The Samsung Lions and Lotte Giants get their three-game series started at Sajik Baseball Stadium on Tuesday. The Giants were red-hot to open the season as they won their first five games and 6-1 in their first seven outings. As I warned then, though, it was best to be cautious with the Giants.
It was highly unlikely that they were going to be able to stay that hot. This is a club that finished dead last in the KBO last season. While they will likely have at least 50 wins unlike a season ago, the Giants probably aren’t going from last to first in one year. Some progress from 48-93-3 last season would be nice, though.
The Giants went 68-74-2 the previous season before hitting a wall and tanking. Something in that ballpark would be a respectable season for the Giants. Getting above .500 would be one of the best-case scenarios for the Giants. Having said that, let’s see what happens and if the Giants can prove me wrong.
The St. Louis Blues of the NHL went from last to first in half a season, so maybe the Giants have some magic up their sleeves as well. Lotte are coming off a 2-0 win over the Kiwoom Heroes on Sunday. Seo Jun-won was a beast, as he went 6.2 innings with just 3 hits and a walk in his portfolio. It was a solid 2-1 series win for the Giants after allowing the season to get away from them for a moment.
The Giants were on a five-game losing streak before getting back on track against a good Heroes team. They’re back at home to start the week with the Samsung Lions in town at Sajik Baseball Stadium. The Lions head into this bout with a record of 6-12 on the season. There are no teams behind them except the hapless SK Wyverns at 3-14.
Dan Straily is expected to get the ball for the Giants to open this game. The former major leaguer, who might be one of the most accomplished former MLBer in the KBO, will get the call for the fifth time this season. He was rolling right on before hitting a speed bump against the KIA Tigers on the road in his most recent outing. We’ll see how he follows it up on Tuesday at home. Choi Chae-heung is expected to counter for the Lions. Head below for our free Samsung Lions vs. Lotte Giants pick for May 26, 2020 in the KBO.
Samsung Lions vs. Lotte Giants KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Samsung Lions vs. Lotte Giants Prediction:
Dan Straily spent eight years in the major leagues before his exit in 2019 with the Baltimore Orioles. Following a solid season in 2018, Straily had no juice left on his arm, and was pounded for a 9.82 ERA and 1.99 WHIP with the Orioles. This was just after Straily was effective with a 4.12 ERA and 1.30 WHIP the previous season in Miami. It was like a light was turned off on Straily. Now he’s overseas in the KBO looking to find his mojo in South Korea. In 156 major leagues games, Straily posted a 4.56 ERA and 1.31 WHIP with a record of 44-40.
Straily was making it look easy in his first three starts in the KBO. He gave up just 4 earned runs in 17 innings against the KT Wiz, SK Wyverns, and Hanwha Eagles. However, Straily was touched up in his last performance on the road against the KIA Tigers. Straily discovered that it’s not always going to be that easy in the KBO.
The Tigers scored 5 earned runs and 6 hits on Straily in 5 innings. That equated to a 9.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP to hurt his numbers. After that poor showing, Straily’s numbers took a dip to a 3.68 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Nevertheless, Straily should be able to bounce back at home.
His best performance this season was at home in Busan. Straily handcuffed the Wyverns across 7 innings of work, with no runs allowed and just 3 hits yielded for a 0.43 WHIP. We likely don’t see Straily pitch that well, but expect a major improvement from his turbulent trip to play the KIA Tigers in his most recent start.
The last time his opponent, Choi Chae-heung, played the Giants he took a beating. That goes for his previous two starts against the Giants. Choi allowed 6 earned runs and 9 hits for a 12.46 ERA and 2.08 WHIP at home. Prior to that performance, Choi gave up 4 earned runs and 7 hits against the Giants for a 12.00 ERA and 2.67 WHIP on the road in Busan. I’d lean on Straily bouncing back from his poor start on the road against the Lions. He has an offense on his side that has made it look easy against Choi. I’m on the Giants to protect home field and open the series with a win.