The Doosan Bears and KIA Tigers will meet for the first time this season. The Bears are looking up after they looked good yesterday against the Lotte Giants in the series finale. They jumped ahead by a score of 7-2 and were able to hold on for a 7-4 victory. It wasn’t a great start for the Bears, as Chris Flexen was tagged for 2 earned runs in the first frame.
He settled in, though, and didn’t allow a run for the rest of his stay in the match. Flexen left after pitching 6 solid innings, with 6 hits and 2 earned runs yielded. The offense took care of the rest for the Bears. It’s imperative not to relax after grabbing a lead against the Bears. They have some hitters that can make a pitching staff pay dearly.
The Bears are off to a 5-3 start in 2020. It’s not bad nor is it great, but the Bears are likely going to be a team to worry about later in the season. They’re the defending Korean Series champions and have three championships since 2015. If you’re new to the KBO, they are one of the better teams you are going to find in the league, mostly because of their quick strike offense.
Holding them back in 2020 might be a shaky bullpen, which has been on display in spots this season already. They were able to hold on last night, but it’s not like the Giants didn’t start to make things interesting in the 8th. That fire was extinguished, though it had to make for some nervous Bears’ bettors and fans. If they can get the bullpen worked out by the end of the season, the Bears will be in a prime position to repeat as champs.
The KIA Tigers have been mediocre with a record of 4-5 thus far in 2020. They are coming off a 4-1 loss against the Hanwha Eagles on Thursday. Their offense has been spotty, and will have to improve from their early struggles this season. The Tigers have been the most successful team in KBO history, with 11 championships, the most recent in 2017.
However, they fell off hard last season with a record of 62-80 after going 70-74 and 87-56-1 in the two previous seasons. Last season was the first time they missed the playoffs in three years. Yu Hui-kwan is coming off a brutal performance in his first outing of 2020. Yu has been inconsistent as they come in the KBO since entering the league in 2009. He notched a career-high ERA last season, but how legit was it after getting bombed the year before? In any event, his offense should provide him with solid support against Im Ki-young. Head below for our free Doosan Bears vs. KIA Tigers pick for May 15, 2020 in the KBO.
Doosan Bears vs. KIA Tigers KBO Baseball Odds:
Doosan Bears vs. KIA Tigers Prediction:
The Bears have been swinging the bats well this season. They’re up to 7.4 runs scored per game after scoring 7 more runs yesterday against the Giants. The Bears will likely have another big day against the Tigers on Friday. Im Ki-young hasn’t been what the Tigers expected when he came over to KIA from the Eagles. Im made his debut with the Tigers in 2017 and he’s struggled to find a rhythm. He posted an ERA of 6.26 and 1.70 WHIP in 2018, and then had a minor improvement last season, but his contributions were lacking again. Im registered a 5.73 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 2019 for a slight change in direction.
Im did not get the start he was looking for against the Lions to open the year. The Lions don’t have the most terrifying offense, but they were able to get to Im for 4 earned runs and 5 hits in just 4.2 innings. Im was tagged with a 8.31 ERA and 1.38 WHIP after leaving the contest. He was up to 90 pitches in just 4.2 frames.
Im was an out away from getting to 5 innings, but was pulled after he was in danger of getting hit for more runs. The Bears should be able to exploit Im in this one for another productive day at the dish. In his previous three outings against the Bears, Im has surrendered 8 runs in just 8.2 innings of work. He also yielded 15 hits during that stretch, so it could have been even uglier than 8 earned runs.
For the Tigers, they have to look at this game as an opportunity to get their offense going. Yu Hui-kwan is coming off a poor performance against the KT Wiz in his first start of 2020. He was nailed for 5 earned runs and 10 hits in 4 innings. Yu got up to 97 pitches and had to get yanked. He was credited with the loss in that outing.
By the time he left the match, Yu posted a 11.25 ERA and 2.75 WHIP. This is after Yu recorded a 6.70 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 2018, along with a 3.25 ERA and 1.28 WHIP last season. Which version are we going to get in 2020? Yu will be better than his first start this season, though the Tigers’ offense will likely put forth a better effort in this one than what they did versus the Eagles. This should be a fun game, with a lean towards a high-scoring affair.