An elite series is on the docket in the KBO starting on Tuesday. The Doosan Bears and NC Dinos will be in action for three days. This pits the No. 1 and No. 2 clubs in the league against one another. The Bears are the defending KBO champions, while the Dinos have been in top form in 2020.
In the first quarter of the 2020 season, they’ve been the team to beat and ahead of the competition by a decent margin. The Dinos enter Tuesday with a record of 23-6, with the Bears the closest opponent at the moment. Doosan are 4 games back of the Dinos and likely going to be hanging around near the top all season.
The Doosan Bears and NC Dinos met as recently as 2016 in the Korean Series. It was the first championship for the Bears since 2001. They followed through again in 2019 with a sweep of the Kiwoom Heroes in four games. In all, the Bears have recorded six championships, with the first going back to 1982.
The Bears certainly have the talent to repeat this season, but it’s likely not going to be as easy. The team they’re trailing right now in the standings looks especially tough. At least so far, the Dinos have played like the more well-rounded club. It’s not to say that things can’t change fast in the KBO. If you’ve followed any baseball league around the world, you are well aware that a lot can change fast.
This is going to be a game that features a first-time starter for the Bears. Jo Je-yeong is a 19-year-old that hasn’t thrown a pitch in the KBO. He is kind of getting thrown to the wolves in his first ever start. Jo gets no training wheels out of the gate, as he must contain with the Dinos in his debut. Choi Sung-young, who has been one of the least effective pitchers on the Dinos’ staff, will get the call. Head below for our free Doosan Bears vs. NC Dinos pick for June 9, 2020.
SK Wyverns vs. LG Twins KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Doosan Bears vs. NC Dinos Prediction:
Jo Je-yeong is going straight from high school to the big lights in the KBO. Everyone has to start somewhere, though, and this isn’t like the MLB. Players are not groomed in the minor leagues until they’re developed enough to get the call up to the big leagues. Major league teams prefer to play it safe and save their arm instead of possibly ruining it as a teenager. However, in South Korea, if you can pitch then it’s straight to the top league.
Instead of getting a bad offense like the Hanwha Eagles, Jo will have to deal with a Dinos squad that are hitting .304 and averaging 7.1 runs per game for first in the league. No other team has scored 200+ runs this season yet. The Dinos are at 208 runs going into Tuesday. If the Dinos don’t take Jo lightly, then they should have a big day at the dish. The offense might have to have a big day to get the win here. The Bears can definitely get into a high-scoring back-and-forth affair.
The Bears are one of three teams with the Dinos that are hitting .300 or greater this season. They’ve notched 6.1 runs per game for second in the KBO. The only team better than them in that regard is the Dinos. The Dinos’ Choi Sung-young steps on the bump with a 5.14 ERA and 1.71 WHIP against the Bears on Tuesday. He was touched up in his most recent outing for 3 earned runs and 6 hits for a 7.36 ERA and 2.18 WHIP in 3.2 innings versus a shaky Wyverns’ offense. This should be a fun game with plenty of scoring. A final score of 8-6 or 9-5 looks within reach here.