KBO Picks, Odds Predictions & Betting Model (Wednesday, May 20): Will Twins’ Wilson Continue Dominance vs. Lions?

Credit:

Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images

May 19, 2020, 11:49 AM EDT

The ball continued to fly in the KBO on Tuesday, with 77 runs and 15 homers spread across the five games, as under bettors barely avoided an 0-5 day.

And with each multi-home-run game, the KBO’s claims that their baseballs remain unchanged from last season grow more and more preposterous, as box scores and stat lines continue to echo the league’s offensive environment from a different era.

I have said it a few times recently, but it bears repeating: if you’re betting totals in the KBO, only bet the over or pass for the time being.

Betting the over on every total, even against numbers listed as high as 14.5, has been extremely profitable in Taiwan’s CPBL for the past month and a half – but under bettors might have their day soon.

The league asked the manufacturer to reduce the juice on their next batch of baseballs – but nobody knows precisely when those balls will be put into play.

Perhaps the KBO has quietly done the same thing behind the scenes, despite publicly denying that anything has changed, but all that we can do is monitor rolling samples of data, and use our eyes to tell us whether anything looks off.

Right now, the ball looks like its flying, and these KBO totals still seem a bit low, as though oddsmakers and bettors are still mostly accounting for the 2019 dead-ball season.

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: 16-22 (-2.44 Units)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 28-20 (+8.87 Units)

Odds as of Tuesday at 4 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 Odds, Picks, Predictions & Betting Model

LG Twins vs. Samsung Lions

  • Twins moneyline: -195
  • Lions moneyline: +150
  • Over/under: 8.5
  • Time: 5:30 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN
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Probable Pitchers: LG Twins (Tyler Wilson) vs. Samsung Lions (Chae-heung Choi)

The key to this matchup is Twins’ third-year righty Tyler Wilson.

His velocity appears to have dropped a couple of ticks (down to around 88 mph) from his MLB days, but Wilson has a big swing and miss slider, and his changeup has a ton of fade:

Lions’ southpaw Chae-heung Choi posted a 3.94 FIP over 28 games, and 15 starts last season – and he has been solid to start the 2020 campaign with a pair of wins over the KIA Tigers and Kiwoom Heroes, where he demonstrated an aptitude for strikeouts.

But Choi is not your typical archetype for a big strikeout hurler – the soft-tossing lefty (fastball around 84-85 mph) primarily relies on a fastball/changeup/slider combo:

The Twins (115 wRC+) have been one of the best offenses so far in the KBO this season, while the Lions (67 wRC+) have not made much of an improvement over last year.

Import Tyler Saladino (.564 OPS) has not helped their already punchless Lions lineup, which was only weakened after Darrin Ruff (.911 OPS in 2019) signed with the San Francisco Giants.

However, Twins offseason addition Roberto Ramos ranks near the top of most offensive leaderboards:

I expect the American, Wilson, to attract a bunch of public attention for Wednesday, but I still project the Lions to win the game 42.2% of the time.

As a result, I would be willing to bet the Lions at around +170 (implied 37%) or better, which represents a 5.2% edge. Conversely, I would play the Twins around -110 (implied 52.4%), which is a 5.4% edge. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

As for the total, the Lions home park is one of the better offensive environments in the KBO, and I project this game for 10.7 runs. I would bet the Over for a half-unit up to 9 (-114), or 9.5 (-103) – either one of which represents an edge higher than 5%.

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

LG Twins vs. Samsung Lions Picks

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Around the KBO and CPBL

In Taiwan – Logan Darnell makes his CPBL debut for the Uni-Lions, following Tuesday’s rainout, after splitting 2019 between the Atlantic League and the Mexican League.

Darnell had a brief MLB stint in 2014 with the Twins but has mostly toiled around in the minors and independent ball for several different clubs in the time since.

The southpaw posted a career 3.82 ERA in Triple-A with ratios of 6.3 K/9 and 1.87 K/BB, which are comparable to his numbers over five seasons in foreign baseball leagues (3.65 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 2.32 K/BB).

In his MLB days, Darnell offered a four-pitch mix (fastball, curve, slider, changeup), and his fastball velocity sat in the low 90’s. He might have improved his command in the time since, but he still permits too many balls in play to have a turn into a dominant CPBL arm – but he should also immediately become one of the Uni-Lions’ better starters:

The Guardians replaced Tuesday’s scheduled starter, Bryan Woodall, with youngster Chiang Kuo-Hao – which now makes Fubon a slight favorite (52.6%) in my projections for Wednesday.

Chiang has a 4.95 FIP on the season, compared to a 7.09 FIP for Woodall, who recorded a 5.61 FIP in 2019 – so the switch appears optimal.

And the Taiwanese righty has some potential that jumped out when I first started watching the CPBL:

I would bet the Guardians down to +100 (implied 47.6%), which is a 5% edge compared to my projection. Conversely, I would look to play the Uni-Lions at +136 (implied 42.4%) or better, which is a comparable edge. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.


Full KBO Betting Card for May 20

  • Doosan Bears -110 (1 unit)
  • KIA Tigers +125 (1 unit)

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  • KBO Year to Date: 16-22 (-2.44 Units)

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Full CPBL Betting Card for May 20

  • N/A

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  • CPBL Year to Date: 28-20 (+8.87 Units)

Zerillo’s Full KBO + CPBL Model, 5/20

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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