KBO Picks, Odds, Lines and Predictions for July 1
June 30, 2020
By Kevin Davis
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July starts tomorrow and we are still without Major League Baseball until the end of the month.
Luckily, we still have live baseball being played in South Korea (KBO), Japan (NPB), and Taiwan (CPBL). Yesterday I picked two KBO favorites to win outright since it has been harder recently to find value on KBO moneyline favorites.
Of my two picks, I went 1-1 returning 1.3 units because the one winning team was the Lotte Giants at +230 moneyline odds.
For tomorrow’s KBO slate, I am backing two moneyline underdogs again in the Doosan Bears against the Kiwoom Heroes and the SK Wyverns against the Samsung Lions.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Doosan Bears (+135) at Kiwoom Heroes (-165)
Hanwha Eagles (+205) at Kia Tigers (-250)
KT Wiz (+110) at LG Twins (-140)
Lotte Giants (+280) at LG Twins (-370)
SK Wyverns (+120) at Samsung Lions (-150)
KBO Play of the Day
The Doosan Bears are the defending 2019 Korean Series champion, and this year they are once again one of the best teams. Doosan currently is in 3rd place in the KBO standings with a 28-20 record and they are 4.5 games behind the 1st place NC Dinos. The Doosan Bears are loaded offensively with decent pitching, and they face off tomorrow against the Kiwoom Heroes.
Doosan Bears +135 (Bet365)
Like Doosan, Kiwoom is also one of the best teams in the league this year as they are in 2nd place in the KBO standings with a 31-18 record. While the Kiwoom Heroes have a better record than the Doosan Bears, the Doosan Bears are clearly the better team and tomorrow represents a great opportunity to bet on an underdog winning when they should be favored.
That is why I am betting on the Doosan Bears to win outright at +135 moneyline odds.
My model says that the Doosan Bears should be -118 moneyline favorites, but instead they are +135 moneyline underdogs. The reason why the Doosan Bears should be favored is because of their hitting. The Doosan Bears are 2nd in the KBO in runs per game with an average of 6.23 runs per game. In contrast to the Doosan Bears, the Kiwoom Heroes are 4th in the KBO in runs per game with an average 5.65 runs per game. On paper it may not seem like the Doosan Bears are that much better offensively than the Kiwoom Heroes, however the runs per game numbers do not reflect how well positioned Doosan’s lineup is for tomorrow’s game.
While only one starting position player is projected to miss tomorrow’s game for the Doosan Bears, the Kiwoom Heroes have larger holes to fill in their lineup as three of their normal starting position players are out. While injuries are projected to cost the Doosan Bears .28 runs in tomorrow’s game, injuries are projected to cost the Kiwoom Heroes .49 runs in tomorrow’s game. When considering Doosan’s talented lineup and Kiwoom’s injuries, it is baffling to me as to why Doosan isn’t favored in tomorrow’s game.
While the Doosan Bears clearly have the best lineup for tomorrow’s game, the Kiwoom Heroes do have a better starting pitcher for tomorrow’s game. The starting pitcher for the Kiwoom Heroes is Hyun-Hee Han who is 3-2 with a 4.38 ERA, and a 3.72 FIP.
Opposing Han is Doosan Bears starting pitcher Young-Ha Lee who is 1-4 with a 6.29 ERA, and a 4.60 FIP. While it is a clear that Han is performing better than Lee this season as evidenced by the fact that Lee’s ERA is almost 2 full runs higher, the gap between the two pitchers is much smaller than it appears. That is because Lee’s FIP is less than a full run higher than Han’s FIP indicating that Lee’s performance has been more because of bad luck than because of bad pitching.
I believe that the Doosan Bears lineup will overcome the starting pitching for tomorrow’s game and that is why I am betting on the Doosan Bears moneyline at +135 moneyline odds.
KBO Underdog to Back
For my second underdog that I am backing for tomorrow’s slate I am betting on the SK Wyverns to win outright against the Samsung Lions at +120 moneyline odds. While the SK Wyverns are clearly one of the worst teams in the KBO, my model believes that they should be -116 moneyline favorites for tomorrow’s game, not +130 moneyline underdogs.
SK Wyverns Moneyline +120 (William Hill)
The Samsung Lions are currently in 6th place in the KBO standings out of 10 teams with a 25-24 record, while the SK Wyverns are in 9th place with a 14-34 record. On paper the Samsung Lions should clearly be favored, however based on the starting pitching matchup between the two teams, the SK Wyverns should be slight favorites.
That is why I am betting on the SK Wyverns to win tomorrow’s game as +120 moneyline underdogs.
One reason why the SK Wyverns have the second worst record in the KBO is because of their bullpen. The SK Wyverns bullpen is 6th in the KBO in FIP with a 5.32 FIP, while the Samsung Lions bullpen is 3rd with a 4.61 FIP. While typically the SK Wyverns have to rely on their bullpen, this is negated by the fact that SK’s starting pitcher for the game is Seung-Won Moon. Not only does Seung-Won Moon have a 3.23 ERA with a 3.40 FIP, but he also is a proven innings eater. In his last 5 starts, Moon has pitched for at least 6 innings which puts less stress on the SK bullpen.
Opposing Moon is Samsung starting pitcher David Buchanan who is 5-3 with a 4.53 ERA, and a 5.15 FIP. While on the surface Buchanan has looked like a dependable starting pitcher, in his last start Buchanan gave up 8 earned runs and 12 hits in 6 innings against the Hanwha Eagles who are the worst team in the KBO. While I can understand backing Samsung in other games against the SK Wyverns, I believe that tomorrow’s game is a bad spot for them as they have an unreliable starting pitcher going up against a reliable starting pitcher.
While the SK Wyverns have better starting pitching for tomorrow’s game, the reason why the Samsung Lions are favored has to do with the perception of their offense. Out of 10 KBO teams, the SK Wyverns are 9th in the KBO in runs per game with an average of 3.77 runs per game. In contrast to the SK Wyverns, the Samsung Lions are 6th in the KBO in runs per game with an average of 5.06 runs per game.
However, this is a misleading comparison as Samsung’s scoring is inflated by the fact that their home ballpark Daegu Samsung Lions Park is the most hitter friendly ballpark in the KBO. If both teams played in the same ballpark this year, the Samsung Lions would only score slightly more runs than the SK Wyverns. This is because the average wRC+ for the Samsung Lions lineup this year is 89.3, while the average wRC+ for the SK Wyverns this year is 82.4. The average wRC+ for a player is always 100, which means that both SK and Samsung are below average offensive teams.
The SK Wyverns may have an awful lineup, but they are not that much worse than the Samsung Lions. That is why I am backing the SK Wyverns at +120 moneyline underdogs against the Samsung Lions.
Best Bets Tracker
Doosan Bears +135 (Bet365)
SK Wyverns Moneyline +120 (William Hill)
Record: 20-22, -2.94 Units, -7% ROI