The red-hot Lotte Giants hope to stay hot at the plate and get off to a 5-0 start in 2020. The Giants have been sizzling at the dish. The Giants and the NC Dinos are the only clubs in the league that head into the weekend with a perfect record of 4-0. We’ll see if both, one, or neither club gets out of this weekend without any blemishes. Saturday might be the biggest test for the Giants.
They are digging deep into their rotation for their matchup on Saturday against SK Wyverns. Jang Won-sam is the weakest link in their rotation and hasn’t had a successful season since 2014 with the Samsung Lions. His ERA was still a tick above 4.00 then too, so it isn’t like Jang has been a magician on the bump in the later stages of his career.
The Giants would be a surprise winner of the Korean Series championship if they were to win. This is a club that hasn’t won a league championship since 1992. The Giants were abysmal last season with a record of 48-93-3. Their team ERA was one of the worst in the KBO and I expect the same in 2020. Yes, they might be 5-0, but we see this in every sports league, especially baseball where there’s a ton of games in a season.
A team might play great baseball in the first week or two and then completely fall off the map. There are always a few of them in Major League Baseball, and the same goes for the KBO. Who knows maybe Lotte will actually turn a huge corner and continue this tremendous surge, but I’m really cautious. In 2017, the Giants finished with a record of 80-62, but regressed in 2018 and 2019.
If the Giants reach the playoffs then I think that’s going to be a successful year for them. Despite playing perfect baseball, they don’t have the characteristics of a championship club. Wait a month and they likely won’t be atop the standings. The Dinos on the other hand, who are also undefeated, could very well still be there. Lotte will need to stay hot offensively and give Jang plenty of support. Kim Tae-hoon is coming off a productive season in 2019, and looks to build on that into 2020. A solid performance against the hot offense of the Giants would be a nice way to start 2020. Head below for our free SK Wyverns vs. Lotte Giants pick for May 9, 2020 in the KBO.
SK Wyverns vs. Lotte Giants KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
SK Wyverns vs. Lotte Giants Prediction:
The Lotte Giants will depend on Jang Won-sam to get them to 5-0 in 2020. That’s going to be a tall order, so I should say that they’re going to be dependent on their offense to carry the load. Jang hasn’t been too reliable since his days with the Samsung Lions in 2014. He spent nine years with the Lions and was a mixed bag in his career with them.
Towards the latter stages of his career with the Lions, he was beginning to regress hard and they didn’t have a spot for him on their roster. Jang owns a career ERA of 4.21 and 1.36 WHIP. That’s across 1651.2 innings pitched. You’ll find that Jang had the most success early in his career. Since posting a 4.11 ERA in 2014, you can tell that the 36-year-old Jang is running out of mustard to put on his pitches.
Jang recorded a 5.80 ERA, 7.01 ERA, 5.61 ERA, and 7.98 ERA after 2014 for numbers that suggest he might be just about done with his baseball career. Jang appeared in eight games with the LG Twins last season before the cord had to be pulled. He was dinged for a 7.98 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 14.2 innings of work with the Twins. In his last season with the Lions in 2018, Jang registered an ERA of 6.16 and 1.58 WHIP, so it’s been iffy for Jang in recent memory. The Giants have to be hoping that Jang just does well enough to allow the offense to go to work.
Their offense has been on fire, with at least 7 runs scored in their first four matches in 2020. That equates to an average of 8 runs scored per contest. They’re coming off an entertaining 9-8 win in extras against SK Wyverns on Friday. It might take another offensive effort like that to get to 5-0 on the year.
That said, the Giants will see a decent hurler on the bump for SK. Kim Tae-hoon has posted a 3.83 ERA and 3.88 ERA in his previous two seasons. Note, though, that was all out of the bullpen in 2019, and Kim made only four starts in 2018. The extra workload against the hot Giants might prove to be an issue on Saturday. We should see enough runs on the scoreboard to put this matchup OVER the total.