The NC Dinos took the first game out of this three-game series against the Doosan Bears. It’s the most star-studded series of the weekend, with two of the top teams in the KBO meeting at Jamsil Baseball Stadium. Game 1 of the series could have gone in either direction until the later stages of the contest.
The Dinos and Bears were locked up at 2-2 in the 5th inning, then 3-2 going into the 8th and a 9-3 final score by the end of the 9th. The Dinos scored 7 runs between the 8th and 9th inning to blow open the game. If you just looked at the final score, you would believe that it wasn’t a competitive game. In fact, it was a competitive game until the Dinos did a number on the Bears’ bullpen.
Kim Kang-ryul and Chae Ji-sun allowed 5 earned runs in just 1.1 innings. That was ultimately the difference in the game. Lee Jae-hak pitched a fairly solid game for the Dinos, as he pitched one of his best outings of the season on Friday. Lee surrendered 5 hits and 3 earned runs in 4.2 innings of work.
The Bears had their chances, but didn’t capitalize with runners in scoring position. They had runners on the corners with no out and did nothing, then shortly after in the next inning the bases were loaded and Lee closed the door. No team can refuse to take advantage of those opportunities against the Dinos and expect to win. The Dinos are too good to miss to score with chances right there.
With the win, the Dinos advanced to 31-13 on the season for a 4-game lead on the Kiwoom Heroes for first in the KBO. The Bears are a half game back of the Heroes. The argument could be made that the Bears are better than the Heroes, but I’ve talked highly of the Heroes often this season.
A half game between the Bears and Heroes sounds about right. The Dinos will send out the back of their rotation on Saturday. Choi Sung-young is expected to get the call for the Dinos. He’s been iffy and faces a stiff challenge today on the road. The Bears are scheduled to go with former leaguer, Raul Alcantara, as their starting hurler in this one. Head below for our free NC Dinos vs. Doosan Bears pick for June 27, 2020 in the KBO.
NC Dinos vs. Doosan Bears KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
NC Dinos vs. Doosan Bears Prediction:
Choi Sung-young has been unable to show much for the Dinos this season. He has struggled with a 6.75 ERA and 1.88 WHIP in three outings, one of which was an appearance out of the bullpen as a reliever. If it weren’t for that average performance out of the bullpen, Choi’s numbers would be worse than a 6.75 ERA.
In two starts this year, Choi posted an ERA of 8.59 and 2.18 WHIP. He has allowed 7 earned runs in 7.1 innings of work in 2020. In his first season as a fulltime player in 2018, Choi was off the mark with a 5.88 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Choi seemed to fix a few things for last season and improvements were noted. He notched a 3.94 ERA and 1.55 WHIP for the best season of his career. In a total of 173.1 innings in his career, Choi owns a 5.14 ERA and 1.58 WHIP.
The Bears made easy work of Choi on June 9. He was tagged with a 9.82 ERA and 2.18 WHIP after allowing 4 earned runs and 6 hits in 3.2 innings. Expect the Bears to wake up and get their offense heading in the right direction against Choi on Saturday. Meanwhile, Raul Alcantara has been settling in nicely for the Bears. The former Oakland Athletic hit a bump early in the season, but has been in great form recently.
Alcantara was lights out in his performance versus the Dinos this season. He recorded a 1.29 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in 7 innings of work on June 10. Overall, Alcantara has a 3.70 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, with a record of 7-1 in nine outings in 2020. Alcantara was strong in his latest appearance, as he held the Twins to 1 run in 8 innings for a 1.13 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. The defending Korean Series champs likely respond to force a rubber-match for Sunday.