If you are going to watch any game in the KBO on Thursday, I’d have to recommend the KT Wiz and Doosan Bears. All of the other teams in action today aren’t playoff teams, but the Wiz and Bears are going to be playing November baseball in South Korea. Where they land with their seeding is anyone’s guess, though.
Everything is so close that any of the clubs from second to fifth could just as easily get second or fifth. The Wiz edged out the Samsung Lions by a score of 2-1 on Wednesday. They loaded the bases with 1 out and the bottom 10th in extra innings and was able to get a runner home.
That’s a big win for the Wiz, as they stay within reach of the LG Twins by a game. They’re tied with the Kiwoom Heroes, who have just two games during this make-up period. Catching the NC Dinos is going to be a tough chore for first, but the Wiz are certainly within reaching distance of the Twins.
The Bears, who are often regarded as the class of the KBO, haven’t really been the class in 2020. They are fifth with a record of 75-59-4 and a clear inside route to the playoffs. Up 6.5 games on the Kia Tigers should be more than enough for a ticket to play baseball in November. No way would I want anything to do with the Bears in the postseason despite being a lower seed at the moment.
They are coming off a 6-1 win over the Lotte Giants on Tuesday in a textbook victory. That was the second straight win, and fifth win in their previous seven outings. Three of those wins were against the last-place Hanwha Eagles, but they all count towards the standings.
I like what the Bears are doing at the front of their rotation, but the backend lacks talent. That goes for most KBO rotations, but an upgrade over veteran Hui-kwan Yu would be nice for next season. He’s been in the KBO since 2009, and had a pleasantly surprising 2019 campaign with an ERA below 4.00 for only the second time as a starter, but tailed off last season and hasn’t been able to recover.
Venezuelan and former member of the Boston Red Sox, William Cuevas, has been fine, albeit nothing spectacular in his second year in the KBO. Cuevas must be at his best in the postseason if the Wiz are going to go far. They don’t have a top-flight rotation, so Cuevas getting hot at the right time will be vital in November. Head below for our free KT Wiz vs. Doosan Bears pick for October 22, 2020.
KT Wiz vs. Doosan Bears KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
KT Wiz vs. Doosan Bears Prediction:
Just when the Bears thought that Hui-kwan Yu reached his expiration point, he came back with one of the best seasons of his career in 2019. After posting an ERA of 6.70 and 1.70 WHIP through 28 starts, Yu bounced back nicely with a 3.25 ERA and 1.28 WHIP last season. It was the first time since 2015 that Yu finished with an ERA below the 4.00 mark, and it was a career-high for him.
However, the good feelings didn’t last more than a year for Yu. He has been struggling to get his command under control this season. Yu enters Thursday with an ERA of 5.20 and 1.69 WHIP through 25 starts in 2020. Before giving up just 1 run against the lowly Hanwha Eagles in his most recent outing, Yu was tagged for a 10.08 ERA and 2.25 WHIP in three straight performances. He’s struggled versus the Wiz in the past starts this season, so it could be right back to headaches for Yu today.
Yu has notched a 7.27 ERA and record of 1-3 against the Wiz. He lasted only 1.2 innings after allowing 5 hits and 3 earned runs for a 16.20 ERA and 3.60 WHIP. That was ugly. I don’t expect Yu to be that bad on Thursday, but it’s not to say he’s going to get out of this game with a strong performance. Expect the Wiz to be able to do some damage versus Yu on Thursday. Having said that, the Bears have been able to connect against William Cuevas this season as well.
Cuevas owns a 4.76 ERA against the Bears in two appearances. He pitched against them on October 10 and was thrashed for a 16.20 ERA and 2.40 WHIP through 3.1 innings. Cuevas left the ballgame with 4 hits and 6 earned runs conceded. He also walked 4 batters for just a disastrous day for Cuevas. Overall this season, he’s netted an ERA of 4.10 and 1.26 WHIP for some respectable numbers. Although, his effort against the Bears hasn’t been much to get excited about. I think the total is a touch too low here by a run, which sets up an opportunity for a play on the OVER.