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Welcome back to another weekly feature of Korean Baseball (KBO) picks for your Saturday slate of games. We have been nailing our KBO bets the last few weeks so we will keep the advice going! We went 3-1 last week despite moving some lines to give us better odds. This brings our season record to 7-3 for KBO picks. Let’s check out some of my favorites for this week. Most stats found thanks to MyKBOStats.com and odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Lotte Giants (-120) at KT Wiz (-106)
The starting pitchers for the matchups prove a weakness for each team. The Giants will be sending out Adrian Sampson who is currently sporting a 1-3 record on the season with a 7.78 ERA. He has allowed at least nine hits in each of his last three games and while picking up six earned runs in two of those three.
The KT Wiz are sending out pitcher So Hyeung-jun who has been one of the weaker starters in an already weak pitching rotation. In his last outing, he gave up seven earned runs in just 4.2 innings. He has struggled with giving up the long ball this season as he has allowed at least one home run in four of his last five starts and allowed three in his last two starts combined.
These teams are fairly evenly matched over their last 10 games with Lotte holding a 5-5 record over that span while KT has been slightly better at 6-4 and have won four straight. Run differentials tell a little bit of a different story, however, as Lotte has a +16 run differential over their last 10 while KT, despite their better record over their last 10, come in at -11. Mel Rojas Jr. has been one of the best players in the league for KT and his 1.99 WAR ranks third-best amongst hitters, but he can’t always carry the team.
The Giants are 6-1 against KT this season with their first loss to them coming in extra innings on Friday by a total of 8-9. With the shaky pitching on both sides for this game, I don’t have a lot of confidence in either team when it comes to a moneyline play and neither offer value at their given lines. I would anticipate another fairly high-scoring game here, making the over a solid play. The line is currently set at 10.5 runs at -118. I might move this line all the way to over 12 to get +148.
Samsung Lions (+120) at KIA Tigers (-148)
We have another closely contested matchup here but there is a little more value in the moneyline for the Lions at least. KIA has a slight edge when it comes to the season series record at 3-2, but the matchup between Saturday’s starting pitchers is actually a rematch of a very lopsided affair from last month. Lions pitcher Won Tae-in faced off against Tigers pitcher Im Ki-young on May 9th in a game that ended very favorably for the Lions with a final of 14-2. Tae-in allowed just two earned runs in that game while Ki-young allowed four runs over 4.1 innings. A lot of damage was done by the Lions against the Tigers’ bullpen.
Aside from that lopsided blowout, the games between these two teams have been pretty tame with an average total of seven runs. Tigers starter Im has allowed just three earned runs over his last three starts and the four runs he allowed against Samsung are the most he’s allowed in a single game this season. Lions starter Won has had similarly spectacular form as of late having allowed just two earned runs over his last 25 innings pitched.
This game screams the under to me though the lines are set as such so it’s not an incredible value pick but feels like a very safe one. Moving this bet to an alternate run total of under 8.5 gives you better odds at +118. This feels like a 3-2 type of game to me so you can move that as much as you’re comfortable. Under 7 gets you to +235 but has inherent risk. I would also take a shot at the Lions moneyline coming into this as slight underdogs.
SK Wyverns (+123) at Kiwoom Heroes (-155)
These teams have both struggled to put up runs as of late. SK has averaged just three runs per game over their last 10 games while Kiwoom has been slightly better at 4.9, but that still ranks third-fewest in the league over that span.
Wyverns pitcher Lee Geon-wook had one of his best starts of the season his last time out allowing no earned runs over five innings. Kiwoom is at a rough spot in their rotation as they will try and send out Jo Young-gun to the mound. He hasn’t made it beyond the third inning in each of his last two outings and brings a 5.40 ERA into another starting attempt.
The moneyline is tempting here with SK offering the edge in pitching, but their league-worst run support kind of cancels that out to me. The only thing I feel pretty comfortable in here is betting the under. The line is currently set at under 10 runs at -109. I would probably feel comfortable moving this to under 9 runs to get +138 odds. A 4-3 outcome feels about right here and that matches pretty closely to the average run production we have seen from these teams as of late.