SSG Landers vs. NC Dinos KBO Odds and Pick for April 2nd

The 2022 KBO season will officially kick off on Saturday with opening day. With the Major League Baseball campaign set to follow just five days later, this is a pretty fun time of the year to be a baseball bettor. The KBO has become one of the most popular leagues in the world, especially over the past couple of years.

The NC Dinos, fresh off of a fairly disappointing 2021 campaign, will look to get back on track in ’22. The Dinos will host SSG Landers in the season opener for both clubs on Saturday.

The Dinos stormed their way to their first-ever Korean Series victory two years ago. However, NC slumped to an incredibly disappointing seventh-place finish a season ago and missed out entirely on postseason play.

SSG wasn’t much better. The Landers, who used to be known as the SK Wyverns, finished sixth. SSG missed the playoffs by just a half-game in the standings, finishing slightly behind the Kiwoom Heroes.
SSG finished 66-64-14, while NC went 67-68-9.

The oddsmakers over at BetOnline like the Dinos to get their 2022 campaign started with a win. NC is a heavy -140 moneyline favorite in this one, while SSG’s moneyline odds check in at +111.

This KBO contest also comes with an over/under of just 6.5 runs, which is the lowest total of the five games on opening day.

SSG Landers

After a brief two-year stint in the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals, longtime KBO star Kwang-hyun Kim is back in South Korea. The soft-tossing left-hander inked a four-year deal to return to his native country to pitch for SSG earlier this month. Kim will receive approximately $12 million in guarantees in his new contract.

The 33-year-old went 7-7 across 27 appearances last season with the Cardinals, including 21 starts. He also picked up a save in one of his six outings out of the bullpen. In two years in St. Louis, Kim posted a 10-7 record with a very impressive 2.97 ERA.
However, Kim apparently decided two years in the US was enough. The lefty first broke into the KBO with the then-Wyverns back in 2007 when he was just 18 years old. Kim initially signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Cardinals prior to the 2020 season.

Kim’s numbers were a bit lucky in the United States, but he has a long track record of success at the KBO level. He’ll slot into the Landers’ rotation behind another former big leaguer, Wilmer Font. Font is scheduled to start on opening day for SSG.

Font, who previously pitched in the majors for the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, was very successful in his first year in the KBO last season. The right-hander went 8-5 in 25 games for SSG with a 3.46 ERA.

Interestingly enough, Saturday’s game will be Fon’t first-ever outing against the Dinos. You’d think every regular starter would see every other team at least once in a 10-team league, but Font never saw NC as a KBO rookie a season ago.

Font’s last game of the season was a rough one, however. The Doosan Bears touched him up for eight runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings on October 27th.

Font finished his first year in the KBO with just one victory across his final four starts, as well.

NC Dinos

As mentioned, the Dinos didn’t at all live up to expectations after winning it all in 2020. NC had one of the most loaded offenses in the KBO that year, but they weren’t able to keep it going last summer. After going a league-best 83-55-6 in 2020, the Dinos finished with 17 fewer wins a season ago.

Ace Drew Rucinski will take the ball on opening day for the Dinos. He endured a bit of bad luck last year, but he was still a steady presence at the top of the Dinos’ rotation.

The American right-hander went 15-10 with a 3.17 ERA in 30 starts for the Dinos last year. That was his highest ERA in three seasons since coming to South Korea after posting a 3.05 mark in each of his first two years. Rucinski actually led the KBO with 19 wins in the Dinos’ 2020 dream season.

Rucinski went 2-1 in his three starts against the Landers last season. He allowed just one run in his final 11 innings of work against SSG across two starts after yielding four runs in his first matchup with the Landers.

SSG Landers vs. NC Dinos KBO Game Pick

Rucinski has quickly earned a reputation as one of the KBO’s bona fide aces. The 33-year-old has found a home in South Korea after struggling through mediocre stints with the Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, and Miami Marlins between 2014 and 2018.

Please Note:
Rucinski re-signed with the Dinos on a $2 million deal last December. That’s tied for the second most-lucrative contract for a foreign-born player in the KBO. However, NC’s offense may take another hit this year after losing slugger Aaron Altherr. Altherr is still a free agent despite slugging 32 homers last year for the Dinos. He was replaced with former A’s outfielder Nick Martini in free agency.

Historically, the Dinos have been a pretty safe bet with Rucinski on the mound. Take the Dinos to win this one outright and get off to a 1-0 start. There is still decent value to be had in NC’s -140 moneyline odds.

Pick:
NC Dinos

SSG Landers vs. NC Dinos Betting Recap

  • Moneyline: SSG Landers +111, NC Dinos -140
  • Runline: SSG Landers +1.5 (-140), NC Dinos -1.5 (+160)
  • Over/Under: Over 6.5 runs (-110), Under 6.5 runs (-110)
  • Pick: NC Dinos (-140)

PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!

Taylor Smith / Author

Taylor is a sports writer based in Southern California. While he primarily specializes in basketball, baseball and football, he will also dabble in things like soccer and politics from time to time. He has lived in just about every corner of the United States at one point or another, and he has been covering sports and sports betting for the better part of a decade. Taylor currently lives in Long Beach with his fiancé and their two cats.

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