The Samsung Lions and NC Dinos will take to the diamond for the second of a three-game series on Wednesday at NC Park. The Dinos edged out the Lions in extra innings by a score of 6-5 on Tuesday. I was originally going to side with the Dinos, but ultimately went with the OVER which resulted in a push.
Tuesday was a 2-0-1 day, so it was still a profitable day regardless. It would have been nice to get the extra run and go 3-0, but beggars can’t be choosers and we’ll take the profit. The Dinos were up 5-3 in the 8th, but a 2-out 2-run single tied the ballgame up at 5 runs. A leadoff double by the Dinos in the bottom of the 10th set the stage for the win.
It was a good effort by the Lions to fight back, but the Dinos are too good to allow them to hang around. With the win, the Dinos advanced to 43-19-2 on the season. The Bears routed the Heroes, 6-1, on Wednesday so they keep 5.5 games worth of distance on the Dinos. The Heroes are suddenly 7.5 games back of the Dinos. The Heroes were coming on hard for a few weeks, but are finding it difficult to get over the top.
The Lions are a club that will likely be fighting for a postseason spot in the final stages of the regular season. They’re just on the outside looking in right now. The Lions are 34-32 and a game back of the Kia Tigers for fifth in the KBO. Early on this season, things didn’t look too well for the Lions, but they’ve turned things around and are playing respectable baseball. It will be interesting to see if they go out at the trade deadline looking for a bat.
A dangerous addition to the lineup could be what it takes to get the Lions over the Tigers for the final postseason spot. There are holes to fill in the Lions’ lineup for sure. Meanwhile, their pitching staff is fairly satisfactory, but a true ace on their staff would help immensely. Won Tae-in is expected to get the starting nod for the Lions, while the Dinos turn to one half of their aces in Drew Rucinski. Head below for our free Samsung Lions vs. NC Dinos pick for July 22, 2020 in the KBO.
Samsung Lions vs. NC Dinos KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Samsung Lions vs. NC Dinos Prediction:
The Dinos will send Drew Rucinski to the bump for his 14th start of the season in this matchup. Runcinski joins Koo Chang-mo as the best 1-2 combo in the KBO. There are several reasons why the Dinos are 43-19-2 right now, with the combined effort of Koo and Rucinski at the top. Koo leads the KBO in pitching, and Rucinski isn’t that far behind. Rucinski has a 2.05 ERA and 1.08 WHIP heading into Wednesday.
He has allowed fewer than 2 earned runs in four straight performances. Rucinski is coming off a blemish free outing against the Kiwoom Heroes on July 16. With 5 hits and a walk conceded, Rucinski posted an ERA of 0.00 and 0.86 WHIP. Whenever he did surrender a hit, things were quickly rectified with Rucinski picking up an out.
In 9 of his previous 11 outings he’s allowed fewer than 3 earned runs, and in all 11 games he didn’t give up more than 3 earned runs. Having Koo and Rucinski in the same rotation almost isn’t fair to the rest of the league. If they stay healthy, their presence in the playoffs will be huge. Rucinski has recorded an ERA of 1.38 against the Lions this season.
There are three hitters on the Dinos that are hitting better than .400 against the Lions this season. Former Milwaukee Brewer, Tyler Saladino, is the only member of the Lions hitting for .400 against the Dino. With Rucinski on the bump, it’s going to be difficult for everyone on the Lions to hit well.
Won Tae-in has been rock solid for the Lions this season with a 3.12 ERA and 1.37. The sophomore has gotten into trouble on the road, though. In his previous three road starts, Won has notched a 5.63 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. I don’t think the Dinos are going to grill Won, but likely enough to cause an early exit. Keeping pace with Rucinski won’t be easy for Won as a visitor at NC Park. After the close call on Tuesday, look for the Dinos to beat the Lions by 2 or more runs in Game 2.