KBO Picks, Odds, Lines and Predictions for June 30
June 29, 2020
By Kevin Davis
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This Tuesday marks the start of a six-day run of Asian “Breakfast Baseball” as we have almost a full slate of KBO (South Korea), NPB (Japan), and CPBL (Taiwan) baseball.
While It is exciting that we have MLB coming back later next month, we still have KBO games to enjoy on ESPN.
Because the KBO season has been going on since the beginning of May, the oddsmakers have been setting the lines more efficiently and as a result it is tougher to find value particularly on favorites.
Fortunately for tomorrow’s KBO slate, there are two moneyline underdogs that are undervalued by the betting public and the oddsmakers.
I'm backing a heavy moneyline underdog in the Lotte Giants against the NC Dinos, and a small moneyline underdog in the KT Wiz against the LG Twins.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
KBO (South Korea)
Doosan Bears (-118) at Kiwoom Heroes (-111)
Hanwha Eagles (+180) at Kia Tigers (-250)
KT Wiz (+125) at LG Twins (-162)
Lotte Giants (+230) at LG Twins (-333)
SK Wyverns (+110) at Samsung Lions (-138)
KBO Play of the Day
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Lotte Giants Moneyline +230 (FoxBet)
The NC Dinos are unquestionably the best team in the KBO. They are first in the KBO standings with a 32-14 record, and they will probably finish the 2020 season in first place. As a result, in many games such as tomorrow’s game they are overvalued by the betting public.
In contrast to the NC Dinos, their opponents the Lotte Giants are in 7th place in the KBO standings with a 22-23 record. That is why even though my model says that the NC Dinos have a 62.3% chance of beating the Lotte Giants, the most rationale play as a sports bettor is to bet on their opponents the Lotte Giants.
My model says that the Lotte Giants should be +165 moneyline underdogs, but instead they are +230 moneyline underdogs due to the popularity of the NC Dinos. Many sports bettors like to think of certain teams as “locks”, but with a long baseball season the best teams will lose to mediocre teams occasionally due to the high variance nature of baseball.
That is why I am betting on the Lotte Giants to win outright as +225 moneyline underdogs.
One reason why the NC Dinos are heavily favored against the Lotte Giants is that they have a much better lineup. The NC Dinos are 1st in the KBO in runs per game with an average of 6.48 runs per game.
In contrast to the NC Dinos, the Lotte Giants are 7th in the KBO in runs per game with an average 4.60 runs per game. This is a lopsided advantage for the NC Dinos, as they average almost 2 full runs more per game than the Lotte Giants. While the the NC Dinos are clearly the better offensive team, they are going to be negatively impacted due to absence of outfielder Myung-Gi Lee who was recently place on the injured list with a knee injury.
Myung-Gi Lee will be missed by the NC Dinos as he currently has a batting average of .340 with a .792 OPS and a 109.9 wRC+. My model projects Lee’s replacement to produce .19 fewer runs per game than Lee and this could help close the gap between the two teams. Myung-Gi Lee may not be the best offensive player on the loaded NC Dinos lineup, but his absence will be noticeable.
While the NC Dinos clearly have the best lineup for tomorrow’s game, it is unclear which team in tomorrow’s game has better pitching. While the NC Dinos are the best team in the KBO, their bullpen is arguably the worst.
Among all 10 KBO teams, the NC Dinos have the 2nd highest FIP with a FIP of 5.54. The Lotte Giants bullpen isn’t that much better as they have a FIP of 5.04 which is slightly lower than the league average FIP of 5.07 for relievers. In the KBO, bullpens are extremely important as many games have been blown this year by low performing bullpens.
In terms of the starting pitching between both teams, it is unclear which starting pitcher is better NC Dinos Starting Pitcher Mike Wright or Lotte Giants Starting Pitcher Dae-Woo Kim.
Wright on paper seems like the much better Starting Pitcher as he is 6-2 with a 3.60 ERA, and a 4.87 FIP. While Wright on the surface looks like an above average KBO starter, I believe he is below average as evidenced by his 4.87 FIP which is more than a full run higher than his ERA. In Wright’s last 3 starts, Wright has performed poorly with a 5.63 ERA, and a 1.68 WHIP in 16 innings of play. Based on Wright’s recent performance, I see it as plausible that he has another rocky outing in tomorrow’s game against the Lotte Giants.
Opposing Mike Wright is Lotte Starting Pitcher Dae-Woo Kim who is a 35-year-old pitcher making his first career start. Kim is not likely to perform well in his first start, but it is notable that he has performed well this year as a reliever with a 4.60 ERA and a 4.10 FIP. While Kim is not an ace by any means, I see him pitching 5 innings of quality baseball and the Lotte Giants bullpen holding the NC Dinos at bay. That is why even though the NC Dinos have a much better offense than Lotte, I am betting on the Lotte Giants to win the game outright at +230 moneyline underdogs.
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KT Wiz Moneyline +125 (FoxBet)
While the KT Wiz are not as big of an underdog as the Lotte Giants for tomorrow’s KBO slate, their moneyline odds at +125 against the LG Twins make them a smaller underdog that you should bet on. The LG Twins are currently in 4th place in the KBO standings with a 27-20 record while the KT Wiz are in 8th place with a 21-26 record. On paper the LG Twins may appear to be the better team, but the KT Wiz are the better team in my opinion. That is why I am betting on the KT Wiz to win at +125 moneyline underdogs as my model believes that they should be -105 moneyline favorites.
The reason why KT should be favored against LG is because of their lineup which is much better than LG even though It may not seem that way on paper. The KT Wiz are currently 3rd in the KBO in runs per game with an average of 5.79 runs per game, The LG Twins are 5th in the KBO in runs per game with an average of 5.49 runs per game. While KT only averages .3 more runs per game than LG, my model believes that KT has been underperforming offensively while LG has been overperforming.
LG may have one of the best players in the league in Roberto Ramos but the average wRC+ for each of their starting position players in tomorrow’s lineup is 108 while the average wRC+ for a player in the KT Wiz lineup is 117. wRC+ is an important offensive metric to look at as it is ballpark adjusted, and it takes into account the fact that the LG Twins play in the most pitcher friendly ballpark in the KBO in Jamsil Baseball Stadium. The fact is even when accounting for the ballpark effect of Jamsil Baseball Stadium, the LG Twins are still not even as good offensively as the KT Wiz.
If there is a reason why LG is favored against KT, it is because their pitching for tomorrow’s game is better than KT. While the KT Wiz have the worst bullpen in the KBO with a FIP of 5.82, the LG Twins bullpen arguably isn’t that much better as they have a FIP of 5.36. Additionally, the LG Twins do have better starting pitching for tomorrow’s game in that they are using 18-year-old Starting Pitcher Min-Ho Lee who is 2-2 with a 1.59 ERA and a 3.57 FIP.
Opposing Lee is KT Wiz Starting Pitcher Min-Soo Kim who is 1-2 with a 6.41 ERA, and a 4.56 FIP. While Kim’s ERA is almost 4 runs worse than Lee, their FIP’s aren’t that far apart in that there is about a full run difference between the two pitchers. This is a case where Kim appears to be a much worse pitcher than he is, while Lee appears to be a much better pitcher than he is. While Kim has performed impressively in 4 starts this year, that is too small of a sample size to make conclusions on his pitching ability. He is still only 18 years old in a professional league and at some point, the KBO hitting will eat him alive this year. I believe that tomorrow’s game is when that will happen and that Is why I am backing the KT Wiz as +125 moneyline underdogs in their matchup against the LG Twins.
Best Bets Tracker
Lotte Giants Moneyline +230 (William Hill)
KT Wiz Moneyline +125 (FoxBet)
Record: 19-21, -4.24 Units, -10.6% ROI