The KBO enters its third day of action on Thursday with another five-game card. Like yesterday, every game will begin at 5:30 a.m. EST. Not exactly the best time for ESPN if they want to get the best from viewership, but people are desperate for sports and they might get up early to check it out. The KBO is not the first baseball league to resume playing. In fact, the CPBL has been underway for weeks now in Taiwan.
That’s an exciting league with plenty of scoring. If long balls and a pile of runs is your thing, then the CPBL is going to be to your liking. There is more money to be made in the KBO, so you’ll generally find better players, especially the pitchers. The pitching is much better in the KBO than the CPBL.
You’ll see bullpens flare up all the time at the wrong time in the CPBL. The KBO is more like the MLB, where you’ll still see that, but they’re going to be better at extinguishing the fire. Totals are routinely below 10 in the KBO, whereas you’ll see totals to 10+ in the CPBL regularly. The Doonas Bears will be in play against the LG Twins on Thursday.
The Twins brought it to a rock solid Bears club in the season opener on Tuesday with a final score of 8-2. Former major leaguer, Raul Alcantara, had some issues, as he left the game with 3 earned runs allowed in 6 innings. The bullpen was not able to hold, and the Twins emerged with a comfortable win. The Bears were able to settle in for a nice day on Wednesday. They notched a textbook 5-2 win behind the strong arm of Lee Young-ha.
Lee Houng-ha yielded no earned runs across 6.1 innings, while giving up just 5 hits to silence the Twins’ bats. Conversely, Twins’ Song Eun-bwon was unable to get out of the 3rd inning, as he was tagged for 5 earned runs and 9 hits for a 19.29 ERA. The Bears are the defending KBO champs.
They finished with a record of 88-55, and then swept the Kiwoon Heroes in the Korean Series Championship. Expect them to be contenders again in 2020. Their first performance shouldn’t be indicative of the future in South Korea. Head below for our free Doosan Bears vs. LG Twins pick for May 7, 2020 in the KBO.
Doosan Bears vs. LG Twins KBO Betting Odds:
Doosan Bears vs. LG Twins Prediction:
The Bears will send out 25-year-old Chris Flexen to the bump. The native of California, is a former member of the Mets, who would love to have a productive season and get the attention of MLB clubs. He’s still pretty young and could do that, but he’s going to have to be much better than he was in the majors. Flexen posted a 6.59 ERA and 2.049 ERA in nine games last year.
In total, Flexen had a record of 3-11 with a 8.07 ERA and 2.13 WHIP in 27 games. In other words, Flexen must be flawless in the KBO to get back to the major leagues. He was better against AAA hitters last season, as Flexen posted a 4.46 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. The KBO should be easier for him, and he could still make a good career out of playing in South Korea.
The LG Twins are expected to give Jung Chan-heon the first start of his career. This is after playing in the KBO since 2008, so he’s been a lifer of the bullpen. Jung owns a career ERA of 5.35 and 1.55 WHIP. That’s across 327 outings in his career. Last season was his best, but keep in mind that he made only 13 appearances.
Jung was sharp with a 1.64 ERA, though his WHIP didn’t move anywhere, as he had a 1.55 WHIP. If he had a larger sample size, we probably don’t see an ERA of 1.64 for Jung. He made 66 showings out of the bullpen in 2018 and was shaky with a 4.85 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. Prior to that season, Jung had a 5.84 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 2018. It’s asking a lot to expect too much out of him in the first ever start of his career. A team like the Bears should be able to exploit Jung. I like a 7-4 or 6-3 win for the Doosan Bears on Thursday in the KBO.