The KBO season is winding down, and we’re only two or three games away from awarding a winner in the Korean Series. With the series deadlocked at 2-2, we go into a critical Game 5 on Monday. There isn’t any surprise here that this series is going down to the wire. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this going to a Game 7.
The Doosan Bears and NC Dinos are equally matched and it would be no surprise if a seventh game is in our future. In Game 4, the NC Dinos were 3-0 winners on Saturday at Gocheok Sky Dome. Note that all games are being played at Gocheok Sky Dome. South Korea has had a strong handle on the coronavirus, but they’re still going with a bubble site just to be cautious.
The Dinos earned a “free” trip to the Korean Series after winning the regular season title. In most leagues, finishing atop the standings in the regular season provides a slight advantage for homefield advantage. However, in the KBO, it’s really important to win the regular season in South Korea. The vast majority of the time, the team who wins the regular season wins the Koreak Series.
For the Dinos, the odds favour them winning this series, but the experience edge goes to the Doosan Bears in this spot. The Bears have won the Korean Series six times, including last year in 2019 and in 2016 against the Dinos. That was a sweep for the Bears against the inexperienced Dinos.
It was a good learning experience for the Dinos, but they’ve only been around in the KBO since 2013. This has been their best chance to win the Korean Series in franchise history. The Dinos finished the regular season with a record of 83-55-6 to easily put them in control of the KBO. That was the case from the start out of the gate to the end of October.
The Bears finished the season with a record of 79-61-4. Despite rounding out the season in 4th in the KBO, the Bears are in the Korean Series. Like I said, no surprise there. They have a tough assignment with Chang-mo Koo getting the nod for the Dinos on the hill. Chris Flexen has been in great form, though, so this should be a good matchup. Head below for our free Doosan Bears vs. NC Dinos pick for November 22, 2020.
Doosan Bears vs. NC Dinos KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Doosan Bears vs. NC Dinos Prediction:
Chang-mo Koo was the best pitcher in the KBO during the regular season. However, a forearm fracture in July slowed him down and removed him from action until October. The Dinos gave him a couple of warm up appearances just to shake off the rust before the Korean Series. It was especially important considering that the Dinos had to sit out and wait while the rest of the playoffs were being played. Koo registered an ERA of 1.74 and 0.81 WHIP through 15 appearances through 93.1 innings of work.
He showed improvement last season when he went from an ERA 5.35 in 2018 to a 3.20 ERA in 2019. Koo has continued to show improved form, and he took a big leap this year. He might be the most intriguing Korean MLB prospect in the KBO at the moment, but Koo will have to show for more than a year that he can pitch at this level. He was sharp in his first outing in the Korean Series, having surrendered 2 earned runs through 6 innings.
Don’t expect his counterpart, Chris Flexen to go away quietly in this matchup. Flexen pitched 6 innings and conceded 1 earned run against the Dinos earlier in this series. It follows his pace at the end of the regular season. Flexen gave up only 1 earned run in his last four starts across 26.2 innings of play. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 earned runs in a performance since September 22. Flexen didn’t concede more than 2 runs in six straight games to close out the regular season. I’m expecting a duel between Flexen and Koo in Game 5 of the Korean Series.