The Lotte Giants and SK Wyverns meet on Friday for a make-up game from a previously rained out contest. Neither team are going to the postseason, so the implications are not too important. That said, these are two clubs that certainly want to finish strong. The Wyverns are a team that went from first to almost last in one year.
They tied with the Doosan Bears for top honours in the regular season in 2019. However, it’s been rough for them in the 2020 campaign. The only thing they really have to be proud about is the fact that they’re not dead last. The Hanwha Eagles are behind the Wyverns for tenth in the KBO. The Wyverns go into Friday with a record of 50-90-1 after edging the Lotte Giants out yesterday by a score of 9-8.
Prior to that win, the Wyverns were impressive 11-3 winners over the Giants, so you have to like the fight they’re giving here down the stretch. The one positive for the Wyverns’ fans is that they can like this season was nothing more than an outlier. Perhaps they will revert to form in 2021. Meanwhile, for the Giants, this season hasn’t been a failure despite failing to go to the postseason.
The Giants were dead last a season ago. They didn’t get to the 50-win mark, so this has been progress for them. The Giants enter Friday with a record of 68-68-1. If you were to tell Giants’ fans they’d be a .500 team at the beginning of the season they’d be more than thrilled with the result. Much of the turnaround has been thanks to former major leaguer, Dan Straily. Straily has been one of the best pitchers not named Chang-mo Koo in the KBO this season.
Straily signed a one-year deal with the intention of pitching well and getting back into the majors. Mission accomplished, but we’ll have to see what his offers will be like. If it’s not the majors, another team in Asia will likely offer him a nice contract, whether it’s another team in the KBO or in Japan.
Straily gets the nod for the Giants, while the Wyverns are expected to counter with Geon-wook Lee. Lee has struggled this season, but previous success against the Giants in 2020 might help him. Head below for our free Lotte Giants vs. SK Wyverns pick for October 23, 2020.
Lotte Giants vs. SK Wyverns KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Lotte Giants vs. SK Wyverns Prediction:
The Giants would love to retain the services of Dan Straily, and they’ll offer him $1,000,000 for a year, but if a major league team thinks Straily has something left in the tank as a back of the end rotation guy, he’s gone back to the US. From what we’ve seen, he could help a bad pitching staff with depth in the majors. Straily has notched an ERA of 2.58 and 1.02 WHIP through 30 starts as a KBO rookie.
In five of his previous seven performances, Straily has finished with an ERA below 2.00. Straily is fresh off a rock solid effort against a quality NC Dinos’ offense on October 18. He conceded 5 hits and 1 earned runs in 6 innings of work. Straily posted an ERA of 1.50 and 1.17 WHIP against the Dinos in that outing.
He owns a record of 2-0 and 1.29 ERA in two performances. Straily gave up 2 earned runs in 13 innings against the Wyverns. Expect Straily to have a quality outing on Friday. The Wyverns have been playing well recently, but Straily should be able to bring them down a notch.
Geon-wook Lee has not been close to the same level as Straily this season. Lee owns a 5.67 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. Compared to what he did his last two years in the KBO, this is quite the revelation for him, though. Lee posted an ERA of 27.00 and 3.00 WHIP in 2016, and then a 33.75 ERA and 5.25 WHIP in 2017. He didn’t get another chance in the KBO until 2020.
Lee has allowed at least 4 earned runs in three of his previous four starts. He’s coming off a rough effort against the KT Wiz on October 17. Lee gave up 4 earned runs in 4.2 innings for a 7.71 ERA. Expect Straily to keep the Wyverns in check, while the Giants’ offense does just enough to get to Lee and pull away on the scoreboard.