The KT Wiz and Kia Tigers will begin a three-game series at KIA Champions Field on Tuesday in Gwangju. The Tigers are coming off a stunning loss against the NC Dinos on Sunday. Up 6-1 going into the bottom of the 9th, the Tigers coughed the lead away to lose 7-6 in the bottom half of the inning. The Dinos scored 6 runs to pull off a huge comeback. The Tigers were left shell shocked, but it takes 3 outs to get out of an inning, and they were unable to do that at the most crucial part of the game.
Especially against a dangerous team like the Dinos, you can’t turn your back on them or they are going to bite. The Tigers won the first game of the series, 8-2, but then faltered in the next two. They came really close to getting the series win, though they forget about closing the Dinos out in the final frame. The Tigers own a record of 27-23 for fifth in the KBO going into Tuesday. They’re a game and a half back of the LG Twins and tied with the Samsung Lions.
The KT Wiz trail the Tigers by 3.5 games. They have been up and down with a record of 25-28. The Wiz aren’t going to have to deal with finishing last or anything, but it’s unlikely they have it in them to get really hot and jump up into a playoff spot. In any event, the Wiz are still a young club and just recorded 60+ wins for the first time in franchise history in 2019. They started playing ball in 2015 and had their best season at 71-71-2 last year.
The Wiz are propelled by Mel Rojas Jr. who has been killing the ball at the plate. Rojas Jr. is hitting .374 with 19 home runs and a dazzling .426. The former Pittsburgh Pirate and Atlanta Brave minor leaguer is playing like a guy that wants another chance in the show. As a 30-year-old, a team may not want to give a guy that old a shot, but he might deserve a look. He’s been the most dangerous hitter in the KBO, and one of the others plays for the Kia Tigers.
However, the Tigers received bad news in their blown game against the Dinos. Along with losing the game, the Tigers lose Kim Sun-bin who leads the KBO with a .378 batting average. Kim is expected to miss at least 3 weeks, so that’s a blow for the Tigers today and the near future. The Tigers are expected to lean on Im Ki-young as their starting hurler on Tuesday. 23-year-old Bae Je-seong will counter for the Wiz. Head below for our free KT Wiz vs. Kia Tigers pick for July 7, 2020.
KT Wiz vs. Kia Tigers KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
KT Wiz vs. Kia Tigers Prediction:
With Kim Sun-bin out of the lineup for the Tigers, their most reliable bat is not going to be present on Tuesday. Mel Rojas Jr. is healthy and will be active on Tuesday for the Wiz. The Wiz as a team are hitting the ball well, as they have a team batting average of .297 and 5.8 runs scored per game. They are a hair behind the Bears for first with regard to batting average in the KBO. Some consistency from their pitching staff would have the Wiz near the top of the standings.
There hasn’t been much of that, though there has been promising signs from Bae Je-seong in spots this year. Bae has posted an ERA of 3.66 and 1.44 WHIP after notching a career-high 3.76 ERA and 1.43 WHIP a season ago. He is on the heels of a standout performance against the LG Twins on July 1, as Bae held the Twins to 4 hits and 1 earned run in 4 innings. In his previous 12 innings of work, Bae has been strong with 3 earned runs yielded. Bae was flawless in a start earlier in the year versus the Tigers. He recorded an ERA of 1.80 with just 4 hits allowed in 5 innings.
Im Ki-young will meet with the Wiz for the second time this season, too. Im’s trip to the bump garnered different results, however. Im conceded 6 hits and 3 earned runs in 5 innings for a 5.40 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. Overall, Im has been quite strong, with a 2.96 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in nine games. Im allowed 4 earned runs in his previous 10.1 innings of play across two games. That was against two weaker offenses, the Lions and Eagles. Im posted a cumulative ERA of 3.49 and 1.54 WHIP in those two performances. With Kim Sun-bin sitting this one out, I will take the better value with Rojas Jr. and the Wiz on Tuesday in the KBO.