Samsung Lions vs. KT Wiz KBO Odds and Pick for April 2nd

At long last, baseball season is finally back. The 2022 Korean Baseball Organization gets underway on Saturday, April 2nd, with a standard five-game slate. All 10 teams will be in action, though the marquee matchup will take place in Suwon. The reigning Korean Series champion KT Wiz will take on the Samsung Lions.

These two teams spent all of last season going at one another atop the standings.

The Wiz ultimately won the battle to finish with the top overall seed, with automatic qualification in the Korean Series. Samsung had to settle for second place after losing the one-game playoff to KT. The Lions failed in their quest to get back to the championship round, however, after an upset loss to Doosan in the league semis.

Both teams are expected to contend for the title again in 2022, so it’ll be fun to see them go toe-to-toe on opening day.
The Wiz won the Korean Series a season ago for the first time in team history. KT has only existed since 2015, and they made their first-ever playoff appearance in 2020. Samsung, meanwhile, have won the Korean Baseball Organization title eight times, most recently in 2015.

Oddsmakers at BetOnline have the opener between the two teams pegged as a virtual toss-up. The Wiz are -125 moneyline favorites at home, while you can get the Lions at +105 to win the game outright.

You can get the Wiz at +160 to cover the runline on the road, while Samsung is at -190 to do so. The game also comes with an over/under of 8.5 runs.

KT Wiz

The Wiz won’t be taking anybody by surprise in 2022 the way they did last year. The schedule-makers did us a favor with the opening series between these two teams. Both KT and Samsung finished with identical 76-59-9 records a season ago. KT snuck past Samsung in the tiebreaker game, 1-0, before sweeping the Doosan Bears in four games in the Korean Series.

Based on what rival players said at media day before the season, the Wiz will have a bullseye on their back.
Kwang-hyun Kim, who is back in the KBO after spending the last two seasons in the Majors with the St. Louis Cardinals, said the Wiz will have a difficult time defending their first-ever title. Kim, who is now with SSG Landers, said, “It’s always more difficult to defend your title than to win it the first time. Personally, I’d love to pitch better against them. I’ve struggled against that team my whole career.”

It’s true. Kim has a career 7.60 ERA with a 3-3 record in 10 career appearances against KT. Kim also speaks from experience, having won four Korean Series of his own over the course of his illustrious career.

On the bright side, the Wiz players can use all of that talk as bulletin board material as they look to defend their title. Right-handed pitcher Hyeong-jun So said, “That gives me extra motivation to defend our trophy.”

KT is expected to start right-hander William Cuevas in Saturday’s season opener. The 31-year-old veteran finished 9-5 last year with a 4.12 ERA in his third season in the KBO. Cuevas spent two different stints with the Boston Red Sox and one year with the Detroit Tigers before signing with the Wiz before the 2019 campaign.

Cuevas was roughed up a bit the last time he faced the Lions’ mighty offense in a regular-season game.

Last October, Cuevas yielded three runs on nine hits across 6.2 innings in an eventual loss to Samsung. Cuevas has a career 3.92 ERA at the KBO level.

Samsung Lions

The Lions have enjoyed plenty of success over the years. Samsung has won eight Korean Series titles since their inception in 1982, though they haven’t advanced to the final round since 2015. Last fall, Samsung was upset by Doosan in the league semifinals via a 2-0 series sweep.

Needless to say, the Lions will be out for revenge when they take on the Wiz on Saturday in Suwon.

Samsung is scheduled to start right-hander David Buchanan, who will be embarking upon his third season in South Korea. Buchanan went 16-5 with an impressive 3.10 ERA in 2021. Across his first two seasons with Samsung, the American has a win/loss record of 31-12 with a tidy 3.28 ERA.

Buchanan started two games against KT last year. He went 0-1 across back-to-back starts against the Wiz last July and August, though he only allowed five earned runs in 11 total innings of work.

KT Wiz vs. Samsung Lions KBO Game Pick

Clearly, this will be the biggest matchup of KBO opening day. Oddsmakers think the Wiz have a good chance to get their season started with a victory, but oddsmakers are probably underrating Samsung here.

Please Note:
As we know, anything can happen in one baseball game. Cuevas threw seven shutout innings in the one-game playoff win over Samsung last year, but his overall results against the Lions have been mixed over the past couple of seasons.

Something tells me Cuevas won’t be quite as dominant in this matchup. I think the Lions are good value at +105 on the moneyline to take this game on the road. Buchanan is one of the more underrated aces in the KBO, and I expect him to keep the Lions in the game. Take the plus-money value on Samsung’s moneyline.

Pick:
Samsung Lions

KT Wiz vs. Samsung Lions Betting Recap

  • Moneyline: KT Wiz -125, Samsung Lions +105
  • Runline: KT Wiz -1.5 (+160), Samsung Lions +1.5 (-190)
  • Over/Under: Over 8.5 runs (-110), Under 8.5 runs (-110)
  • Pick: Samsung Lions (+105)

PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!

Taylor Smith / Author

Taylor is a sports writer based in Southern California. While he primarily specializes in basketball, baseball and football, he will also dabble in things like soccer and politics from time to time. He has lived in just about every corner of the United States at one point or another, and he has been covering sports and sports betting for the better part of a decade. Taylor currently lives in Long Beach with his fiancé and their two cats.

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