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KBO Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds (Thursday, June 18): Back Despaigne, Wiz to Sweep the Wyverns?

KBO Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds (Thursday, June 18): Back Despaigne, Wiz to Sweep the Wyverns? article feature image

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images. Pictured: Mel Rojas Jr.

KBO underdogs continued to stem the chalky tide with another 3-2 day on Wednesday, as the LG Twins (24-13) pulled back within two games of the NC Dinos (26-11) for a share of the KBO lead.

The Twins handed the Hanwha Eagles (9-29) their 20th loss in their past 22 contests, while the Dinos and Doosan Bears (21-16) lost to the KIA Tigers (21-17) and Samsung Lions (19-19), respectively, for the second consecutive day — putting seven of the ten KBO clubs at .500 or better for the year.

Besides the Eagles, the only two KBO clubs currently under .500 are the KT Wiz  (15-22) and SK Wyverns (12-25), who finish up a three-game series on Thursday, following a pair of come-from-behind wins by the Wiz on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Can the Wiz sweep the Wyverns and continue to play catch-up in the wild card race, or will both teams join the Eagles and entirely fall off the playoff pace?

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: 63-76 (-6.69 Units)
  • CPBL Year to Date: 35-29 (+7.54 Units)

KBO Odds, Picks, Predictions & Betting Model

Odds as of noon 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.

KT Wiz vs. SK Wyverns

  • Wiz moneyline: TBD
  • Wyverns moneyline: TBD
  • Over/under:  TBD
  • Time: 5:30 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

Probable Pitchers: KT Wiz (Odisraimer Despaigne) vs. SK Wyverns (Jong-hoon Park)

The Wiz and Wyverns have blown a combined five saves over the past two days, with the Wiz taking a pair of ten-inning contests by scores of 6-5 and 6-4, after Wyverns closer, Jae-hoon Ha, blew a couple of one-run, ninth-inning leads.

Ha, a former minor-league outfielder for the Chicago Cubs, was arguably the best relief pitcher in the KBO last season — posting a 1.98 ERA and 2.78 FIP with 36 saves in 37 attempts and a 64:26 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 69 innings pitched. He has already blown five saves in 2020.

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 Wiz, unquestionably, have the worst bullpen in the KBO, with a FIP north of 6.00 on the season for their relief staff; but this team can slug it out with the best (108 wRC+), and I expect to see more games, like Tuesday’s incredible contest, throughout their 2020 campaign:

An exciting final few innings today in Suwon between SK and KT. KT was able to hold on and get the win in extra innings, but not before a few dramatic home runs and nice plays at 3B

— Dan Kurtz (@MyKBO) June 16, 2020

On Thursday, Odisraimer Despaigne (3.55 FIP) will hope to get back on track for the Wiz after allowing 18 runs over his past three starts, and 18 innings pitched.

His strikeout ability (7.5 K/9) and command (4.25 K/BB) has improved substantially compared to his MLB averages (5.6 K/9, 1.72 K/BB), with three above-average fastballs (four-seamer, cutter, two-seamer) and a pair of breaking balls to mix in against lesser competition:

Odrisamer Despaigne out here gettin dudes to🔉bend the knee🔉

— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) May 27, 2020

Despaigne has the third-lowest hard-hit rate (12.1%) amongst KBO pitchers, ahead of both Mike Wright (13.5%) and Chang-mo Koo (13.6%), and he’s backed up by one of the best defensive units in the KBO — led by center fielder Jeong-dae Bae:

Una de cal, por las que van de arena.
Bae Jeong-dae se lleva esa pelota de forma espectacular, y a Cuevas no le queda más que agradecer, y volver a agradecer a su CF.#KBO

— Diablo Yaqui #25 ⚾ (@DiabloYaqui) May 24, 2020

The Wiz offense features the KBO’s leader in hard-hit rate, Mel Rojas (35.6%), and my personal favorite KBO player, Baek-ho Kang, who launched a pinch-hit, game-tying bomb on Wednesday:

honestly at this point I truly do not care how bad the Wiz bullpen is. as long as Kang Baek-ho is on the squad, I am all in. LOOK AT THIS SWING OMG

— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) June 17, 2020

Wyverns’ submariner Jong-hoon Park has compiled a 4.05 FIP over seven starts in 2020, with at least six or more strikeouts (9.5 K/9), in five appearances.

The 28-year-old righty is in the midst of a breakout season, after posting a 4.55 FIP in 2019, and a 4.80 FIP in 2018. And with his unique delivery, Park is also one of the most unintentionally entertaining athletes on the planet:

I project the Wiz as 59.9% favorites for Thursday, and I would bet the Wiz to -130 (implied 56.5%), which is a 3.4% edge compared to my projection.

Conversely, I would look to bet the Wyverns at +175 (implied 36.4%) or better, which is a 3.7% edge compared to my projection (40.1%). Use our betting calculator to find your edge if you have different odds.

I project the total at 9.6 runs and would either bet Over 8.5 (-110) or Under 10.5 (-101) at a 4% edge.

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

KT Wiz vs. SK Wyverns Picks

  • KT Wiz -130 (1 unit)
  • KT Wiz, Team Total Over 4.5 (-105, 0.5 units)

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

Full KBO Betting Card for June 18

  • KIA Tigers +132 (1 unit)
  • KIA Tigers, Team Total Over 3.5 (-115, 0.5 units)
  • KT Wiz -130 (1 unit)
  • KT Wiz, Team Total Over 4.5 (-105, 0.5 units)
  • Samsung Lions, Team Total Over 3.5 (-120, 0.5 units)

KBO Year to Date: 63-76 (-6.69 Units)

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

Full CPBL Betting Card for June 18

  • N/A

CPBL Year to Date: 35-29 (+7.54 Units)

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

Zerillo’s Full KBO + CPBL Model, June 18

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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