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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:53 PM

KBO Picks, Odds, Lines and Predictions for June 24

You may have seen in the news that Baseball might be coming back at the end of July, but that is false.

That is because Baseball never left as we still have live Baseball being played in South Korea (KBO), Taiwan (CPBL), and Japan (NPB).

For tomorrow’s games I am betting on two KBO moneyline underdogs.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Betting Schedule

Doosan Bears (-152) at SK Wyverns (+120)
Hanwha Eagles (+155) at Samsung Lions (-200)
Kia Tigers (+140) at Lotte Giants (-182)
Kiwoom Heroes (+118) at LG Twins (-150)
NC Dinos (-180) at KT Wiz (+150)

KBO Play of the Day
Hanwha Eagles Moneyline +155 (BetMGM)

For my KBO play of the day, I am betting on the worst team in the KBO to win a game. The Hanwha Eagles have a 10-32 record which is the worst record in the KBO, and that is why they are undervalued in their matchup against the Samsung Lions. One reason why Hanwha has the worst record in the league is because they just experience 18-game winning streak that they snapped earlier last week. This losing streak which tied the KBO record for longest losing streak caused Hanwha’s manager to resign and led to the demotions of several Hanwha veterans. The conventional wisdom in any game involving the Hanwha Eagles is that whoever plays them should be heavily favored. However, my KBO model only gives the Samsung Lions a 52.9% chance of winning.

One reason why you should bet on the Hanwha Eagles is because the Samsung Lions are not nearly as good as their record suggests. While the Samsung Lions are 20-22, they are not nearly as good as their record suggests. While Samsung does have strong starting pitching, they must rely on their pitching more than most other teams because their lineup isn’t that good.

On paper Samsung does not appear to be that bad at hitting as they average 5.05 runs per game when the KBO average is 5.20 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. Unsurprisingly Hanwha is last in the KBO in runs per game as they only average 3.38 runs per game. If both teams were to play in the same ballpark for a full season, Hanwha would produce the fewest runs out of all 10 teams, and Samsung would produce the 6th most runs out of all 10 teams. While Samsung certainly is betting at hitting than Hanwha, both teams are more alike than their statistics reflect.

While Samsung has been able to win many games this year with strong starting pitching, their starting pitcher for tomorrow’s game Yoon-dong Heo cannot be relied upon to give them a strong performance. Besides the Hanwha Eagles being the worst team in the KBO, I believe that the other reason why the Samsung Lions are heavily favored is because of how the betting public views Heo and his 2-0 record with a 3.60 ERA. While Samsung has yet to lose a game in which Heo has started, it should be noted that he is an 18-year old rookie who has only started 3 games this reason. Sports bettors have short memories and are known to have a recency bias and this game is a good example of that. While Heo has a 3.60 ERA, he also has a 6.54 FIP which is almost a full 3 runs worse than his ERA. Along with Heo’s high FIP, Heo has yet to pitch more than 5 innings and he has given up 3 earned runs in his last two starts.

While I do not view Heo very highly, Hanwha’s Starting Pitcher Shi-Hwan Jang is universally viewed negatively as he has a 1-4 record with a 6.89 ERA, a 5.75 FIP. However, it should be noted that Jang is a 32-year old veteran having his worst season since 2014, while Heo is an unproven rookie with a worse FIP than Jang this year. It is conceivable to imagine that Jang can produce a quality start in tomorrow’s game while Heo could be torn apart by Hanwha’s struggling lineup. Based on Hanwha having a slightly better starting pitcher and a slightly worse lineup than Samsung I am betting on the Hanwha Eagles to win at +155 moneyline odds.

KBO Underdog to Back
KT Wiz Moneyline +150 (William Hill)

Besides the Hanwha Eagles, another heavy underdog that I am backing in tomorrow’s KBO slate are the KT Wiz against the NC Dinos. This is another bet that takes a strong stomach to make as the NC Dinos are 1st in the KBO standings with a 28–12 record, while the KT Wiz have the 3rd worst record at 18-23. However, records are misleading as the NC Dinos have overperformed this year, while the KT Wiz have underperformed. While the KT Wiz Moneyline odds of +150 imply that they only have a 40% chance of winning, my model gives them a 46.8% chance based on their lineup and pitching being slightly worse than the NC Dinos.

It is no secret that the NC Dinos have a great lineup as they are 1st in the KBO with an average of 6.70 runs per game. However, the KT Wiz have a great lineup as well as they average 5.61 runs per game. While, the NC Dinos produce more than 1 run per game on average than the KT Wiz, both projected lineups for tomorrow’s game would produce the same number of runs across a full season of baseball.

The reason why both teams are nearly equal offensively is because the average wRC+ for the players in the projected lineup for the KT Wiz this year is 124, while the average wRC+ for the NC Dinos projected lineup is virtually identical at 124.6. wRC+ is an advanced ballpark-neutral statistic which measures how many runs each player individually creates, and it is a good metric for measuring individual offensive performance compared to more traditional offensive metrics.

Besides having nearly equal offensive strength to each other, both the NC Dinos and the KT Wiz are both using relatively mediocre starting pitching in tomorrow’s game. The starting pitcher for the NC Dinos is Mike Wright who is 5-2 with a 3.80 ERA, and a 4.82 FIP. While Mike Wright on the surface looks like an above average KBO starter, I believe he is just average as evidence by his 4.82 FIP which is a full run higher than his ERA.

Facing Mike Wright is KT Wiz Starting Pitcher Min-Soo Kim who is 1-2 with a 7.97 ERA, and a 4.81 FIP. While Kim is slightly below average as a pitcher compared to Wright, both pitchers have nearly identical FIPs. It is also encouraging for the KT Wiz that in Kim’s last start he pitched 5 innings and gave up only 1 earned run. The only concern I have about KT’s pitching is that Kim lacks the stamina to keep KT’s bullpen out of the game as he has yet to pitch more than 5 innings this year. However, while the KT Wiz have the worst bullpen in the league, the NC Dinos have the second worst bullpen in the league. Based on the NC Dinos only having a slight edge in pitching and hitting, I am betting on the KT Wiz as heavy underdogs at +150 moneyline odds.

Best Bets Tracker
Hanwha Eagles Moneyline +155 (DraftKings)
KT Wiz Moneyline +150 (William Hill)

Record: 18-19, -3.07 Units, -8.3% ROI

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