KBO Picks, Odds, Predictions & Betting Model (Friday, May 15): Will the KT Wiz Finally Bust Their Slump?

Credit:

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images. Pictured: Jose Miguel Fernandez

May 15, 2020, 09:15 PM EDT
  • The updated KBO odds for Friday's slate make the Doosan Bears (odds: -148) favorites against the KIA Tigers.
  • KT Wiz, who have a league-worst 1-7 record and four consecutive losses by one run, are actually favored (odds: -150) to beat the 4-5 Samsung Lions.
  • Sean Zerillo previews the entire five-game slate and picks out a few bets offering value, including a play on Wiz-Lions.

I’m on a big losing skid in the KBO, dropping nine of my past ten bets (1-8 this week), and each of my past eight moneyline wagers (seven underdogs and one favorite) which is starting to cut into my CPBL profits.

Amongst those eight bets, my sides blew two large leads (4 runs, 6 runs) and stranded the winning or go-ahead runner on second base, in the ninth inning, three times. Right now, it feels like I can’t buy a hit with runners on or get an out from my pitchers when I need it.

But I also know that the feeling is only temporary. I went through a similar run of poor luck in MLB betting, but for two full months in May and June of 2019 (44% Win Rate, -23.8 units, -11.6% ROI) which wiped out all of my March and April profits (55.7%, +20.9 units, +17% ROI). But I got all of it back and then some from July through the World Series (51%, +35.7 units, +8.9% ROI) by being patient, and trusting my process.

As long as I continue to beat closing lines and project the majority of the opening lines correctly, I’ll remain extremely confident in my projections.

For example, the odds for the Kiwoom Heroes (bet at -154, closed -222) and the KT Wiz (bet at +169, closed +140) each moved my way before Thursday’s games. I identified the bets with substantial line value and waited to play the best number; that’s about the best that I can do in this game, regardless of the result. 

Perhaps my luck will turn on Friday, perhaps not. The first, and the only thing I can do, is to see which games are worth attacking. 

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: 10-18 (-5.76 Units)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 26-18 (+6.54 Units)

Odds as of Thursday at 11 a.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 Odds, Picks, Predictions & Betting Model

Doosan Bears vs. KIA Tigers

  • Bears moneyline: -186
  • Tigers moneyline: +143
  • Over/under: 10.5
  • Time: 5:30 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN
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Probable Pitchers:  Hui-kwan Yu (Bears) vs. Ki-Young Im (Tigers)

The defending KBO champion Doosan Bears have been a scoring machine lately, averaging 10 runs per game over their past six contests, while helping each of those games over their listed total.

Offensively, the Bears are led by one-time San Francisco Giant Jae-hwan Kim (124 wRC+ in 2019), Jae-il Oh (144 wRC+ in 2019) and import Jose Miguel Fernandez (153 wRC+ in 2019) who walked more than he struck out last season.

It’s not a lineup with a ton of power, but they absolutely grind you down and knock you out, and Fernandez could be improving in his sophomore campaign after leading the KBO in hits last season:

The Bears need to replace the two aces from their 2019 championship team, however, and they don’t have a ton of rotation depth.

On Friday, they will start their best domestic starter, the finesse Hui-kwan Yu, who is essentially the Jamie Moyer of the KBO. The soft-tossing lefty (averages 83 mph) posted a 4.02 FIP in 2019 despite a 3.5 K/9 rate and a 1.5 K/BB rate. He also throws some sweet eephus curveballs.

Yu allowed ten hits and five runs over four innings, in his 2020 debut against the KT Wiz.

The Tigers will counter with Ki-young Im, who posted a 5.00 FIP over 12 games and eight starts in 2019. He allowed five hits and four runs to the Samsung Lions on May 9.

The righty has shown a substantial home run problem in the KBO, allowing 45 over 333.2 innings pitched (1.2 HR/9), and like his opponent, he has displayed subpar strikeout metrics and command in his KBO career to date.

The Tigers have a strong bullpen, and former MLB outfielder Preston Tucker (141 wRC+ in 2019) has really given a boost to their lineup. In 2020, he has three homers, seven walks and three strikeouts with an OPS near 1.400.

The Bears seem relatively vulnerable without their top starters on the mound, but the Tigers’ best pitcher also doesn’t go until Friday — so I would only play the Tigers at +160 (implied 38.5%) or better, a 5.1% edge compared to my projection at 43.6%.

Conversely, I would have to buy in on the Bears at -105 (implied 51.2%), a 5.2% edge compared to my projection at 56.4%. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

Lastly, I would bet Over 8.5 (-110) at a 5.1% edge — compared to my projection at 9.88 — but I would play Under 11.5 (-110) at a similar edge.

Doosan Bears vs. KIA Tigers Picks

  • N/A

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Around the KBO and CPBL

I made several plays for Friday. I included some target cutoff prices, based upon my projections, for all seven teams that might be worth betting:

KBO

  • Hanwha Eagles (+175)
  • SK Wyverns (+145)
  • KT Wiz (-115)
  • Kiwoom Heroes (-120)
  • KIA Tigers (+160)

I played each of these teams for Friday except for the Tigers, whose number briefly touched +160 before coming back down.

CPBL

  • Fubon Guardians (+200)
  • Uni-Lions (+185)

I would stick to half-unit plays in the CPBL for Friday.

The Guardians are starting 2019’s best CPBL arm in Henry Sosa – whose 2.95 FIP was a full two runs better than league average. He got rocked in his last start, however, and took some time off – so he may or may not be pitching injured on Friday – but the price point is worth finding out.

The Uni-Lions are using knuckleballer Ryan Feierabend – who has a wide range of outcomes on any given night.


Full KBO Betting Card for May 15

  • Hanwha Eagles +202 (1 unit)
  • Kiwoom Heroes -120 (1 unit)
  • KT Wiz +104 (1 unit)
  • SK Wyverns +148 (1 unit)

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KBO Year to Date: 10-18 (-5.86 Units)

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Full CPBL Betting Card for May 15

  • Fubon Guardians +296 (0.5 units)
  • Monkeys/Guardians, Under 12.5 (+100, 0.5 units)
  • Uni-Lions +185 (0.5 units)

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CPBL Year to Date: 26-18 (+6.54 Units)


Zerillo’s Full KBO + CPBL Model, 5/15

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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