The long wait for MLB baseball is nearly over. There are two games on the Major League Baseball schedule on Thursday night to get us started. The Yankees and Nationals will get us started on Thursday evening, while the Giants and Dodgers will meet for the nightcap out west in the late game.
Friday will be the first day with a full slate of meaningful baseball on the calendar since 2019 in the US. Meanwhile, over in South Korea teams are already 60+ games into their season. There was a brief scare about a month ago because of a player with a high fever, but that turned out to be a negative test.
Four games were rained out on Wednesday. The Kia Tigers and Hanwha Eagles were the only teams to get their matchup in yesterday. The Tigers scored 2 early runs and that was all they needed to get a win over the Eagles. Yang Hyeon-jong was the star of the game for the Tigers, as he gave up just 3 hits and 1 earned run in 5 innings.
The bullpen was strong as well for the Tigers. They gave up just 1 hit and 2 walks across 4 innings of work. The offense wasn’t strong, but with the pitching on fire for the Tigers, they didn’t need any assistance from the bats. A double in the top of the 2nd inning was the only offense they needed to handle the Eagles.
With the win, the Tigers advanced to 35-29 on the season for a one-game advantage on the LG Twins. They trail the Kiwoom Heroes by 1.5 games. If the playoffs started today then the Tigers would be going to the postseason. I put the Tigers well behind the top-3 teams right now, though. The Heroes, Bears, and Dinos are in their own category, while the Tigers are the best of the second-tier in the KBO.
The Eagles missed out on a golden opportunity to get to a hittable pitcher on Wednesday. Now the Eagles must deal with the ace of the Tigers’ rotation, Aaron Brooks. Brooks has been in a rhythm as a rookie in the KBO this season. He has immediately looked comfortable pitching in South Korea. Brooks gets the nod against Chad Bell of the Eagles on Thursday. Head below for our free Kia Tigers vs. Hanwha Eagles pick for July 23, 2020 in the KBO.
Kia Tigers vs. Hanwha Eagles KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Kia Tigers vs. Hanwha Eagles Prediction:
The Tigers likely wouldn’t be in this position to go to the playoffs if it wasn’t for the Aaron Brooks acquisition. Brooks didn’t need much time to get acclimated overseas. He heads into Thursday with an ERA of 2.49 and 1.12 WHIP. In 13 starts for the Tigers, Brooks has surrendered more than 3 earned runs in a performance on only one occasion. In his previous nine starts, he has allowed fewer than 3 runs in seven outings.
Brooks made an appearance against the Eagles on May 12 and did what he was assigned to do. He went 7 innings with just 1 earned run conceded. Brooks excited the contest with a 1.92 ERA and 1.00 WHIP for one of many productive outings for him this season. Like I said, the Eagles missed their best opportunity to do damage against the Tigers’ pitching staff yesterday.
With Brooks in the saddle on Thursday, expect to see another sloppy effort by the Eagles at the dish. Chad Bell, who is 0-6 on the season, is scheduled to get the starting nod for Eagles in this one. Bell has struggled mightily, as he seeks his first win of the year today. After an adequate rookie campaign in the KBO with a 3.50 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, it seems like Bell took the offseason off to do nothing.
Bell has a 7.96 ERA and 1.90 WHIP going into Thursday. He’s been getting grilled, with 5 earned runs allowed in three of his last four starts. Bell has yielded at least 4 earned runs in six out of his eight performances in 2020. If the Tigers show up and want to play they should be rewarded with a win over the Eagles by 2 or more runs.