The Lotte Giants and Samsung Lions will meet for the final matchup of a three-game series at Samsung Lions Park. The Lions are looking for a sweep following wins of 15-10 and 5-2. They showed that they can win in a couple of different ways. The bats came out to play for the Lions on Friday, and then the pitching staff came through yesterday for a strong performance. Ben Lively pitched a solid game, as he went 5 innings with 2 earned runs conceded.
The bullpen took over from there. The Lions’ relievers yielded just 2 hits in 4 innings to close out the Giants. That’s generally how the Lions like to play. They don’t like getting into high-scoring games. While it worked out on Friday, the Lions don’t have the firepower to consistently keep up with the elite offenses. More often than not, their pitching staff has to be the catalyst for a win. The Lions are a much better spot than they were a month ago. They’re four games above the .500 mark with a record of 34-30.
The Lions need an extra bat or two for their lineup for anyone to take them seriously. I think that the Lions are in a position where a move at the trade deadline would benefit them greatly. They have a decent enough rotation to get them in the postseason. However, their hit and miss offense would be their undoing. We’ll see what the Lions choose to do at the trade deadline. The Giants will be looking to avoid a sweep on Sunday before taking their scheduled day off on Monday.
The good news for the Giants is that they will not finish last in the KBO. That spot is reserved for the Hanwha Eagles or SK Wyverns, likely the Eagles. The Giants were dead last a season ago with a record of 48-93-3. They were 8.5 games behind the Eagles. In other words, it’s hard to knock their record of 29-32. They did start hot this season, but that was over the first two weeks of the season. Not much time to draw any conclusions.
With Major League Baseball this season, which begins on Thursday, there isn’t any time for a slow start, though. Any team could catch fire and go on to reach the postseason in this shortened campaign. Every game is going to be that much more important. The marathon aspect of what a lot of people like about baseball, but I think this mad dash could be exciting for one year. Sunday is a battle of former major leaguers, with Dan Straily of the Giants taking on David Buchanan of the Lions. Head below for our free Lotte Giants vs. Samsung Lions pick for July 19, 2020 in the KBO.
Lotte Giants vs. Samsung Lions KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Lotte Giants vs. Samsung Lions Prediction:
The Lotte Giants made a smart move with signing Dan Straily to a deal to play baseball in South Korea. The former mid-tier major leaguer has blossomed into an elite pitcher in the KBO. Straily recorded a career-high ERA in MLB with the Reds in 2016. It wasn’t that long ago Straily was a very dependable option in the majors. It wasn’t until last year where Straily really went off the rails.
Going by his work from the KBO in 2020, Straily should get another opportunity in the big leagues. He goes into Sunday with an ERA of 2.07 and 0.97 WHIP in 13 games. Straily hasn’t given up a run in two straight outings. He was perfect against the Eagles and Twins across 15 innings of work. They managed just 6 hits on Straily, as he posted WHIP’s of 0.71 and 0.38.
Straily hasn’t allowed more than 2 earned runs in eight of his previous nine outings. He’s done everything right as a rookie in the KBO. If he continues along this path, Straily will be keeping a close eye on his phone with a call from his agent. He’s not going back to the majors and producing these numbers, but his confidence is back and might be able to be a middle or back of the rotation guy for a rotation that doesn’t have much depth.
He will be countered by former Philadelphia Phillie, David Buchanan. Buchanan was always fade material for me in the majors, though he’s been etching out a decent career in South Korea. He owns a 3.48 ERA and 1.17 WHIP across 77.2 innings in 12 games. Buchanan has been sharp with 2 or fewer runs allowed in eight of his last nine outings. He has allowed just 2 earned runs in his last three starts across 22 innings of work. We should get a duel out of Straily and Buchanan on Sunday, with a play on the UNDER a solid option.