Korean baseball is off the ground, as the KBO celebrated Opening Day on Tuesday throughout South Korea. It’s the biggest sports league playing games at the moment. The KBO is often regarded as the No. 3 baseball league in the world, with Japanese baseball and MLB in North America the next two in line on the hierarchy. In our first KBO pick, we were able to successfully cash the NC Dinos.
The Dinos put on an impressive display over the Samsung Lions. The most impressive of all was starting pitcher, former MLBer, Drew Rucinski, who was flawless in his first start of 2020. Rucinski went 6 innings strong, allowing just 3 hits and 4 walks. He allowed no runs across that time, and the bullpen locked things down as well from the 7th to 9th frames. There wasn’t a reliever that allowed a hit.
That’s an excellent way to get started in the KBO season. Hopefully we can turn it into a nice run to start the season. The CPBL has been a success from a betting standpoint, and there’s optimism that we can do the same for the KBO. It doesn’t have to be a major sports league to make money off sports betting.
The start time for Wednesday’s matchups are later in the day, as games will begin around 5:30 a.m. EST. Depending where you are in the world, that might be for better or worse. There are five games on the schedule Wednesday. We’ll be taking a look at the Lotte Giants and KT Wiz today. The Giants emerged with a nice 7-2 win on Opening Day against the Wiz. Former major league, Dan Straily, held his own with a solid performance. He allowed 3 hits and 2 earned runs across 5.2 innings of play.
Lotte exploded late for 6 runs between the 7th and 8th innings to pull away for a comfortable win. They’re likely going to find it more difficult to get their offensive wheels rolling today, though. The Wiz will send out William Cuevas, who spent time mainly with the Red Sox in the major leagues. Cuevas had trouble with consistency as a major leaguer, but looked more than fine in his first year in South Korea last season. 19-year-old Seo Jun-won is expected to counter for the Giants. Head below for our free Lotte Giants vs. KT Wiz pick for May 6, 2020 in the KBO.
Lotte Giants vs. KT Wiz KBO Betting Odds:
Lotte Giants vs. KT Wiz Prediction:
William Cuevas couldn’t find traction in the majors and was released after a stint in Pawtucket in 2018. Cuevas was solid in AAA ball that season, with a 3.39 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. However, with the Red Sox having no room for him on their big leagues roster, they had to release him to give way to younger talent on the AAA club. Cuevas went overseas to South Korea where he immediately was able to find success in the KBO. In 30 starts, Cuevas was solid enough to stick around a South Korean rotation. He notched a 3.62 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in his first season playing in South Korea.
Another solid season by Cuevas will be needed for the Wiz to improve on their record of 71-71 from last season. The pitching is the best it ever was in franchise history. In five years as a club, it was the first year that the team ERA was below 5.00, as they finished the 2019 campaign with an ERA of 4.31. Their team batting average held steady with a .277. Note that last season was the first year the Wiz secured more than 60 wins in a season. They smashed their previous high of 59 wins with 71 wins in 2019. Expectations continue to grow as the Wiz go into their sixth season as a franchise.
Seo Jun-won was a bit off the mark in his rookie season, but as a 19-year-old, there is a lot of room to develop into a reliable option in the rotation. Seo was 4-11 with a 5.47 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in his rookie campaign in 2019. He split time between the bullpen and starting rotation. Seo was unable to build up momentum towards the end of 2019, as he surrendered 12 earned runs in his final three outings. Following a sloppy performance on Opening Day, expect the KT Wiz to put forth a better performance behind Cuevas.