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KBO Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds & Model (Thursday, June 4): Can Brooks, Tigers Topple Giants?

KBO Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds & Model (Thursday, June 4): Can Brooks, Tigers Topple Giants? article feature image

Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images. Pictured: Ming-byun Hun

After an 8-6 win on Wednesday, the NC Dinos moved to 19-6 on the 2020 season and are three games clear of the LG Twins (16-9) atop the KBO standings.

The Doosan Bears (15-10), Kiwoom Heroes (14-12) and KIA Tigers (14-12) are each in playoff position, and just off of the pace for a top-two spot while the remainder of the league, who are all seemingly competing for the lone wild-card, is under .500.

The teams currently in sixth and seventh place, the Samsung Lions and KT Wiz are the most likely contenders for that final postseason bid.

Although some clubs might move up or down playoff standings spots between now and the end of the season, I think that these early standings are likely representative of the KBO’s eventual postseason snapshot.

A proposed 50-game MLB season is scary because the level of variance in that small of a sample – 10 turns through the rotation – is exceptionally high.

For example, the 2019 Washington Nationals went 19-31 through their first 50 games, before winning at a 98-win pace through the remainder of the regular season and capturing their first World Series.

In a 10-team league with a balanced schedule, there is undoubtedly less variance, and it’s easier to see how the league season will shape up after a smaller sample of games.

Except for the Doosan Bears (-11) and KT Wiz (+11), the current standings are mostly aligned by run-differential, with those two clubs looking like the only real over or underachievers respectively.

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: 36-43 (-4.35 Units)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 32-24 (+9.95 Units)

KBO Odds, Picks, Predictions & Betting Model

Odds as of 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday 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.

Lotte Giants vs. KIA Tigers

  • Giants moneyline: +160
  • Tigers moneyline: -205
  • Over/under: 8.5
  • Time: 5:00 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

Probable Pitchers: Lotte Giants (Kyung-eun Noh) vs. KIA Tigers (Aaron Brooks)

Aaron Brooks didn’t walk a batter during his first three KBO starts for the Tigers, but he has walked five over his past two outings and still managed to pitch well.

The 30-year-old righty is known for his command – allowing 1.8 walks per nine innings (BB/9) over ten seasons of professional baseball, alongside a solid 3.82 strikeout to walk (K/BB) ratio.

He pitched to a 5.14 xFIP over 47 appearances (28 starts) for the Athletics, Royals, and Orioles over four seasons, offers above-average velocity for a KBO pitcher (92-93 mph) on his sinker, with a sharp slider (22% usage in 2019) changeup (20.3%) and curveball (3.5%):

Aaron Brooks, Filthy 87mph Slider. 😷

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 29, 2020

None of those pitches returned a positive pitch value against MLB hitters, but Brooks has posted a 3.23 ERA with a 3.29 FIP in his brief KBO career – and he already looks like a top-10 starter in this league.

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.

Kyung-eun Noh (3.84 FIP) will make his fifth start for the Giants after skipping the 2019 season.

The veteran has a career 5.16 ERA in the KBO and pitched to a 4.96 FIP over 33 appearances (19 starts) in for the Giants in 2018 – but perhaps the year of rest did his arm some good.

Noh has big secondary stuff, including a filthy changeup and a classic 12-to-6 curveball:

Kyung-eun Noh = FILTHY 🤢@PitchingNinja

— lotte giant stathead (10-12) (@BelieveinLotte) May 16, 2020

The Tigers’ offense has been more than 20% better than the Giants’ offense this season, and as of Wednesday morning, their bullpen easily paces the KBO in FIP (4.58) while the Giants (5.8) rank 9th.

I projected the Tigers as a 61.4% favorite for Thursday, and I would bet the Tigers to -134 (implied 57.4%), which is a 4% edge compared to my projection.

Conversely, I would look to bet the Giants at +189 (implied 34.6%) or better, which is also a 4% edge compared to my projection (38.6%). Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

I projected the total at 9.31 runs and would bet Over 8 (-115), Over 8.5 (-102), or Under 10.5 (-108) at a 4% edge.

Lotte Giants vs. KIA Tigers Picks

  • Lotte Giants +200 (1 unit)
  • Lotte Giants Team Total, Over 3.5 (-115, 0.5 units)

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

Full KBO Betting Card for June 4

  • KT Wiz +170 (1 unit)
  • KT Wiz Team Total, Over 4.5 (-115, 0.5 units)
  • Lotte Giants +200 (1 unit)
  • Lotte Giants Team Total, Over 3.5 (-115, 0.5 units)
  • Hanwha Eagles Team Total, Over 3.5 (+120, 0.5 units)
  • SK Wyverns Team Total, Over 3.5 (-110, 0.5 units)

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

  • KBO Year to Date: 36-43 (-4.35 Units)

Full CPBL Betting Card for June 4

  • N/A

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

  • CPBL Year to Date: 32-24 (+9.95 Units)

Zerillo’s Full KBO + CPBL Model, June 4

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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