2 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

LG Twins vs. NC Dinos

  • Twins moneyline: -110
  • Dinos moneyline: -110
  • Over/under: 9.5
  • Time: 1 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN
  • BET NOW

Probable Pitchers:  Casey Kelly (Twins) vs. Young-gyu Kim (Dinos)

The Twins and Dinos were supposed to play on both Saturday and Sunday on ESPN, but with the Saturday game rained out, the pitching matchup remains unchanged for this final game of the first week for both teams.

I’ll be interested to see if the Dinos can stay undefeated as they are the one team who I have taken a liking to personally.

With Eric Thames in their lineup from 2015-2016, the Dinos averaged 79 wins per year and finished third, second and second during the regular season, but they bottomed out in 2018 with 58 wins and 56 Pythagorean wins.

However, the organization opened the stunning Changwon NC Park in 2019, a home deserving of their sensational mascots Seri, a.k.a. Swole Daddy and Dandy. And this analytics-friendly club signed potentially the most impactful position player in the KBO, catcher Eui-Ji Yang from the Doosan Bears last offseason:

Yang posted a 174 wRC+ with more walks than strikeouts in 2019 and led all KBO position players in WAR (5.35).

He helped the Dinos back to the playoffs, despite losing their best overall hitter, Sung-bum Na, for the majority of the season.

Yang could probably be a successful MLB catcher in 2020 (assuming that they play games), but he’s already 32 years old, and Korean position players aren’t viewed so favorably by MLB clubs.

As you can see above, he has significant power. He also has a sharp eye, excellent hitting tools, a powerful throwing arm and perhaps most importantly, he’s an Adrian Beltre-level character:

The Dinos also made a potentially impactful position player signing this year, acquiring outfielder Aaron Atlherr. The 29 year old posted a 120 wRC+ for the Phillies in 2017, showing a rare blend of power and speed, but his strikeout rate climbed north of 30% in MLB the past two years and he whiffed his way out of the big leagues.

Another acquisition, starter Mike Wright, has looked very formidable against KBO hitters and should help out the Dinos rotation.

On Sunday, the Dinos will use 20-year-old Young-gyu Kim, whose final start of 2019 was a gem: 9 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K (109 pitches):

Kim pitched to a 5.01 FIP over 10 starts and 30 appearances, but he has potential. He threw his 80-83 mph slider a ton in that start above and generated several swinging strikes both inside and outside of the zone.

His changeup also showed solid late fade, and he should be able to keep the ball on the ground.

I like his upside.

Casey Kelly, a two-way high school star who was drafted in the first round by the Red Sox (2008) and traded for Adrian Gonzalez (2010), dominated the KBO in 2019 with a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio and HR/9 rate of 0.3.

His 3.41 FIP belied a 2.55 ERA, but Kelly was a master of weak contact against KBO hitters. His low-90s fastball and subpar secondary stuff at the MLB level don’t necessarily scream Ace, even at a lower level, and perhaps Kelly got a bit lucky last season.

But he’s a seemingly reliably, consistent arm who keeps his team in every game.

The Twins stars are former Baltimore Oriole Hyun-Soo Kim, shortstop Ji-hwan Oh, one of the best defenders in the KBO, and Mexican-born Roberto Ramos — a recently acquired minor-league slugger who should finish near the top of the KBO batting leaderboards.

Kim is an absolute star in Korea:

Like the Dinos catcher Yang, Kim also walked more often than he struck out in 2019. So you’re seeing two of the best pure hitters and overall players in the KBO go head-to-head in this series.

The switch to Kelly as their starter moves the Twins from 45% underdogs to a 53.6% favorites in this matchup, and I have their fair odds projected at -115.

I would consider betting the Twins at a 5% edge at around +106 (implied 48.5%), and I would bet the Dinos at a number higher than +142 (implied 41.3%), which is also a 5% edge. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

With Kelly in the mix, and after the day of rest, the total also drops from 11.03 to 10.1, so I would wait for Over 9 (+100), a 6% edge, or Over 8.5 (-115) a 5.4% edge to play the total.

LG Twins vs. NC Dinos Picks

  • NC Dinos +144 (0.5 units)

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


Around the KBO

As I mentioned at the top, Tigers ace Hyeon-jong Yang will make his second start of the season after allowing four runs on four hits to the Heroes on opening day.

The 2017 KBO and Korean Series MVP posted a 2.58 FIP last season, with a 4.94 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

His opponent for the Lions, Jung-hyun Baek, pitched to a 4.99 FIP in 2018, and a 4.90 FIP in 2019, and has seen his K/9 rate slowly decline from greater than 10.0 per nine innings out of the bullpen, to a paltry 4.7 K/9 against a 3.2 BB/9 last season.

The Tigers have struggled to score thus far, with a KBO-worst 14 runs over five games (2.8 per game), but with Yang on the mound against a lesser club, they remain a sizable favorite in my projections, even on the road.

I put the Tigers at 66.7%, (implied -200) for Sunday, and I bet them at -145 (implied 59.2%), a 7.5% edge. I would play the Tigers up to -160, a 5.2% edge.

Additionally, I’m watching to see if the KT Wiz gets back up over +180 (implied 35.5%) as they did for Saturday. In the same pitching matchup, I would still look to bet the Wiz at +175 (implied 36.4%) or better, a 6% edge compared to my projection at 42.3%.

Other KBO Picks

  • Kia Tigers -145 (1 unit)

Full KBO Betting Card for May 10

Check back later for my picks on Sunday’s other KBO and CPBL games. 

  • Kia Tigers -145 (1 unit)
  • NC Dinos +144 (0.5 units)

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

KBO Year to Date: 8-9 (+0.68 Units)


Full CPBL Betting Card for May 10

CPBL projections are included in the spreadsheet below, alongside the KBO projections. 

Check back later for my picks on Sunday’s other KBO and CPBL games. 

  • Brothers +200 (0.5 units)

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

CPBL Year to Date: 25-17 (+6.54 Units)


Zerillo’s Full KBO + CPBL Model, 5/10

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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