JP's KBO June 3 - 4 Writeup
June 3rd – 4th
KBO NOTES – DAY 12
OVERALL RECORD: +51.4U (78-55-4)
Record on 3U Plays: 13-2-1 (+29.8U)
Record on 2.5U Plays: 3-5 (-5.5U)
Record on 2U Plays: 33-17-2 (+29.1U)
Record on 1U Plays: 25-22-1 (-.1.75U)
Record on .5U Plays (nearly all +200 or greater): 4-9 (-.5U)
G1: Hanwha Eagles (+185) VS Kiwoom Heroes (-250) O/U 9.0
SP: Min-woo Kim (3/10)
2019 ERA: 6.75
2020 Stats: 3.90 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 27.2 IP, 20 H, 27 K, 12 BB
Kim’s “mainstream” stats seem solid, but even a basic look into his peripherals reveal a COMPLETELY different story. I’ll go in no particular order through a couple of them. His BB/9 is a gruesome 3.90, which is in line with his 2019 line of 3.97. This means timely hits/XBH will create runs, which is Kiwoom’s specialty. Additionally, Kim’s FIP of 5.44 tells us that he’s due for extreme regression in the ERA department, which I think will come tonight against a Kiwoom team that is scorching hot, averaging 9 runs/game over their last 6 and pounding the baseball in general. Finally, with a miniscule .211 BABIP and absurd 81% LOB%, we’re looking at a guy who has been incredibly lucky. Typically, I’d say this would be a great spot for casual bettors to hit the Hanwha side and make the Kiwoom odds a little more favorable – starters with ERA’s below 4 and WHIP’s in the low 1’s tend to attract some money from those who don’t look at advanced stats – but with the magical Eric Jokisch on the other side, I’m not surprised we’re looking at a -250 line. That being said, I really like Kiwoom -1.5 and the UN 9, since I feel like Kiwoom can score anywhere less than and the under can still easily hit. Let’s look at Jokisch.
HITTING: 10th in AVG, runs, and OPS. And it’s not even close.
SP: Eric Jokisch (9.5/10)
2019 ERA: 3.13
2020 Stats: 0.90 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 30 IP, 21 H, 27 K, 5 BB
Jokisch is Kim’s analytical opposite. Where Kim’s FIP, BB/9, and BABIP all suggest that he’s been far worse than his counting stats suggest, Jokisch’s support his excellence. He has a 2.33 FIP, which is slightly slower than his ERA, but 0.90 is extreme, so I’m not worried. His BB/9 of 1.50 is in the absolute uppermost echelon of that category, and his BABIP of .259 is right in line with what I would expect from someone who has only given up 6 XBH the entire season. Not only that, but Jokisch gets by far the easiest matchup in the league tonight against an absolutely lifeless Hanwha offense, and he should be given a leash of 100+ pitches, which potentially could take him around 8 innings, since he just stifled a terrific KT team for 0 ER / 9 K over 7. I can’t say it enough – I LOVE Jokisch and the Heroes in this spot, and while a -250 ML tag is probably too hefty, I feel very comfortable taking Kiwoom -1.5 as well as smaller plays on Hanwha TT UN 3.5 and UN 9. There’s really just not much else to say here – you gotta role with what you love, and I love what I’m looking at.
HITTING: 6th in AVG, 3rd in runs, 5th in OPS
1: Kiwoom -1.5 (-140) 4U MAX
2: Hanwha TT UN 3.5 (-140) 2U
3: UN 9 (-105) 1U
G2: NC Dinos (-240) VS SK Wyverns (+180) O/U 9.5
SP: Drew Rucinski (7.5/10)
2019 ERA: 3.05
2020 Stats: 2.51 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 32.1 IP, 31 H, 30 K, 7 BB
Rucinski is a case of a pitcher that everyone seems to love but me. That doesn’t mean I won’t bet with him, and it doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s a solid arm, but he doesn’t pop in the same way others in the league do for me. I’ll run you through a few reasons why I consider the Dinos at -240 and the Heroes at -250 to be completely different confidence-level plays. For one, Rucinski has struggled against teams that are putting together any kind of life offensively (Hanwha, that is not you). He’s only had one start against a team in the top-5 in the league (KT), and that went like this: 5.1 IP / 10 H / 5 ER. Not pretty. On the other hand, he’s really stifled teams like the aforementioned Eagles, in addition to a terrific early-season start against Samsung. That all being said, I’m a sneaky Wyverns fan tonight. They were very pesky against Rucinski in his last start – putting up 8 hits and only striking out twice in six innings – and they also pick a great place to bring that approach tonight, considering NC’s pen has been hit hard the last few days and won’t be operating anywhere near full capacity. Furthermore, they’ve turned a corner offensively, scoring 6+ in each of their last six games, in the process taking a game from Doosan, sweeping Hanwha, and splitting a series with NC thus far. Rucinski’s peripherals are good – 3.23 FIP, 1.95 BB/9, 22.6 K% - but I’m again willing to attribute that as much to his skills on the mound as the quality of opponents he’s faced. I could see SK scoring a few early and making this a way more competitive game than the public thinks.
HITTING: 3rd in average, T-1st in runs, 1st in OPS
SP: Tae-hoon Kim (5/10)
2019 ERA: 3.88 (as a reliever)
2020 Stats: 3.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 24 IP, 14 H, 16 K, 11 BB
Couple things to note here – one is that this is Kim’s first year as a full-time starter, so we’re definitely looking at a small sample size. He has been pretty solid as a reliever the last few years, but as we’ve seen in many cases, the two don’t often translate. That being said, Kim has looked decent in 2020 other than a tough start against Kia, including an outstanding appearance vs NC where he put up a statline of 7 IP / 2 H / 6 K / 3 BB. Obviously, the walk rate both in this game and in general is extremely concerning, but the fact that he was able to quiet their bats that effectively was a work of art. The walks and a lack of heavy strikeouts make it hard for me to back Kim full-heartedly – and are probably part of the reason SK is such a heavy dog – but he’s shown me flashes of a very solid KBO LHP. Looking at some other analytics, Kim possesses a 4.34 FIP, which is around average for a starter in the KBO, and suggests that he’ll trend downward, though it’s not bad to the point of extreme concern. As discussed earlier, Kim’s matchup against NC is intriguing to me. The Dinos project a lineup of 4 lefties, including their top 3 hitters, which potentially could be a great advantage for the Wyverns’ starter, and is something he took advantage of in the last matchup. I’m not pulling the trigger on SK yet, but if this moves to anything at/above SK +200, I’m going to hit them as a dog for 1U.
1: SK TT OV 3.5 (-115) 2.5U
G3: KT Wiz (+155) VS Doosan Bears (-210) O/U 11.5
SP: Min Kim (2/10)
2019 ERA: 4.96
2020 Stats: 5.23 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 20.2 IP, 18 H, 15 BB, 12 K
Kim’s last two starts have perhaps been the two most bizarre I’ve ever seen in professional baseball. Against LG, Kim walked seven hitters in five innings, but somehow danced around contact to give up just 1 ER in 5.2 IP. The next start, against Kiwoom, Kim walked 4, hit 3, and gave up 2 hits, and somehow, someway, gave up one earned run!! By my calculations, that’s a combined 18 baserunners in 10.2 IP for a total of 2 ER. Impressive. All that being said, I think that’s going to catch up to him tonight. In his prior start vs the Bears, Kim allowed 7 runs over 4 IP, and practically every ball that game was scorched. Although Doosan hasn’t been the same offensive team lately – other than an 11-run outburst the other night – it’s not like they’ve forgotten how to hit, and a game where they’ll be given free baserunners should be a good opportunity to warm up the bats, as they say. Kim fits every split I’m looking for with Doosan: a right-handed pitcher with average stuff, a higher FIP than ERA (6.34 vs 5.23), a ghastly BB/9 (6.53), and a low K% (12.4). At some point, you just have to trust the numbers and have faith in a team that’s lit up scoreboards all year.
HITTING: 1st in average, T-1st in runs, 2nd in OPS
SP: Raul Alcantara (5.5/10)
2019 ERA: 4.01
2020 Stats: 3.90 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 30 IP, 38 H, 23 K, 6 BB
Welcome to my quick seminar on why Alcantara is another one of the overrated righties on tonight’s slate. His preliminary stats don’t look too bad – a 3.90 ERA and nearly 4:1 K:BB ratio never killed anyone – but it doesn’t take much to find some cracks in his game. For one, he’s pitched against the 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th (twice) ranked hitting teams in the KBO, and has gotten shelled multiple times anyway. His season stats have a lot more luster thanks to a 9-strikeout outing vs Kia, which I’m chucking up to nothing more than an outlier, since his other outings from the last two seasons are dotted with 2-4 strikeout games, and extremely few with more than that. Furthermore, while his command has been good, he’s also hitting almost a batter/game, so if we recognize that factor, we’re looking at someone with average to slightly above average command, meaning his supposed calling card really isn’t that impressive after all. Past that, given what we’ve discussed about Alcantara’s propensity to allow contact, it’s not all that surprising that his FIP is nearly a full point higher than his ERA at 4.73. KT has not been shy about picking on Doosan pitching, and after putting up 15 over the last two nights, I see them coming out firing again here. Don’t be surprised to see a shootout here.
HITTING: 2nd in average, 4th in runs and OPS
1: OV 11.5 (-120) 2U
2: KT TT OV 4.5 (-125) 2U
3: Doosan TT OV 6.5 (-120) 1U