The Kia Tigers figured out how to hit the ball without Kim Sun-bin in the lineup on Friday night. They scored 9 runs in a 9-8 win over the Heroes for a win to get them to 29-25 on the season. Kim was hitting .378 for the Tigers when he had to sit down, which will likely be for three weeks. Fortunately it isn’t a long-term injury, though some injuries have a tendency to linger throughout the season. The Tigers aren’t out of anything in the KBO in 2020. They are on pace to go to the playoffs and just need to keep things together while Kim is on the shelf.
The Tigers are currently a half game ahead of the LG Twins for fourth in the standings. They trail the Doosan Bears by 3.5 games for third. The Tigers may have racked up the runs on the scoreboard last night, though they will likely be dependent on their pitching over the next few weeks. Taking advantage of favorable pitching matchups will have to be in the plans as well. They don’t need Kim Sun-bin to score against some of the weaker pitchers in the KBO, and there are several of them around.
Despite the loss for the Kiwoom Heroes, they are in a good spot with a record of 35-23. The Dinos blew out the LG Twins yesterday, so they dropped behind by an additional game from 4 to 5 games behind. They are one of the more well-rounded clubs in the KBO. I’ve been saying this for some time now, even before they caught up to the Doosan Bears and passed them. The Heroes, Bears, and Dinos all look like potential Korean Series champions in 2020. If the Tigers can get healthy and stay healthy, then they will have a better chance than their 29-25 record indicates.
The Heroes 2-3 in their last five games after losing to the Tigers last night. It was a poor day for Choi Won-tae, as he was swatted for 9 hits and 7 earned runs in 4 innings of work. That set the tone for the rest of the game for the Heroes. The bullpen wasn’t that bad either. They conceded 2 earned runs in 5 innings, though the damage was already done. The Heroes are expected to give Lee Seung-ho the starting nod on Saturday. Aaron Brooks, who has developed into an ace for the Tigers, is scheduled for the start at home on Saturday. Head below for our free Kiwoom Heroes vs. Kia Tigers pick for July 11, 2020 in the KBO.
Kiwoom Heroes vs. Kia Tigers KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Kiwoom Heroes vs. Kia Tigers Prediction:
The Heroes are hoping to see some changes out of Lee Seung-ho soon. The 21-year-old is in his third season, and there is expected to be some form of consistency at this point in his career. The third season is one of the most important years for a pitcher and we’re seeing the same Lee from his rookie campaign.
As a rookie in 2018, Lee posted a 5.60 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 32 games, with the majority of his appearances out of the bullpen. As a full time starter the following season, Lee saw improvement to finish the 2019 campaign with a 4.48 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 23 starts.
This is a big season for Lee, but he’s been unable to take the next forward. In fact, Lee has been regressing back closer to how he was pitching as an 18-year-old rookie. Lee has a 5.33 ERA and 1.46 WHIP going into today. He’s allowed 32 earned runs and 62 hits in 54 innings pitched. In his most recent performance, Lee was rocked for 6 earned runs and 5 hits in just 2 innings. That was all for him, as Lee was pulled with a 27.00 ERA and 3.00 WHIP. It’s unlikely that Lee will pitch as poorly as that today, but the road hasn’t been too kind to him. In 19 innings on the road, Lee has conceded 12 earned runs.
He must be much better than that if he’s going to keep up with Aaron Brooks. Brooks has been the hottest pitcher in the rotation for the Tigers. He was out there for 7.2 innings in his most recent showing and handcuffed a very good Dinos’ offense. The Dinos scored just 1 run, with Brooks exiting the contest with a 1.17 ERA and 0.65 WHIP.
In his previous three starts, Brooks has yielded just 2 runs in 20.2 innings of work. In five out of his previous five outings he’s conceded 1 or no runs. In six out of his last seven it’s been 2 or fewer runs for Brooks. In two starts against the Heroes this season, Brooks was locked in and posted an ERA of 1.54 across 11.2 innings. I’m siding with Brooks and the Tigers over the visiting Heroes on Saturday at KIA Champions Field.