The KIA Tigers head on the road to face the SK Wyverns on Friday in Incheon at SK Happy Dream Park. They will meet for a three-game weekend series after the Tigers made easy work of the Lotte Giants, and the SK Wyverns came up a bit short yesterday against the Kiwoom Heroes. The Wyverns got into a high-scoring shootout for a 9-8 loss on Thursday.
They ultimately went to extra innings and lost in the bottom of the 10th. It was a tough loss for the Wyverns, as they try to dig themselves out of an early season hole. The Wyverns are 2-12 on the season and the only club in the KBO without 5 wins on the year. For SK to get there, they will have to sweep the Tigers which isn’t going to be too easy.
The Tigers reached above .500 with a 6-1 win over the Lotte Giants at home yesterday. They swept the Giants in three games and winners in six of their previous eight matchups following a slow start. With the win last night, the Tigers head into their series against the Wyverns with a record of 8-7. I don’t know if they’re on pace to repeat what they did in 2017 as Korean Series champions, but should have the talent to do better than their record of 62-80-2 from 2019.
They have won the Korean Series 11 times, with the first dating back to 1983 and most recent in 2017. The Wyverns, on the other hand, won the Korean Series a year after the Tigers did in 2018. They followed it up last season with another productive campaign with a record of 88-55-1. It looked like the Wyverns might have been able to repeat as champions, but an upset against the Heroes spoiled that quickly.
The Wyverns have a win against the Eagles in their second game of the season and the Heroes a couple of games ago. Besides that it’s the only success that the Wyverns have been able to have this season. It’s been tough sledding otherwise with just two wins on their resume. We’ll see if a change of scenery back home can help them out. Kim Joo-han must do a better job than what he’s done so far for that to happen. Head below for our free KIA Tigers vs. SK Wyverns pick for May 22, 2020 in the KBO.
KIA Tigers vs. SK Wyverns KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
KIA Tigers vs. SK Wyverns Prediction:
The SK Wyverns are keeping their fingers crossed that Kim Joo-han will be more comfortable as a starter on Friday. He’s appeared in three games all out of the bullpen and has faced plenty of issues on the bump. Kim has yet to get out of an inning in three games. He’s posted an ERA of 45.00 and 8.00 WHIP after getting drilled for what amounts to just 1 inning. Kim surrendered 5 hits and 5 earned runs. In his most recent performance, Kim was unable to record an out before getting pulled off the bump. He walked two batters, allowed a hit, and a run then that was enough for Kim.
Kim made a spot start last season and wasn’t good then either. He had a 5.25 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in a total of 12 innings. Prior to that season, Kim looked the same as he has in 2020. He appeared in seven games out of the bullpen and had no control. Despite appearing in seven games, Kim was able to record just 6 innings because of getting pulled early.
He was stung for a 13.50 ERA and 2.50 WHIP. In his five-year career, Kim owns a career ERA of 5.78 and 1.57 WHIP. It’s not hard to feel a little skeptical about Kim against the Tigers on Friday. History suggests that the Tigers are going to have a good day at the dish in this one.
Yang Hyun-jong is coming off a terrific season in 2019. He notched a career-high ERA of 2.29 and 1.07 WHIP in 29 games. The 32-year-old veteran has been in the KBO since 2017 and has carved out a nice career. In 13 years, Yang has recorded a 3.76 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. There have been ups and downs, but for the most part, Yang has been a reliable member of the Tigers.
In three starts this season, he’s posted a 4.80 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. Since giving up 4 earned runs in his first start of the season, Yang has been able to settle in for a 3.00 ERA in his previous two outings. That kind of effort should be more than enough against Kim. Expect Kim to get into trouble early, allowing the Tigers to build up a comfortable lead against the Wyverns. I like the Tigers by 2 or more runs in Incheon.