The KBO make-up phase continues on Friday with four games on the schedule in South Korea. This is a one-game spot matchup for all teams involved. The Kiwoom Heroes will play one of their two make-up games on Friday. They only have two games during this ten-game period from October 20 to October 30.
There are two ways to look at that going into the postseason. You can either argue that the Heroes are going to be cold and rusty, or they are going to be well-rested. Two of three games towards the end of this extra regular season time would have been probably best, or at least the way I see it.
The NC Dinos and Hanwha Eagles are scheduled to play on Friday at Hanwha Life Eagles Park. The Dinos were rained out on Wednesday, so they have an extra game to play down the stretch. They have been the class of the KBO in 2020, and continue to hold a five-game advantage over the field going into Friday.
That likely isn’t going to change much. Perhaps a team makes it interesting, but they’re running out of track to catch the Dinos, who are leading the KBO with their ace, Chang-mo Koo. They went through a dry spell shortly after Koo got injured, but the club seems to be back in better order right now at the perfect time.
Having said that, the Dinos are not an auto-lock to win the KBO, especially without a healthy Koo. Any of the five teams that are going to the postseason can win this thing. The Hanwha Eagles certainly won’t be winning anything in 2020, and likely next season as well. There are a lot of holes on this club, and things aren’t going to change overnight.
The Eagles are coming off a 10-4 loss against the Kia Tigers last night at home. The Tigers struck early and the game was essentially over in relatively quick fashion. They’ll hope for better results with Warwick Saupold on the bump. It’s been a rough season for Saupold, as he’s failed to build on what he did as a KBO rookie a year ago. The Dinos will counter with Drew Rucinski, who has been the ace of the club without Koo in the rotation. Head below for our free NC Dinos vs. Hanwha Eagles pick for October 23, 2020.
NC Dinos vs. Hanwha Eagles KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
NC Dinos vs. Hanwha Eagles Prediction:
Drew Rucinski has followed up a tremendous rookie season with another impressive numbers once again. Rucinski posted an ERA of 3.05 and 1.18 WHIP through 30 starts last season, his first year in the KBO. Unlike Warwick Saupold, who has regressed, Rucinski continues to go about his business at an efficient rate. Rucinski enters this ballgame with a 3.00 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, so virtually the same production for him. The Dinos are more than content with getting that out of Rucinski.
In his work against the Eagles this season, he’s been nearly untouchable through two starts. In 14 innings, Rucinski has conceded just 1 earned run and 9 hits. Look for Runcinski to put another solid day in at the office on Friday. He should expect to find plenty of run support in this contest. Warwick has not been on point this season and his command has been well off the mark versus the Dinos in 2020. He goes into this matchup with an ERA of 4.86 and 1.48 WHIP, just a year after he posted a 3.51 ERA and 1.27 WHIP through 31 starts.
His effort against the Dinos has not been anything to get excited about this season. He’s recorded an ERA of 6.23 in three starts. In his most recent outing against the Dinos, Warwick was bullied for 10 hits, 8 earned runs, and 4 home runs in 5 innings. That equates to a 14.40 ERA and 2.20 WHIP. The Dinos are second in the KBO with a team batting average of .293. The offense is coming off a big day three days in a 13-3 win over the Kia Tigers. I will put my confidence in Rucinski and the Dinos to clear the Eagles in this one quite easily.