The NC Dinos barely escaped on Thursday with a 1-0 win over the KT Wiz. They scraped a run across the plate in the bottom of the 8th inning, and held on to deny runners on 3rd and 2nd with 2 outs in the top of the 9th. The Dinos can win in a multitude of ways, including winning a low-scoring slugfest like that. With the win, the Dinos are the only team with only one loss this season.
They are sitting atop the standings at 7-1, while the Lotte Giants trail with a record of 6-2. The Giants were losers against the Doosan Bears yesterday, so the Dinos sit atop the standings. I’d be cautious with the Giants. Of the top two clubs, the Dinos are better than the Giants. I’d be awfully impressed if the Giants maintain their position near the top of the standings.
SK Wyverns will welcome the Dinos to Munhak Baseball Stadium on Friday for a weekend series. They’re looking to get on track after a troubling start in 2020. SK came close on Thursday, but were edged out by a score of 3-2 against the LG Twins. The only person on that team who deserved the win was starting pitcher Park Jong-hun. Park pitched a solid game with 2 earned runs allowed in 5 innings of work.
The offense was non-existent at the plate for SK, though. They hit just 4 balls as opposed to 11 for the Twins. A loss is a loss, but it could have been uglier than a 1-run loss. SK are on a six-game losing streak going into Friday. Their only win this season was against the Hanwha Eagles seven outings ago. They’ll look to get back on track against a dangerous Dinos squad on Friday.
SK are just two years removed from winning the Korean Championship in 2018. They went 88-55-1 last season, so this has been a surprising drop for them thus far. Let’s keep things in perspective, though, and keep in mind that we’re early in the season. A solid weekend against the Dinos would provide a nice jolt. The Dinos’ Lee Jae-hak and Wyverns’ Moon Seung-won are coming off disappointing outings in their 2020 debuts, but are better than those starts indicate. We’ll see if one or both will bounce back Friday. Head below for our free NC Dinos vs. SK Wyverns pick for May 15, 2020 in the KBO.
NC Dinos vs. SK Wyverns KBO Baseball Odds:
NC Dinos vs. SK Wyverns Prediction:
The Dinos’ Lee Jae-hak didn’t have a picture perfect outing in his first start of 2020. He was roughed up for 6 hits and 4 earned runs in 5.1 innings of work. Lee also walked 2 hitters, but was still able to get the win because of a big performance from the offense. If he pitched like that yesterday, the Dinos wouldn’t have been celebrating a win at the end of the day.
Lee posted a 3.75 ERA and 1.36 WHIP last season, and a 4.79 ERA and 1.35 WHIP the previous season in 2018. Which Lee are we going to see today? Expect him to bounce back, but this likely won’t be a blemish free game on the road. In his career, Lee owns a 4.27 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 209 games. A stat-line close to that wouldn’t be much of a surprise on Friday.
Moon Sueng-won had a similar start in his first outing of 2020. He surrendered 4 earned runs and 9 hits in 5.2 innings. It doesn’t tell the story from his 2019 season, where Moon notched a career-high with a 3.88 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 26 games. Prior to 2019, Moon showed improvements with a 4.60 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, up from a 5.33 ERA and 1.51 WHIP the season before.
SK Wyverns is hoping that Moon shows continual improvements from the past two seasons. Given the way his numbers have been improving, the trend suggests that Moon is going to see another upward trend. His first start didn’t show signs of getting better from his 3.88 ERA and 1.13 WHIP last season. That said, Moon will be back home for this one and it’s only one outing. SK Wyverns are a better club than their 1-7 start indicates. Back at home this weekend, they should be able to play better baseball. This should be a close game that goes either way by a run.