The KBO has three more games on the schedule Thursday off the grid from the normal regular season schedule. If you are new to the KBO, or haven’t been paying attention since sports returned in North America, there is a ten-day make-up period from October 20 to October 30. These are games that were previously rained out and being made up now.
I don’t hate this ten-day period at all. Instead of throwing a bunch of 7-inning doubleheaders together, this makes a little more sense. Major League Baseball had no time for something like this, but it could be something they want to borrow for next season.
The Hanwha Eagles are a mile behind the postseason, so they can begin to focus on offseason plans and the next season. They were out of the race from the get-go. The Eagles tied a KBO record with 18 straight losses in the early stages of the season. They’ve been able to find some wins since there, but a record of 43-92-3 doesn’t get them very far.
The Eagles are 39 games behind the NC Dinos for the lead in the KBO. They’re four games behind the SK Wyverns for ninth. There are only ten teams in the league, so the Eagles are sitting in the basement and won’t be moving up. The Eagles are a club that went 58-86-0 a year ago for next to last. They will drop a spot and have to reevaluate what went wrong again this offseason.
Conversely, the Kia Tigers are hanging on for dear life and a small miracle. They’re going into Wednesday with a record of 69-66-0 following a rainout against the NC Dinos yesterday. The Tigers are 6.5 games behind for the final playoff seed. In other words, the likelihood is close to nill that the Tigers will be playing baseball in November.
The Eagles don’t have anything to play for, but they’ll look to finish strong. They are expected to give Min-jae Jang the starting nod at home on Thursday. It has not been a standout season for Jang, though he has tasted a bit of success against the Kia Tigers in 2020.
First-year KBO pitcher, Drew Gagnon, will counter for the Tigers. The former New York Met has been adequate, but accomplished nothing if his goal was to sign a new MLB deal. Head below for our free Hanwha Eagles vs. Kia Tigers pick for October 22, 2020.
Kia Tigers vs. Hanwha Eagles KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Kia Tigers vs. Hanwha Eagles Prediction:
I’m not so sure that Drew Gagnon is having the season that he was looking for. This was supposed to be a year to prop him up to get him back into the majors, but he hasn’t followed the same path as Dan Straily. Gagnon has been fine when it comes to the KBO, and he can stay in the KBO based on his production this season, but his agent shouldn’t expect a call for a big deal from back home.
Gagnon enters Thursday with an ERA of 4.21 and 1.40 WHIP through 26 starts. He is coming off a couple of rough performances against the LG Twins and SK Wyverns, as he gave up 9 earned runs in 10 innings of work on October 16 and October 11. However, Gagnon will be back in the saddle on Thursday against a team that he’s had better success against in 2020.
Gagnon recently saw the Eagles on October 6 and he did well against the worst offense in the KBO. He held the Eagles to 4 hits and 2 earned runs through 6 innings of work. Overall in three games against the Eagles, Gagnon has posted an ERA of 3.00 versus the Eagles.
In his last two outings versus Hanwha, across 12.2 innings of play, he yielded just 2 earned runs and 5 hits. This should be a nice spot for Gagnon to pick himself up off the ground and brush himself off after some struggles recently. Min-jae Jang has been a rotation filler since entering the KBO in 2009.
Through 217 games, Jang has posted an ERA of 5.71 and 1.66 WHIP in his career. It has been no different for him this year, as Jang has registered a 6.29 ERA and 1.66 WHIP through 23 games, mostly as a reliever out of the bullpen. In his most recent tilt against the Tigers, Jang gave up 8 hits and 3 earned runs through 6 innings on October 7. He was lucky to get out of that one with just 3 earned conceded.
Jang was unable to bounce back in his next performance, as he gave up 5 hits and 5 earned runs for a 15.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP versus the Doosan Bears on October 15. The Eagles might be able to make this an interesting contest early, but I’m in favour of the Tigers pulling away to win and cover the runline.