The Samsung Lions and NC Dinos were another casualty of bad weather across South Korea on Wednesday. There were four games rained out, with one getting the greenlight to play. The Kia Tigers and Hanwha Eagles were the only team to complete their scheduled match. With Major League Baseball firing up on Thursday night, our KBO covering will slow down considerably now.
That said, I will continue to keep my eye on the KBO, and likely have some picks for slow days in the major leagues. Most people have been exposed to the KBO by now, so it’s not as obscure to bet on as it was before the shutdown. Not to leave out lifetime KBO fans that have followed the league closely over the years.
Hopefully we get every KBO game in on Thursday. There is a chance of rain throughout South Korea, so some games could be hit and miss with the rain. The Samsung Lions and NC Dinos are coming off an exciting 6-5 game on Tuesday. NC gave up a late 5-3 lead in the 8th inning, but responded in the 10th to fight back for a 6-5 win.
The win brought the Dinos to 43-19-2 in 2020 for a 5.5-game lead on the Doosan Bears. They are clear of the rest of the league by a nice margin, but a lot can change in a hurry. The Bears, Dinos, and Heroes are all in serious contention to get the Korean Series win this season. NC looks like the team to beat, but the Bears and Heroes certainly have the talent to beat the Dinos in the playoffs.
The Lions and Dinos are scheduled to push back their starters from yesterday to Thursday. There won’t be any changes in that regard. The Dinos are expected to turn to one half of their ace unit between Drew Rucinski and Koo Chang-mo. Rucinski and Koo have combined to be quite the dangerous 1-2 combo for the Dinos’ rotation. Koo has the day off, with Rucinski set to pitch on Thursday. Won Tae-in is expected to counter for the Lions on the mound. Head below for our free Samsung Lions vs. NC Dinos pick for July 23, 2020 in the KBO.
Samsung Lions vs. NC Dinos KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Samsung Lions vs. NC Dinos Prediction:
It’s a day late, but the Dinos will hand the ball over to Rucinski against the Lions on Thursday. Runcinski and Koo have been tough pitchers to crack for the opposition this season. They’ve both looked a bit too good for the KBO. Koo will be the guy to watch over the next few years. If he continues along this path, then a major league team will likely come calling. In any case, Rucinski has been really good for the Dinos. On the majority of other teams, Rucinski would be the clear ace of the club.
Rucinski has conceded fewer than 2 earned runs in four straight games. Rucinski is coming off a near perfect start against the Kiwoom Heroes on July 16. Rucinski allowed 5 hits and a walk for a 0.00 ERA 0.86 WHIP. IIn 9 of his last 11 outings, Rucinski gave up fewer than 3 earned runs to the opposition. In all of those 11 games, he didn’t allow more than 3 runs.
The Dinos’ offense has had a nice time versus the Lions this season. There are a total of three hitters on the Dinos that are hitting greater than .400 against Samsung in 2020. Won Tae-in has been rock solid for the Lions this season with a 3.12 ERA and 1.37. Won has been hitting speed bumps on the road, though, and he has the best team in the KBO on his plate Thursday.
In his most recent performances on the road, Won has notched a 5.63 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in his last three. Won must be blemish free against the Dinos with Rucinski on the other side today. I think he’s going to be good, but not good enough to keep pace with Rucinski at NC Park. I’m backing the Dinos to get at least a 2-run win on Thursday at home.