JP's KBO May 28 - 29 Writeup
May 28th – 29th
KBO NOTES – DAY 12
OVERALL RECORD: +64.5U (72-44-4)
Record on 3U Plays: 12-1-1 (+31U)
Record on 2.5U Plays: 3-5 (-5.5U)
Record on 2U Plays: 32-12-2 (+40U)
Record on 1U Plays: 25-21-1 (-.5U)
Record on .5U Plays (nearly all +200 or greater): 4-9 (-.5U)
G1: Samsung Lions (+200) VS NC Dinos (-280) O/U 10
SP: Dae-woo Kim (2.5/10)
2019 ERA: 5.13
2020 Stats: 4.09 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 11 IP, 10 H, 7 K, 7 BB (start vs Doosan)
Kim, mostly a reliever in the entirety of his KBO career, appears to be making a spot-start tonight against NC in what may end up being a bullpen game, since his longest appearance of the season is 4 innings and 64 pitches. Kim’s surface stats aren’t terrible – we’ve seen worse than a 4.09 ERA in the KBO – but with a FIP of 6.88, and a history of giving up a ton of contact, he’s not in a great place to succeed tonight. Additionally, the Dinos have been scorching hot, and the entire lineup seems to be clicking, including American import and former Phillie Aaron Altherr, who hit a massive, encouraging HR the other night. The fact that this lineup is cooking, combined with Samsung’s combustible pitching, means that we’re in a really good position to be rolling with NC here. Let’s look at their starting pitching, but right off the bat I’m encouraged enough to take NC TT OV 5.5.
HITTING: 9th in average, 6th in runs
SP: Drew Rucinski (9/10)
2019 ERA: 3.05
2020 Stats: 2.49 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 25.1 IP, 25 H, 23 K, 7 BB (starts vs Hanwha/SK/KT/Samsung)
With the exception of a bit of a rocky outing against KT in which Rucinski gave up 3 early runs before settling down for a serviceable appearance, the Dinos starting pitcher has been terrific this year. His ERA is probably due to rise a little bit, but with a 3.65 FIP, there’s no question that he should remain near the top of the league in pitching. This is a particularly good spot for someone like Rucinski, who hardly ever gives up XBH (just 4 in 25+ innings), and faces a team that’s 7th in the KBO in OPS, and lower in most other hitting stats. Rucinski has already faced Samsung once this year and dominated, throwing 6 scoreless innings and striking out 6. I see no reason for anything to change here, and love him in this spot again.
HITTING: 9th in average, 6th in runs
1: NC -1.5 (-140) 3U
2: NC 1H ML (-170) 3U >>>>> this feels like a really bad line to me and is worth eating the juice if you can get it, I’d say it should be more like -250
3: NC TT OV 5.5 (-140) 2U
G2: Kia Tigers (-150) VS LG Twins (+115) O/U 9.5
SP: Aaron Brooks (8/10)
2019 ERA: 5.65 (in MLB)
2020 Stats: 3.28 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 25 IP, 30 H, 23 K, 3 BB (starts vs Kiwoom/Hanwha/Doosan/SK)
The first thing that jumps out to me about Brooks’ statline is his absurd strikeout to walk ratio, which is clearly due for some regression, but still suggests that he’s been an awesome command pitcher this year. On the other side, a FIP of 2.76 tells us that his ERA and performance so far is not only sustainable, but probably due to improve on the raw numbers front, something that will be aided by the fact that he gives up so few XBH. He’s started against 2 bad teams and 2 good teams, and the results have been mostly the same, with a statline of 12 IP / 16 H / 13 K / 5 ER in his two harder starts, and 13.2 IP / 14 H / 10 K / 4 ER. This is encouraging, and suggests that Brooks should be able to sustain his performance against higher-end teams, which LG is, though they’re not jumping off the stat sheet on the hitting side. Furthermore, when you look at Brooks’ 2019 season in the Major Leagues, he really wasn’t even that bad!! Unlike some of the Americans you see in the KBO that are coming off seasons with a 9+ ERA, Brooks’ sat at 5.65, which, all things considered, isn’t anywhere near offensively bad. In conclusion, I definitely think that Brooks is better on the pitching side than the Twins are on the hitting front, which means I feel comfortable rolling with him and the Tigers tonight. Let’s check out the LG starter.
HITTING: 5th in average, 7th in runs
SP: Woo-chan Cha
2019 ERA: 4.12
2020 Stats: 6.00 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 21 IP, 25 H, 21 K, 7 BB (starts vs Doosan/SK/Kiwoom/KT)
Good news: Cha’s starts vs Doosan and KT, by far the best two teams he’s faced, have probably been his two best starts. Bad news: they’re still pretty bad, and he’s getting hit hard by every single team he’s facing. His 5.08 FIP is better than his ERA, but it’s really not that much better, suggesting that even if he regresses to a more positive mean, it won’t be anything too impressive. Kia isn’t anywhere near the most dominant offensive team in the league, but they are more than capable of putting up 5+ runs in this game, which should easily be enough to carry them to victory. Cha really just hasn’t been effective against any of the teams he’s faced this season, so it’s not entirely unreasonable to think that Kia has the potential to jump all over him and end this game in the early innings. In fact, I think that’s a really likely possibility, and I’m rolling with the Tigers in a solid spot here.
HITTING: 4th in average and runs
1: Kia ML (-150) 2U
2: Kia TT OV 4.5 (-145) 2U
3: Kia 1H -0.5 (-125) 1U
G3: Kiwoom Heroes (-245) VS KT Wiz (+185) O/U 10
SP: Eric Jokisch (8.5/10)
2019 ERA: 3.13
2020 Stats: 1.17 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 23 IP, 16 H, 18 K, 4 BB (starts vs Kia/Samsung/LG/Lotte)
Jokisch has looked nothing short of incredible this season, dominating in 3 out of his 4 starts and working to an ERA just over 1, supported by a terrific strikeout/walk ratio and a lack of XBH given up. That being said, it’s clear that he’s had fortune in terms of his matchups, as he’s managed to avoid the top-3 teams in the league until tonight’s matchup against the Wiz. Jokisch should still be able to certainly pitch well tonight, and KT’s offense hasn’t looked quite as dominant as of late, averaging a little over 4.5 runs/game over the last 7, as compared to 6+ in a stretch before that. The Wiz have really made a name for themselves dominating command-dormant pitching, which is not at all what Jokisch will be providing tonight. Though I’m not expecting anything absurd out of Jokisch, but I do feel comfortable rolling with him in this spot at home, though I’m not yet willing to commit to a -1.5 line until I look at KT’s starter, and a -245 ML is sort of out of the question.
HITTING: 6th in average, 5th in runs
SP: Min Kim (3/10)
2019 ERA: 4.96
2020 Stats: 6.32 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 15.2 IP, 16 H, 11 BB, 9K (starts vs Doosan/Samsung/LG)
Well, here we see a little more about why the Heroes are sitting pretty at -245. Kim has been nothing short of terrible this season, getting rocked by Doosan, then looking bad against a horrible Samsung team, then making the most absurd 5.2 inning start I’ve ever seen against LG, where he walked seven batters but only gave up 1 run!! That’s an absolutely bizarre statline, and it doesn’t give me a ton of confidence in either direction entering his next start, considering he only gave up 2 hits and 1 run, but gave up free passes at an obscene rate. I’d profile Kiwoom just below LG on the hitting spectrum, and at risk of sounding insane, I feel like Kim could pull some magic out of his hat and limit the Heroes to 3-4 runs, giving KT an outside chance to win if they can get to Jokisch a little bit. Honestly, if Kiwoom didn’t have their ace here, I’d actually be willing to take a shot with KT moneyline, but because Kim likely won’t have a ton of run support if he gives up more than a couple – and the Wiz bullpen is terrible – I have to stay away here.
HITTING: 1st in average and runs
NO OFFICIAL PLAYS, LEANING KT +1.5
G4: Doosan Bears (-240) VS Lotte Giants (+175) O/U 11
SP: Raul Alcantara (5/10)
2019 ERA: 4.01
2020 Stats: 4.12 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 24 IP, 19 K, 3 BB (starts vs LG/Lotte/Kia/Samsung)
I’ll start this off by saying I’m really not all that sold by Alcantara, but a matchup vs a Lotte team that has imploded recently may be just what he needs to put up a nice quality start. Lotte has scored 1, 1, 1, 2, 4, 9, 1, 0, 2 (average of 2.2/game) over their last 9, and provides a terrific spot for a command pitcher like Alcantara. They won’t hit the ball hard or out of the park, and even after putting up 12 hits in their last matchup vs Alcantara, they only managed 4 runs in 5 IP in a game Doosan won 11-6. My money is on Alcantara pitching better here, since Lotte has trended downward and Alcantara has continued to look better over his last couple appearances, which should culminate in another good one here. Looking at power stats, Lotte is 8th in OPS, which tells me that even if they put runners in base, they’ll have a hard time scoring them due to a lack of XBH, a proposition supported by their aforementioned appearance vs Alcantara this season. Based just off this, -240 seems way too high of a price to pay for Bears ML, but let’s take a look at Lotte’s starter before making any calls.
HITTING: 2nd in average, 3rd in runs
SP: Kyung-eun Noh
2019 ERA: 4.55 (in Australian Baseball League)
2020 Stats: 6.00 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, 15 IP, 22 H, 10 K, 4 BB (starts vs SK/Hanwha/Kiwoom)
Noh, a longtime KBO starter who took a brief stint in the ABL in 2019, really has not been a competent pitcher since 2013, and his 2020 season has been nothing short of terrible. Other than a start against a Hanwha team that simply cannot hit, Noh has been pummeled for 14 hits and 9 ER over 9 IP, striking out just 6 and walking 4. These two appearances have been against Kiwoom and SK, two teams that are nowhere near what Doosan is. Though the Bears have cooled off recently, they’ve also had a stretch of facing decent pitching, whereas tonight they have an old, slow-throwing righty on the docket, a dream matchup for a lefty-heavy team. Alcantara will at worst keep the Bears in the game, so combined with the potential to score 6+ runs on any given day (team total listed at 5.5, which could end up being blown out in a game where I could see them scoring 10), I really like Doosan in this spot.
HITTING: 7th in average, 8th in runs
1: Doosan -1.5 (-120) 2U
2: 1H OV 6 (-115) 2U
3: Doosan TT OV 5.5 (-145) 2U