KBO Picks, Odds Predictions & Betting Model (Sunday, May 24): Will Wright, Dinos Dominate Eagles Again?

Credit:

Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Wright

Injuries continue to pile up around the KBO, and it’s important to wonder whether the stops and starts to and abbreviated nature of this year’s spring training created a physical detriment to these players.

The latest blow is to the Samsung Lions and their ace Ben Lively (3.18 FIP in 2019) who will miss the next eight weeks with a lateral muscle rupture.

On Friday, the KT Wiz reported that young star Baek-ho Kang (three weeks), Han-joon Yoo (six weeks), and Jae-gyun Hwang would each miss time, taking three huge bats out of their lineup.

Teams around the KBO — but in particular the Lions, Wiz and Hanwha Eagles — have experienced a rash of injuries in the first few weeks of the season.

Surely, MLB clubs have taken notice, and are worried about the potential impact that a delayed season and shortened spring training could have on their multi-million dollar assets. As have MLB players, who are likely worried about the prospect of playing for a fraction of their contracts, while assuming what could be a higher probability of suffering an injury.

As a result of these KBO injuries, I’ve had to make adjustments to certain teams, moving some offenses down while I bump others (like the Dinos) up. And the Lions are also scuffling in the back end of their bullpen after scrambling to relieve Lively for 26 outs on Friday.

How does that impact Sunday’s projections?

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: 21-28 (-2.04 Units)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 28-20 (+8.87 Units)

KBO Odds, Picks, Predictions & Betting Model


Odds as of 3 p.m. ET on Saturday 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. NC Dinos

  • Eagles moneyline: +188
  • Dinos moneyline: -250
  • Over/under: 9
  • Time: 1:00 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN
  • BET NOW

Probable Pitchers: Hanwha Eagles (Shi-hwan Jang) vs. NC Dinos (Mike Wright)

The Eagles (7-10) and Dinos (13-3) have split the first two games of a three-game set, with the road team winning 5-3 on Friday, before the Dinos took Saturday’s contest 3-0 behind eight dominant innings from Drew Rucinski (8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K), moving the Dinos to +38 in run differential on the season.

They will send out their other import arm, Mike Wright, on Sunday — and he has already proven to be a productive strikeout artist in the KBO, averaging one strikeout per inning through three starts.

His velocity (average 94.5 mph fastball in MLB) is playing up in Korea, but Wright did walk five batters in his last start. And with a career 3.45 BB/9 at the MLB level, his command can come and go.

His opponent, Shi-hwan Jang, has a similar issue, posting a 4.2 BB/9 in 27 starts last season for the Lotte Giants, when he recorded a 4.30 FIP.

After working out of the bullpen for most of his career, Jang transitioned to the rotation and proved to be relatively effective, although slightly below average.

His strikeout rate — which was higher than 10.0 K/9 between 2017-2018 as a reliever — dropped to a still-solid 7.8 K/9 as a starter, but he needs to cut down on the walks to make a substantial improvement. And walking 10 batters over his past two starts (9 IP) doesn’t signal that he has turned the corner.

Dinos’ catcher Eui-ji Yang left Saturday’s game with a neck injury — the second time this week that he left a game with an injury — so perhaps he sits out on Sunday, but I still make the Dinos a 65.4% favorite to win this series decider.

I would bet the Dinos at -152 (implied 60.3%) – which is a 5.1% edge compared to my projection. Conversely, I would play the Eagles down to +238 (implied 29.6%), which is also a 5% edge compared to my projection at 34.6%. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

As for the total, which I pinned at 9.99 runs, consider a play on the Over up to 8.5 (-113) or 9 (-101); and look to play the Under starting at 11 (+101).

Hanwha Eagles vs. NC Dinos Picks

  • Eagles +240 (1 unit)

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


Around the CPBL and KBO

As of 5 p.m. ET, my lone bet for Sunday is on the Fubon Guardians in Taiwan’s CPBL.

I projected the Guardians as a 56.6% road favorite for Sunday with 2019’s best CPBL pitcher, Henry Sosa (168 ERA+) facing 2020’s best CPBL starter, Ariel Miranda (167 ERA+).

I bet the Guardians at +148 and would play them down to even money (+100) – a 6.6% edge compared to my projection. Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

Sosa posted went through a rough patch against the Brothers and Uni-Lions on April 25 and May 1 before hitting the injured list, but he looked back in form on May 15 against the Monkeys:

Miranda has turned in five consecutive quality starts for the Brothers, and this will be his second appearance against the Guardians; who he shutout for six innings on April 24.

His fastball/splitter combo has been dominant against CPBL hitters, and he’s gaining confidence in his slider at a lower level of baseball:

Despite Sosa’s overall struggles in 2020, he was dominant against the Monkeys in that last outing – and the pitching matchup otherwise looks pretty even on paper. The Guardians look like the right side at a plus-money price.


Full KBO Betting Card for May 24

  • LG Twins -105 (1 unit)
  • Hanwha Eagles +240 (1 unit)

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

  • KBO Year to Date: 21-28 (-2.04 Units)

Full CPBL Betting Card for May 24

  • Fubon Guardians +148 (1 unit)

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

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

Zerillo’s Full KBO + CPBL Model, May 24

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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