The Kiwoom Heroes and SK Wyverns duel at Happy Dream Park on Thursday following an upset yesterday. The Wyverns got the upset over the Dinos for a 3-2 win. It was an impressive performance by the pitching staff of the Wyverns to hold one of the most dangerous offenses in the KBO at bay. Lee Geun-wook was terrific on the bump, as he went 6 strong innings with 3 hits and 1 earned run allowed.
That’s no easy chore against a team like the Dinos. The Dinos just about gave up a 4-run lead in the 9th on Tuesday, though they were able to hold on for a 5-4 win. There were runners on 3rd and 2nd with 2 outs for the Wyverns, but they were unable to get a base hit. If the Wyverns did get a single there, we’d likely be talking about them going for a sweep on Thursday. It was a good win for the Wyverns on Wednesday, but it doesn’t put much of a dent in the standings.
The Dinos are 37-17 with a 4-game lead for first, while the Wyverns are just trying to avoid last in the league. The Wyverns are 17-38 with a 3.5-game advantage on the Hanwha Eagles. That’s what they are fighting for right now, to essentially avoid embarrassment. The Eagles went on an 18-game losing streak, which is the difference between the Wyverns and Eagles. Both have had their own troubles, though the Wyverns had something to celebrate last night.
Even in their loss on Tuesday, it was a valiant effort by the Wyverns to nearly claw back for a 6-5 win. They were one hit away from doing it. It was a 2-1 game going into the 9th, so their bullpen doesn’t get off the hook. The pitching staff was the catalyst of their win yesterday, though. The Dinos’ Lee Jae-hak helped out strongly enough. He gave up 3 earned runs in 6 innings, but the offense was of no assistance.
The Wyverns are expected to give Ricardo Pinto the nod on Thursday. I think the Wyverns have been expecting a bit more out of Pinto, who is in his first season in the KBO. He’s been adequate, but we’re still waiting for more from the 26-year-old. Choi Sung-young is scheduled to counter for the Dinos on Thursday. Head below for our free NC Dinos vs. SK Wyverns pick for July 9, 2020.
NC Dinos vs. SK Wyverns KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
NC Dinos vs. SK Wyverns Prediction:
Choi Sung-young will look to make up for an earlier poor start against the Wyverns. In his first start of the season, Choi was tagged with 6 hits, 2 walks, and 3 earned runs for a 7.36 ERA and 2.18 WHIP in 3.2 innings. Not much has really gotten better for Choi since then. He’s allowed at least 3 earned runs in every start this season.
Choi was decent in his first appearance, which was out of the bullpen, but as a starter, he hasn’t done better than an ERA of 4.50 in a performance. He’s coming off another poor showing on July 3 against the Kia Tigers. Choi surrendered 5 hits and 4 earned runs for a 5.14 ERA in 7 innings.
It’s the longest he’s gone in a game so far in 2020.Choi is in his fifth season and hasn’t shown many positives of improving from previous years. He has a career ERA of 5.12 and 1.55 WHIP in 73 career games, so I think what you see is what you’re going to get with Choi, at least for this season. He’s still only a 23-year-old, so there is room for improvement in the coming years. As it stands now, Choi is one of the most unreliable pitchers in the Dinos’ rotation.
I do believe that the Dinos’ offense is going to wake up today. It’s hard to see the Wyverns containing them for three straight games. The Dinos are hitting .291 for third in the KBO. They’re first in runs scored with 346 and have played one fewer game than the KT Wiz and Doosan Bears.
Ricardo Pinto owns a respectable ERA of 4.26, though he’s been wildly inconsistent and putting too many runners on base. Pinto has a 1.71 WHIP with 72 hits and 33 walks in 66.1 innings of work. He’s coming off a poor showing versus the Lotte Giants, with 7 hits, 5 walks, and 4 earned runs conceded in 5.1 innings. After being relatively silent at the plate for the last two days, expect some life from the Dinos on Thursday. We likely see this game get into the double digits, with the OVER a decent option between the Dinos and Wyverns.