The KIA Tigers and KT Wiz Suwon meet on Tuesday for a contest between two clubs on the cusp of potentially doing something in 2020. The Tigers, who are the most successful franchise in KBO history with 11 championships, will likely have the easier path to success this season. They most recently won the Korean Series in 2017 for their first win since 2009.
The majority of their success as a franchise was in the late 80’s, where they won four straight championships and five in six seasons. After winning in 2017, the Tigers went 70-74 and 62-80-2 the past two seasons. Despite their shortcomings, they aren’t a team that I’d be taking lightly. Having said that, I expect the Tigers to be a mid-tier club throughout the season.
Compared to the Tigers, the Wiz are just in their infancy as a franchise. The Wiz are playing in their sixth season as a franchise and just recorded their first season with more than 60 wins in 2019. Not only did they smash through 60 wins, but the Wiz reached more than 70 wins for a record of 71-71-2. Can they build on that and go even further? It’s possible, but it’s likely that they hover around that mark and don’t go much further than they did in last season.
The Wiz are off to a 7-10 this season. Their offense has been playing well, but the pitching has been spotty. Besides the top of their rotation, the bottom isn’t offering much hope for the Wiz. The Wiz are coming off a 9-7 loss against the LG Twins. This was after they notched an impressive 6-2 victory. When they have their reliable hurlers on the bump the Wiz can be a good team. However, there aren’t enough of them to take the team seriously in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Tigers are off to a 10-7 start, as they hover below the top contenders like the LG Twins and Dinos. They’re in a tie with the Kiwoom Heroes currently. The Heroes have a tough assignment at NC Park against the Dinos today, so the Tigers have a good chance of taking sole possession of 4th or 3rd with a Bears’ loss. Drew Gagnon is expected to get the call for the Tigers against the red-hot Bae Je-seong. Bae has been electric thus far and turning into the ace of the club. Head below for our free KIA Tigers vs. KT Wiz pick for May 26, 2020 in the KBO.
KIA Tigers vs. KT Wiz KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
KIA Tigers vs. KT Wiz Prediction:
The Wiz are banking on another brilliant performance from Bae Je-seong, who looks awfully determined to be an ace in the KBO. The 23-year-old heads into Tuesday with a 0.89 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in three starts. Across 20.1 innings of work, Bae has allowed just 2 earned runs in 2020. The only runs he has surrendered was in the 2020 debut against the Lotte Giants. Since then Bae has given up no runs in 14 straight innings in two outings.
The most impressive feat for Bae had to be against the Dinos at NC Park on May 14. Bae gave up 7 hits and just 1 walk in 7 innings. He didn’t allow a run and was able to carry it over into his next start against the Hanwha Eagles. Bae surrendered 6 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings of work in that performance. We’ll see if he can keep it rolling at home against the Tigers on Tuesday. He may allow a run or two, but that might be good enough for the Wiz to eke out a win versus the Tigers.
Drew Gagnon showed up in a big way in his most recent outing, as he shuttered the Giants for just 2 hits in 6 innings at home. However, Gagnon was less than efficient in his first two starts, which came on the road. Gagnon posted a 5.06 ERA and 1.31 WHIP against the Samsung Lions, and a 7.20 ERA and 1.60 WHIP against the Hanwha Eagles. He could have control issues against a capable Wiz offense on the road.
The Wiz are 2nd in the KBO with a terrific batting average of .320. They are 1st in runs scored with 119 on the season. That’s 7 runs scored per game in 17 games for the Wiz. Conversely, the Tigers are hitting .275 with 4.8 runs scored per game. With Bae on the bump pitching like he has been in the early stages of 2020, there seems to be some value at this price on the Wiz at home.