JP's KBO June 17 - 18 Writeup
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JP's KBO June 17 - 18 Writeup

JP
06-17-2020

This is a long writeup, so I’ll save you the intro. Let’s just say I’m pumped. 

 

OVERALL RECORD: +81.98U (132-94-7) – $100 bettor up $8,198

Record on 4U MAX Plays: 5-1-1 (+14.4U)

Record on 3U Plays: 25-7-1 (+46.45U)

Record on 2.5U Plays: 3-7 (-11.37U)

Record on 2U Plays: 53-28-4 (+36U)

Record on 1U Plays: 38-35-1 (-3.65U)

Record on .5U Plays (nearly all +200 or greater): 8-14 (+0.85U)

 

G1: Hanwha Eagles (+175) VS LG Twins (-270) O/U 10

NOTE: THESE ODDS ARE NOWHERE NEAR THE SAME AS THEY ARE NOW; I GAVE OUT PICKS TO AT THIS SET OF ODDS EARLIER TODAY IN THE BET KARMA DISCORD AND VIA TWITTER DM’S FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN CONTACTING ME OR CONSISTENTLY SUPPORTING TWEETS. IF YOU WANT THE SAME, DROP SOME LIKES/RTS/COMMENTS OR REACH OUT TO ME

Eagles:

SP: Shi-hwan Jang (2/10)

            2019 ERA: 4.95

            2020 Stats: 7.48 ERA, 2.24 WHIP, 27.2 IP, 41 H, 34 K, 21 BB

I’ll start Jang’s writeup this way – he was sent down to the minors after getting destroyed by NC on June 5th (3 IP / 7 H / 3 BB / 4 ER), and has thrown exactly one inning of competitive baseball since then. In some cases, this rest is exactly what a pitcher needs. In Jang’s case, this accomplishes the exact opposite – he’s been absolutely horrendous with command (6.83 BB/9, are you serious?), and practically the only way to work through those issues is with repetition, something he clearly hasn’t gotten in weeks. And now, in his first start back in the KBO bigs, he faces a team that’s not only scorching hot but gets Roberto Ramos – their best hitter and one of the most ferocious bats in the league – back in the starting lineup. Ramos augments a lineup that’s already making a strong push for top-three in the league, and against a guy with a 5.70 FIP and ghastly 14.3 BB% (fun fact – Jang has had an FIP below 4.50 exactly three times in a 14-year career), they’re in line to absolutely mash. As noted the other night, Sports Info Solutions ranked LG as the team that hits the ball the hardest on average, and they have the absolute perfect matchup for that tonight. This is a patient team that will get on base in different ways, and once Jang starts walking hitters, he’s going to be in serious trouble with a lineup that is projected to start six left-handed batters and will have a massive platoon advantage. I’d be shocked to see him make it through more than four innings, and after that he’ll likely be turning the game over to the bottom of Hanwha’s bullpen, which may or may not (probably will) get massacred. This is a game that Hanwha has absolutely no business staying in, and LG has the ability to go for the jugular in the first few innings. They have given Hanwha no chance of hanging with them the last few nights (other than a strange, almost disaster in the ninth inning two nights ago), and with one of their top pitchers on the mound, I don’t expect Hanwha to score more than one or two, if at all. On the other hand, I’d be beyond shocked to see LG score anything less than five runs. This is an absolute dream matchup on the hitting side (and, as we’ll get to, on the pitching side), and there’s no reason the Twins shouldn’t come out raking.

Twins:

SP: Tyler Wilson

            2019 ERA: 2.92

            2020 Stats: 4.20 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 40.2 IP, 38 H, 31 K, 13 BB

Wilson has made 7 starts this season, and five have been excellent, while two have been subpar. I’m absolutely willing to excuse the first, as it followed overseas travel, a fourteen-day quarantine, and a matchup vs the Dinos. Let’s throw that one out. The second bad outing came on May 31st via Kia in a game where three of the four ER Wilson gave up came on a bomb in the third inning. He was still hit decently hard overall, but recovered nicely to throw 6.1 solid innings against Kiwoom, and he put up a better appearance than his statline would suggest. He held the Heroes scoreless through six, but gave up two runs in the seventh, still a very good effort overall. Looking at Wilson’s peripherals, he possesses a 3.95 FIP and a 2.88 BB/9, both of which rank above average and suggest positive regression even with taking the Dinos disaster into consideration. In his only start of the season vs Hanwha, I’ll tell you what Wilson did – the easiest 6 scoreless innings of his KBO career, throwing just 81 pitches while mowing down Eagles hitters and exiting with a solid lead. The crazy thing is, that was against a Hanwha offense that was better than their current form. They’re essentially starting 5-6 KBO minor leaguers, and Tyler Wilson is a former Major Leaguer who’s dominated this league for three years – I’ll roll with him, all day, every day. There’s really not much more to say about this matchup, but the nice thing about playing LG here is that they have a fully rested bullpen following the blowout yesterday, and were able to pull starters pretty early so they should have fresh legs and motivation for a sweep under them. This game won’t be close.

Game Plays (GIVEN OUT VIA DISCORD OR PERSONAL DM):

1: LG -1.5 (-165) 5U PLAY OF THE YEAR

2: LG 1H -1 (-130) 4U MAX

3: LG TT OV 6 (-110) 3U

4: Hanwha TT UN 3 (-115) 2U

5: LG 1st Inning ML (+185) .5U

 

G2: Kiwoom Heroes (+115) VS Lotte Giants (-140) O/U 9

Heroes:

SP: Seung-ho Lee

            2019 ERA: 4.48

            2020 Stats: 6.09 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 34 IP, 37 H, 20 K, 16 BB

Other than Lee’s extremely surprising start vs NC last week where he diced the Dinos to the tune of 6 IP / 4 H / 3 K / 0 ER, he’s only recorded one quality start the rest of the year, all the way back in his debut against Hanwha (of course). If Lee’s peripherals were any good, I might look at his start vs the Dinos as an indication that he’s going to turn things around, but the opposite is true. His K% is extremely low at 13.3, whereas his BB/9 is incredibly high at 4.24, two things that both suggest he’ll stay around a 6 ERA, supported by a measly 5.79 FIP. That start vs the Dinos is sort of confounding, but NC’s top three hitters are all lefties, a platoon advantage for Lee that he used to work around the rest of the lineup. He won’t have the same setup tonight, as Lotte starts seven right-handed batters, including four of their top five. Of the teams that Lee has faced, KT, Samsung, and SK present the most similar resemblance in terms of righty-heavy lineups, and Lee was shelled by the Wiz and the Lions, and was decent over 5 IP against the weaker SK. Lotte isn’t the strongest-hitting team in the KBO, but they’re better than the bottom-bottom teams, and I expect them to be able to put up at least 2-3 on Lee tonight, giving them a good chance to excel against a bullpen that is worn down after two tightly-contested games in a row. Lee has walked at least 2 batters in six out of seven starts, and I expect Lotte to be extremely patient tonight, knowing that they’re not going to score on home runs or XBH alone. I don’t necessarily see Lotte scoring more than 5 runs, but I can see them for sure getting 3-4 on the board, and that might just be all they need with their terrific ace, former Major Leaguer Dan Straily, on the mound.

Giants:

SP: Dan Straily

            2019 ERA: N/A (MLB)

            2020 Stats: 2.08 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 47.2 IP, 36 H, 50 K, 17 BB

After a bit of a bumpy start to his KBO career where he gave up 9 runs over his first 22 innings (3.68 ERA), Straily has emerged as one of the more dominant pitchers in the league, locking up Samsung, Doosan, KT, and LG consecutively to the tune of 2 ER in 26 IP (0.69 ERA, nice). All of these teams other than Samsung are better than Kiwoom, and if you’ve followed me the last few weeks you know that I’m a huge fade-Kiwoom guy against good pitching. I think they’re overrated because they have a few power bats, but good luck against a guy who’s top-10 in the KBO in soft contact % and has only given up two HRs the entire season (and none since May 20th). I have a ton of faith in him on the mound in this spot – Kiwoom’s hitters should be weary after a couple long games, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few starters rest since the series is already secured in the Heroes’ favor. Even if this isn’t the case, I love the work Straily’s done this year – he possesses a gorgeous 3.07 FIP and 26.2 K%, and his only weakness may be his command, though he hasn’t walked more than 2 hitters in a game since May 26th, while command was really an issue before then. If he’s turned a corner there, too, watch out. This is a guy that consistently runs it up to around 100 pitches, and is easily capable of pitching past there, as he showed in a dominant 107-pitch, 7-inning shutout performance vs KT where he struck out six and allowed just five hits. This start vs Kiwoom will actually be easier than any of his last three, where he has allowed exactly 2 ER over 20 IP, so I’m all over Straily here to give a Lotte team searching for a win around 7 IP and 0-2 ER. This is enough to put them in a great position to win, which I think they’ll ultimately do, though it will be tight down the stretch…

Game Plays:

1: Lotte 1H ML (-145) 3U

2: Kiwoom TT UN 4 (-115) 2U

3: UN 9 (-105) 2U

 

G3: Kia Tigers (+135) VS NC Dinos (-165) O/U 8.5

Tigers:

SP: Drew Gagnon

            2019 ERA: N/A (in MLB)

            2020 Stats: 3.57 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 40.1 IP, 34 H, 45 K, 9 BB

Gagnon’s last three starts may not look that great, but I think as much as anything, he’s gotten pretty unlucky. His hard hit rate is one of the lowest in the league (ranking at 5, just behind opposing starter Chang-mo Koo) and he didn’t allow a HR in any of his most recent starts, likewise only walking an average of 1.2 hitters/start. So, while it may appear that this is a guy the fan-favorite Dinos are going to tear apart, be careful. He’s way better than the eye-test on recent stats says, and believe it or not, NC has struggled against good pitching. Gagnon holds an absolutely elite 2.54 FIP, which is supported by an outstanding 27.4 K% and terrific 2.01 BB/9. Essentially, while his last few starts may suggest that he’s gotten pieced up and is due for a beating tonight, the analytics suggest there’s been a ton of strung-together contact that’s finding holes despite very few walks and XBH. Unsurprisingly, the Dinos are going to get a ton of action tonight, and I don’t blame anyone betting on them – after all, they have Chang-mo Koo, potential KBO MVP, on the mound, and Kia’s lineup isn’t scary vs decent pitching. That being said, I think the price is too steep at -170, as I can easily see this coming down to a 1 or 2-run game that will end up being a competition between the NC and Kia bullpens, and if this is the case, I’m siding with the Tigers 10 times out of 10. This points to the approach I’m taking for this game – I do think the Dinos will score a few times in the first five innings (probably not more than 2-3), and I don’t really expect Kia to add more than 1 in that time-frame. So, while I may not be in love with Dinos for the full game, I’m a big fan of their 1H plays, as well as the first-half and full-game under (barring any bullpen disasters, this is probably a 4-3 kind of game). I expect Gagnon to be solid, but perhaps unspectacular, and I’m looking for absolute excellence out of Koo. I’ll explain why below.

Dinos:

SP: Chang-mo Koo (10/10)

            2019 ERA: 3.20

            2020 Stats: 0.75 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 48 IP, 22 H, 52 K, 11 BB

Ironically, Koo’s start vs Hanwha on June 6th was probably the worst start of his season. He allowed one run and struck out six. Welcome to the world of the KBO’s best pitcher. Tonight, he gets a Kia team that I think is criminally overrated. That may seem odd since last night I hammered Kia’s TT OV, but that was more of a play on a starter I saw as overvalued and a bullpen disaster waiting to happen (which it did). I love Koo in this spot for a number of reasons, but I’ll begin with Kia’s lineup. This is already not a particularly deep lineup, and two of their three best hitters are lefties, which neutralizes a ton of their power in the middle of the order. Furthermore, since the loss of their starting second baseman last week, Kia has struggled to put together any sort of sustained rallies against pitchers who have decent command and stuff, both of which Koo most definitely has. Other than the 2-3-4 hitters, I really don’t fear Kia at all, and I think Koo will be able to use his platoon advantage to carve through the heart of the order and cruise through the rest. Essentially, I see this start as being entirely dependent on how he does vs these three hitters: if he limits Preston Tucker and the other two, there’s not a chance Kia puts anything more than one or two runs up against him. If he struggles through the heart of the order, we might be seeing more of the NC bullpen than I’d like. That being said, my money is on Koo, as it has been this entire year. NC isn’t afraid to stretch him out, and it’s not like they don’t have a single good reliever – they just don’t have that many. It cannot be understressed that NC winning this game is entirely dependent on Koo’s efforts; if he gives them 7-8 solid IP and allows less than 2 runs, they’re taking this game home. If he can only give six and gives up more than that, I have absolutely no faith in the bullpen. But there’s a reason he's the best pitcher in the KBO – this guy can absolutely deal, and he’ll bring his A-game tonight.

Game Plays:

1: NC 1H ML (-140) 3U

2: NC -1 (-140) 2U

3: UN 9.0 (BOUGHT DOWN FROM 8.5; -125) 2U

4: 1H UN 4.5 (-120) 1U

5: Kia TT UN 3.5 (-125) 1U  


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