KBO & CPBL Picks, Odds, Lines and Predictions for Wednesday, June 17

It is the middle of June, and the MLB players and owners still cannot agree on terms for starting the 2020 season. Luckily, we still have live “breakfast baseball” being played in South Korea (KBO) and Taiwan (CPBL).

For tomorrow’s games, we have a full slate of CPBL and KBO games as all 14 teams are playing in both leagues.

I'm betting on a CPBL favorite, a CPBL run line, KBO moneyline favorite, and a KBO run line.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Betting Schedule

CPBL - Taiwan

  • Games: 2
  • Time: 6:35 a.m. ET
  • Watch: LIVENow, Twitter, Bet365 App

CTBC Brothers (-170) at Fubon Guardians (+140)
Rakuten Monkeys (-170) at Uni-President 7/11 Lions (+140)

KBO - South Korea

Lotte Giants (+170) at Kiwoom Heroes (-210)
NC Dinos (-210) at Kia Tigers (+170)
Samsung Lions (+180) at Doosan Bears (-225)
LG Twins (-210) at Hanwha Eagles (+170)
KT Wiz (+100) at SK Wyverns (-130)

Wednesday's CPBL Pick of the Day
Rakuten Monkeys Moneyline -185 (PointsBet)
Rakuten Monkeys Run Line -1.5 -115 (Bet365)

For my “breakfast baseball” play of the day for tomorrow, I am targeting a CPBL game. For almost the last two weeks, I have not bet on a single CPBL game because I have found the odds to be too efficient. However, in tomorrow’s game between the Rakuten Monkeys and the Uni-President 7/11 Lions, the Rakuten Monkeys should be a much more lopsided favorite than the oddsmakers believe.

The Rakuten Monkeys before last week were widely seen as the best team in the CPBL, and the only thing that has changed since then is that they have lost 6 of their last 9 games. Because of Rakuten’s slump over the last 9 games, Rakuten no longer has a commanding lead in the CPBL standings as they are now tied for first place with the CTBC Brothers with a 21-15 record. As a result, Rakuten can no longer afford to coast by, as they need to finish the first half of the season in first place in order to clinch a spot in the CPBL championship at the end of the year.

The Uni-Lions are the direct opposite of the Rakuten Monkeys as they have won 4 of their last 5 games and yet they are still last in the CPBL Standings with a 17-24 record. In the 2019 CPBL season, the Monkeys won the CPBL championship and the Uni-Lions finished dead last. The 2020 CPBL season is not too different than the 2019 season as the Uni-Lions are still the worst team and the Rakuten Monkeys are still the best team.

Not only does Rakuten have strong starting pitching, but they also lead the CPBL in runs per game. Rakuten averages 7.42 runs per game compared to the Uni-Lions who average 6.84 runs per game. Further highlighting the divide between the two lineups is the fact that the Uni-Lions just demoted starting First Baseman Fu-Lin Kuo for drunk driving. This is a major blow to the Uni-Lions as Kuo was second in wRC+ for the Uni-Lions with a wRC+ of 136.8. My model projects Kuo’s loss to cost the Uni-Lions .56 runs per game which increases the chances of Rakuten winning tomorrow’s game by 2 or more runs.

In addition to Rakuten having an edge in hitting, they also have an edge in starting pitching for tomorrow’s game. The Starting Pitcher for Rakuten is Yi-Cheng Wang who is 4-1 with a 4.05 ERA and a 5.54 FIP. In addition to being a solid pitcher, Wang has the strength of being able to pitch for long periods of time pitching 6 or more innings in 4 out of his 6 starts. The ability to eat innings is key in the CPBL as teams this year have terrible bullpens including Rakuten whose bullpen is last in FIP with a FIP of 7.70. However, the Uni-Lions bullpen is bad as well as they have the second worst FIP in the CPBL with a FIP of 6.84. In addition to having a poor bullpen, the Starting Pitcher for the Uni-Lions is Chiang Chen-Yen who is 4-2 with a 5.62 ERA and a 6.60 FIP. Chiang unlike Wang has trouble pitching for long periods of time as he has pitched 5 or fewer innings in 4 of his 6 starts this year. Based on Rakuten superior hitting, starting pitching, and ability to rely less on its relievers I believe that Rakuten will handily beat the Uni-Lions in tomorrow’s game. That is why I am betting on the Rakuten moneyline at -185 odds and their -1.5 run line at -115 odds.

Wednesdy's KBO Pick of the Day
Doosan Bears Moneyline -225 (Bet365)
Doosan Bears Run Line -1.5 -110 (FoxBet)

For my KBO play of the day yesterday, I am bet on both the moneyline and the run line for the Doosan Bears in their matchup against the Samsung Lions and they lost 4-3. While being close is only good in horseshoes, the Doosan Bears close loss to the Samsung Lions demonstrated why the Doosan Bears should be heavily favored again in tomorrow’s game. Doosan’s starting pitcher gave up only 3 earned runs in 6 innings, and their bullpen gave up no earned runs in 3 innings. With Doosan having such a strong lineup, I have a hard time seeing how Doosan could dominate a team’s offense like that and lose again. For tomorrow’s game, I see Doosan’s Starting Pitcher Chris Flexen having a strong performance and Doosan’s offense giving him enough run support for not only Doosan winning, but winning by 2 runs or more.

The Doosan Bears are currently in 3rd place in the KBO standings with a 21-15 record and if the season were to end today, they would make the playoffs. In contrast to the Doosan Bears, their opponents the Samsung Lions are 18-19 and are only 1.5 games out of the playoffs. Despite almost being a .500 team, the Samsung Lions are not a .500 team in the long run as they have overperformed this year and are worse than their record suggests. I believe that they will eventually revert to the mean and tomorrow’s game might be the moment in the 2020 KBO season where they start a losing stretch of baseball. Doosan has a large edge in tomorrow’s matchup against Samsung in both hitting and pitching and as a result, my model gives Doosan a 74.4% chance of winning tomorrow.

One of the reasons why I have been fading the Samsung Lions this whole season is because of their lackluster offense. On paper Samsung does not appear to be that bad at hitting as they average 4.76 runs per game when the KBO average is 5.24 runs per game. However, this is misleading to look at when you consider that Samsung’s home stadium Daegu Samsung Lions Park is the most hitter friendly stadium in the KBO. Tomorrow’s game is an away game for Samsung at Doosan’s Jamsil Baseball Stadium. While Samsung Lions Park is the most hitter friendly ballpark in the KBO, Jamsil Baseball Stadium is the least hitter friendly ballpark in the KBO. It is also working against Samsung’s favor that they have only scored 5 or more runs 3 times in their last 13 games. In contrast to Samsung, Doosan is 2nd in the KBO with an average of 6.19 runs a game. For Samsung to pull off another huge upset against Doosan, they would have to perform better offensively than they have performed in recent history.

Despite Samsung’s lack of offensive talent, they have been able to win a good amount of their games this year with solid starting pitching. However, the Samsung Lions can’t rely on their starting pitching alone in tomorrow’s game as they are using a Starting Pitcher who probably is going to give up more than the 2 earned runs that Samsung’s Starting Pitcher Jung-Hyun Baek gave up yesterday. Pitching for Samsung tomorrow is Dae-Woo Kim who is 1-2 with a 3.81 ERA and a 6.00 FIP. While on the surface Kim looks like a solid pitcher because of his 3.81 ERA, his FIP is a much higher 6.00 which implies that Kim’s performance this year has been due to luck rather than skill. Another issue with Kim is that he started this season as a reliever and in all 4 of his starts this year, he has yet to pitch more than 5 innings. If he is unable to last more than 5 innings in tomorrow’s ballgame, Samsung’s bullpen will have a hard time containing the Doosan Bears.

Opposing Kim is Doosan Bears Starting Pitcher Chris Flexen who is 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA and a 3.79 FIP. Flexen who is only 25 years old, played the 2019 season with the New York Mets. He has been a consistent starting pitcher who has pitched for 6 or more innings in 5 out of his 6 starts this year. With the ability to eat innings and pitch consistently, it is going to be hard for Samsung to take the lead at any point of the game. With Doosan having better hitting and pitching than Samsung, I not only see Doosan winning the game but winning it by a large margin. That is why I am betting on not only the Doosan Bears moneyline at -225 odds, but also the Doosan Bears -1.5 run line at -115 odds.

Best Bets Tracker

  • Rakuten Monkeys Moneyline -185 (PointsBet)
  • Rakuten Monkeys Run Line -1.5 -115 (Bet365)
  • Doosan Bears Moneyline -225 (Bet365)
  • Doosan Bears Run Line -1.5 -110 (FoxBet)

Record: 14-15, -2.06 Units, -7.1% ROI