The Lotte Giants and SK Wyverns meet in Incheon for one of three make-up games being played on Wednesday in the KBO. The Giants and Wyverns on opposite ends of the spectrum last season, and much has changed since the 2019 campaign.
Lotte were dead last with a record of 48-93-3. That put them 39 games behind the first-place SK Wyverns. The Wyverns finished the season with a record of 88-55-1 to put them in a tie with the Doosan Bears for top honors in the KBO.
How quickly things can change in just one year. The Wyverns have been one of the worst teams in the KBO this season after one of the best a season ago. They are ahead of the Hanwha Eagles with a record of 48-90-1, though that’s their only accomplishment this year.
While the Giants weren’t able to go from last to first, they made strides forward and might be a postseason team next season. They’ve gone from 48-93-3 in 2019 to 68-66-1 in 2020. That’s more than acceptable, and something to build on going forward.
One of the reasons for the improvement was the signing of American Dan Straily. If they can entice another major league castoff to come to South Korea, then the Giants are suddenly in business for next season. Straily wasn’t all that bad as a major leaguer.
It wasn’t too long ago that he was having success before going off the rails in 2019 with the Phillies. Note that Straily only signed a one-year deal, so could this be enough to find his way back into the majors? He’s going to get attention from Japan and other KBO teams, too. Straily will likely have options.
The Wyverns, on the other hand, must throw this season into the toilet and go back to what made them so successful in 2019. This might be an outlier for them, so they have to try and look back at the positives from that campaign. The Wyverns are expected to give Jong-hoon Park the starting nod on Wednesday at home.
He’s been great in spots, and not so desirable in others. Most of his good starts have come recently, so that’s a good sign. Conversely, Kyung-eun Nuh will get the nod for the Giants. The 36-year-old veteran has been pushed around in two starts against the Wyverns, including his first outing of the 2020 campaign in May. Head below for our free Lotte Giants vs. SK Wyverns pick for October 21, 2020.
Lotte Giants vs. SK Wyverns KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Lotte Giants vs. SK Wyverns Prediction:
The Lotte Giants really don’t have much to play for at this point. They were outmatched by a score of 6-1 last night against the Doosan Bears. It took them nine innings to get on the scoreboard, as Chris Flexen and the bullpen were terrific against the Giants.
Motivation in this one has to be a concern for the Giants. Their body language was pretty defeated looking last night, as it sunk in that there is nothing to play for now. The SK Wyverns accepted their fate a long time ago.
Giants’ starter, Kyun-eun Noh, has been whacked against the Wyverns for a 12.79 ERA in two starts this season. The Wyverns’ offense hasn’t been too productive in 2020, but they’ve seemed to like seeing Noh on the hill.
Through 5.1 innings, Noh has allowed 12 hits and 8 earned runs versus the Wyverns. And note that in four of his last six starts, he’s had an ERA above the 5.00 mark. There should be an opportunity here for the Wyverns to have a good day at the plate on Wednesday.
Jong-hoon Park faced the Giants on July 5 in his lone start against Lotte. He came out of the outing with a win, as he held the Giants to 5 hits and 2 earned runs through 6 innings of work. Overall, Park has been very average with an ERA of 5.05 and 1.45 WHIP, but he has been in good form recently.
In three of his previous four performances, Park has allowed 1 earned run. In each of those starts, Park left the game with an ERA well below 2.00. In his most recent tilt, he posted an ERA of 1.50 and 1.00 WHIP versus the Lions. At even money, I will take my chances with Park and the Wyverns at home in this KBO tilt.