The Doosan Bears looked like the defending Korean Series last night against the Lotte Giants. They still might be the team to beat in the KBO despite three teams ahead of them with better records at the moment. The Giants suffered their first loss of the season last season. They opened the season on a 5-game winning streak, but that came to a screeching halt in a 11-6 loss. If you’re new to the KBO like most people, I wouldn’t be too focused on their 5-0 start to the season. It’s early and the Giants likely don’t have the horses in their stable to maintain their position near the top of the standings.
A loss was going to be there eventually for the Giants, though. Let’s see how they respond to that loss. It could be within days that the Giants are the .500 mark and memories of last season begin to take hold. The Giants were the worst clubs in the KBO last season, as they finished with a record of 48-93-3 for last in South Korea. They were the only club in the league that didn’t record 50 wins on the season. It’s unlikely that the Giants go from last to first in just one season, so don’t get too excited over their 5-0 start.
Last night we saw a glance into the same club from 2019. Pitching was woefully inadequate and that’s what we saw on display last night from Jang Won-sam, who was tagged with 5 runs and 10 hits in just 3 innings on the bump. Jang has had issues the past few years and is going to continue to be a big trouble spot in the Giants’ offense in 2020. The bullpen was okay given the offense they had to deal with, but the damage was already done and the Bears cruised to an easy win.
The Giants did their best to try and get Jang to chew up another inning or two. They didn’t want to tax their bullpen for Wednesday. However, the Giants had to use five different members of their bullpen, while the Bears used just three. Bears’ starter, Raul Alcantara, was serviceable with 4 earned runs across 5 innings. Against a better offense, Alcantara may have ran into more issues, though. He yielded 12 hits in 5 innings and was able to escape some jams without too much damage. Lee Young-ha is expected to get the nod for the Bears, and Seo Jun-won for the Giants. Each pitcher will be making their second start of 2020. Head below for our free Doosan Bears vs. Lotte Giants pick.
Doosan Bears vs. Lotte Giants KBO Baseball Odds:
Doosan Bears vs. Lotte Giants Prediction:
The good teams know how to respond from bad losses and snap right back into the swing of things. The bad, however, know how to allow a bad game to snowball into several more losses. That could easys happen to the Lotte Giants this week. The Giants will have to be careful early in this one, or it’s going to turn into another early run barrage for the Bears.
Seo Jun-won got off to a terrific start for the Giants, but it’s only one outing, and he’s still only a 19-year-old. Seo was up against the KT Wiz in his first appearance in 2020 and he was sharp. In 6 innings of work, Seo surrendered no earned runs and 5 hits for a 1.00 WHIP. Just like the rest of the Giants club I’d be a bit cautious, though.
Seo is in his sophomore campaign after getting his feet wet as a rookie in 2019. He didn’t come out of the gates flying as a rookie, but as a younger it’s to be expected. Very few young pitchers under 20 find immediate success in the KBO. They don’t have the luxury of developing in a minor league system like in the US.
While Seo looked great in his first outing of 2020, Seo posted a 5.47 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 33 games with the Giants in 2019. He notched a poor record of 4-11. Is his opening start of 2020 indicative of more to come or just an outlier? I venture to say that he doesn’t look so great against the Bears on Wednesday. The Bears’ Lee Young-ha looked sharp in his first start this season as well. He gave up 1 earned run across 6.1 innings pitched for a 1.42 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.
The 22-year-old is going into his fourth season as a professional and is over the feeling out process which tends to happen in the first two seasons for KBO pitchers. Lee had his best season in 2019, posting a 3.64 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, an improvement from a 5.28 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in his sophomore campaign. Expect Lee to find continued success in 2020. However, the verdict is still out for Seo of the Giants. The Bears are a solid option on Wednesday in the KBO.