KBO Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds & Model (Wednesday, June 3): Will Warwick Saupold Get the Job Done?

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Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images. Pictured: Heo Kyung-Min

Shockingly, the NC Dinos (18-6) have now lost three out of their past four games, after falling to SK Wyverns 8-2 on Tuesday.

The Dinos have lost as favorites of -238, -222, and -270, to the teams currently in 7th and 8th place in the KBO standings, since Friday.

The Hanwha Eagles (7-18) also continued their slide on Tuesday, losing their ninth game in a row in a 15-3 blowout loss to the Kiwoom Heroes.

The first-place Dinos have a +54 run differential on the season, 21 runs clear of the next-best team, while the Eagles (-53 run differential) are 24 runs clear of the second-worst club.

That’s an average differential or more than two runs per game for both teams, – which is substantial when compared to the highest and lowest MLB scoring differentials (+1.72, -2.05) per game in 2019.

There are more blowouts in the KBO compared to the MLB. With one standard off-day (Monday) leading to six consecutive games every week, KBO managers need to find creative ways to get their best relief pitchers some rest – meaning that several lesser arms are on call for mop-up duty every week – and any semi-large lead can turn into a blowout in an instant.

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: 32-43 (-6.45 Units)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 31-23 (+10.7 Units)

KBO Odds, Picks, Predictions & Betting Model


Odds as of 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday 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.


Kiwoom Heroes vs. Hanwha Eagles

  • Heroes moneyline: TBD
  • Eagles moneyline: TBD
  • Over/under: TBD
  • Time: 5:00 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN
  • BET NOW

Probable Pitchers: Kiwoom Heroes (Young-gun Jo) vs. Hanwha Eagles (Warwick Saupold)

Wednesday’s featured ESPN matchup will see the Eagles try to avoid extending their losing streak to ten games, behind their ace Warwick Saupold – who has posted a 3.67 FIP over five starts in 2020, after recording a 3.46 FIP in 2019 – his first season in the KBO.


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.


The Australian leaned on his fastball (48%) / cutter (31%) combo at the MLB level – where he recorded a 5.30 xFIP over 82 games for the Detroit Tigers – while mixing in a curveball (14%) and changeup (7%).

He has solid fastball velocity for the KBO (93 mph), but Saupold’s cutter was an above-average major-league pitch, and it has helped him to generate a substantial amount of weak contact against Korean hitters –   allowing a .301 BABIP:

Saupold pitched well against the Heroes on May 10 (6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5K), but his bullpen allowed four runs in a 6-3 loss.

Young-gun Jo will make his third KBO appearance and second career-start after the 21-year-old tossed 39 pitches and failed to make it out of the first inning last May against the NC Dinos.

He was recalled from the minors to replace Jake Brigham (3.22 FIP in 2019) who is set to miss around two months with an elbow injury.

Jo, Kiwoom’s 2019 second-round pick, has made four starts in the KBO Futures League this season with the following line: 19 IP, 16 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 23 K.

While it’s difficult to project a young pitcher with limited KBO experience, I do rate Saupold as a better pitcher and make the Eagles a small favorite (51.6%) for Wednesday.

I would bet the Eagles down to +110 (implied 47.6%) which is a 4% edge compared to my projection.

Conversely, I would have to back the Heroes at +126 (implied 44.3%) or better, which is a 4.1% edge compared to my projection (48.4%). Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

I projected the total at 8.98 runs and would bet Over 8 (-107) or Under 10 (-105) at a 4% edge.

Kiwoom Heroes vs. Hanwha Eagles Picks

  • N/A

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


 

Full KBO Betting Card for June 3

  • Doosan Bears / KT Wiz, Under 13 (-115, 0.5 units)
  • LG Twins Team Total, Over 4.5 (-130, 0.5 units)
  • NC Dinos Team Total, Over 5.5 (+100, 0.5 units)
  • Samsung Lions Team Total, Over 3.5 (+120, 0.5 units)

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

  • KBO Year to Date: 32-43 (-6.45 Units)

Full CPBL Betting Card for June 3

  • Rakuten Monkeys -125 (1 unit)
  • Uni-Lions / Guardians, Over 11.5 (-110, 0.5 units)

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

  • CPBL Year to Date: 31-23 (+10.7 Units)

Zerillo’s Full KBO + CPBL Model, June 3

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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