SK Wyverns and the Kiwoom Heroes will get their week started at Gocheok Sky Dome on Tuesday. It’s been a relatively slow start for both teams, with the Heroes at 7-5 and Wyverns at 1-10. That doesn’t sound that bad at all for the Heroes. However, when you look at what they did last season, a record of 86-57-1 and a trip to the Korean Series championship, it is slow for their standards. In any event, the Heroes looked good in their most recent performance with a 9-4 win over the LG Twins.
That ended a four-game losing streak for the Heroes. They were desperate for a big win and were able to get it. The Heroes head back home to welcome SK Wyverns, who have been all sorts of bad so far. They’re generally a reliable team, and just won the Korean Series two years ago in 2018. Last season they were still very good with a record of 88-55-1, though were swept in the first round of the playoffs against the Heroes.
Judging by their 1-10 start to 2020, it seems like SK Wyverns still haven’t gotten over that series. They may be thinking about the past instead of the now. You see this happen sometimes in every league around the world. A tough loss the year before can be accompanied by a lull to open the season. I’m not going to give up on SK Wyverns just yet. They just need a week of solid play to get back on track.
It’s not going to be easy in this series on the road against the Heroes, though. They’re a tough opponent that could be coming off a momentum building win against the Twins. If both teams are playing to their full potential, then it should be an entertaining series. We’ll get started with a pitching matchup between Ricardo Pinto and Choi Won-tae. Both have been strong so far in 2020, with each hurler making their third start of the season. Head below for our free SK Wyverns vs. Kiwoom Heroes pick for May 19, 2020 in the KBO.
SK Wyverns vs. Kiwoom Heroes KBO Baseball Odds:
SK Wyverns vs. Kiwoom Heroes Prediction:
SK Wyverns need to get their offense going someway. It’s been rather lifeless so far, with just 34 runs scored for the worst effort in the league. The Hanwha Eagles are second-last with 38 runs in 2020, so SK are the worst by a comfortable margin. They are also hitting just .230 to put them a sliver ahead of the Samsung Lions. SK are last in the KBO with only 85 hits in 11 matches. Their offense will be unlikely to find a switch on Tuesday against the Heroes on the road. They will have to deal with Choi Won-tae who has been sharp in 2020 so far.
Choi is looking to build on a career year in 2019. He registered a career-high ERA of 3.38 and 1.28 WHIP. That was an improvement from a high set the season before where he posted a 3.95 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Since entering the league in 2015, Choi has been able to improve in each subsequent season. If the trend continues, Choi might be able to flirt with an ERA around 3.00 or below it this year. So far so good, as Choi has posted an ERA of 2.92 and 1.22 WHIP in two starts against the Tigers and Lions. He should have a nice night against an offense that hasn’t been able to hit a beach ball.
SK Wyverns counter with Ricardo Pinto, who is a rookie to the KBO. In his first two starts as a KBO pitcher, Pinto has been reliable with a 3.18 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He’s allowed 4 earned runs in 11 innings of work. The 26-year-old made 25 appearances out of the bullpen for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2017. It didn’t work out well and he got another chance with the Rays last season. Pinto left the majors with a 8.44 ERA and 1.93 WHIP in 27 games. He should be able to find a place playing Asian baseball, though. This should be a lower scoring game which leans towards the UNDER.