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KBO Betting Picks (5/22/20) - Moneylines, Totals, and Runlines

Thursday was a tough day to swallow and if it wasn't for the NC Dinos ninth-inning outburst, we were sniffing a winless day. The KT Wiz just didn't hit enough to overcome a seven-run inning by Hanwha. Meanwhile, Samsung got an outstanding starting pitching effort but only two hits is not going to win you a baseball game.

Friday brings along some more great pitching matchups and it seems that after the first two weeks, some pitching staffs are finally starting to buckle down. As the season grows older, it will be interesting to see whether the hitting or pitching becomes the more dominant factor in games.

Today, I'll be bringing you my KBO analysis, advice, and best bets for Friday, May 22st at 5:30 am EST. If you haven’t already, check out; it’s is a fantastic one-stop-shop for us in America to get our KBO fix. You can also check out our KBO DFS lineup picks article after this one. Also, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @RotoStevieJ to talk shop or chew me out if a pick loses.


KT Wiz at LG Twins (-120)

O/U: 9.5 | ESPN2 at 5:30 am EST

Probable Pitchers
KT: Odrisamer Despaigne (1-0, 2.65 ERA)
LG: Casey Kelly (1-0, 5.63 ERA)

KT really let us down on Thursday, but these things happen. Despite scoring just four runs, the offense slugged out 10 hits that will hopefully carry over into a big series at LG. Their .330 average, 101 runs scored, and .905 OPS are impressive marks through just 14 games. Third baseman Jae-gyu Hwang (finger) was absent on Thursday but the entire ensemble is still very dangerous at the plate.

Odrisamer Despaigne toes it up for the third time this year after earning his first win against Samsung on May 17. All things considered, he's been pretty dominant, with an 18/2 K/BB and just five earned runs allowed in 17 innings. He could really shape up to be one of the most dominant arms in the KBO this year, it's just a matter of if he can continue with such strong control.

LG took down a pitcher's duel with Samsung on Thursday and if it weren't for a two-run home in their first time to the plate, it would've been a scoreless game into extras. These are rare in the KBO but the Twins have been a part of quite a few low-scoring games. They're still hitting .275 as a team and house Roberto Ramos, the lefty masher who has six home runs already. Eun-seong Chae has carried some weight, driving in 14, but they'll need all hands on deck going against Despaigne.

Casey Kelly was one of the top arms in the league last year and his last outing was indicative of that. He shut Kiwoom over six innings while allowing just three hits. He had one heck of a 2019, garnishing a 2.55 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over 180.1 innings. In terms of matchups, against KT last season he allowed just one run over 13 innings with 15 strikeouts and four walks. This isn't his first walk around the block.

There are some great pitching matchups today and this is one of them. While KT's offense is statistically the best in the league, I'm trusting Kelly's experience in the league here. While KT's offense is impressive, LG's is no slouch and I think they're able to get to Despaigne.

Pick: LG ML -134


Hanwha Eagles at NC Dinos (-172)

O/U: 9.5  

Probable Pitchers
Hanwha: Warwick Saupold (1-1, 1.64 ERA)
NC: Young-kyu Kim (0-0, 3.27 ERA)

At 6-9 with a series win over Lotte recently, maybe Hanwha isn't all that bad. However, the last series against KT was all over the place, including the 9-4 win they picked on Thursday. Although, they do average the fewest amount of runs per game with 3.93. Just like every team, Hanwha has their moments but there isn't much to be excited about when a team is hitting .263 with just seven homers and 59 runs scored through 15 games.

Warwick Saupold is an underrated foreigner name, mainly because he comes from Australia, which isn't exactly known as a baseball hot bed. He's been great through 22 innings this season, recording a 0.82 WHIP while allowing just four earned runs with an 11/3 K/BB. A season ago, he made five starts against the Dinos and allowed just three earned runs across 30 innings.

Man did NC have some last minute heroics on Thursday. Down 4-3, they plated nine runs in the ninth inning to eventually win 12-6. This was fueled by two home runs, bringing their total to a KBO-high 21 on the year. Jin-sung Kang, Sung-bum Na, and Aaron Altherr are the main catalysts in that department, but six players have seven or more RBI so the whole lineup is capable.

Young-kyu Kim is an interesting arm for the Dinos. At just 20, he's got a bright future ahead of him. Through two starts, he's surrendered four earned runs while striking out nine and walking none over 11 innings. In 2019, he struggled a bit more with control, holding a 10 BB% with just a 15 K%. An interesting stat is he's given up three home runs already whereas he gave up just seven in all of 2019, so he'll look to keep the ball in the park here at home.

NC started out as just -132 favorites on most books, which was mainly because of Saupold pitching for Hanwha. While the juice has been boosted a bit in the Dinos' favor, it's taken away the early value there. I'm looking at this to be a lower scoring affair. In addition, according to Oddsshark, Hanwha has had seven unders hit in the L10, while NC has seen six games go under.

Pick: Under 9.5


Kiwoom Heroes (-167) at Lotte Giants

O/U: 8.5

Probable Pitchers
Kiwoom: Jake Brigham (0-1, 4.15 ERA)
Lotte: Kyung-eun Noh (1-0, 4.91 ERA)

Kiwoom has been a bit streaky recently. After winning four straight to close out the opening week, they went on to lose their next four, and then most recently they've gone 3-1 in their last four. This is a potent offense that still seems to be finding its rhythm. They've managed a 9-6 record while hitting just .260, but the 79 runs scored puts them in the top half of the league. Jung-hoo Lee, Dong-won Park, and Geon-chang Seo have been the bash brothers, slugging eight home runs and driving in 36 combined runs. They will likely be without shortstop Ha-seong Kim after he sprained his ankle late in Thursday's game.

Kiwoom gets their ace, Jake Brigham, on the hill. He's been touched a bit by Hanwha and LG, allowing six runs over 9.2 innings with 11 punchouts and six walks. 2019 was the best of his three previous KBO seasons, going 13-5 with a 2.96 ERA, 19 K%, while surrendering just five home runs. He's proven to be effective in the league, but at 32 is likely reaching his last chance to get an MLB contract.

Lotte has certainly cooled off just as fast as they got hot to start the year. They opened 2020 at 6-1 and now they're 7-7 going into a momentum series to close out the third week of the season. In their last seven they've been outscored 36-17 en route to the 1-6 record. As an offense, they've been middle-of-the-road, hitting .267 with just 69 runs scored. They've got six hitters with seven or more RBI, and four with at least five extra-base hits. No one immediately jumps off the page, but Dixon Machado's early power surge seems to have slowed down a bit.

Kyung-eun Noh is a 36-year-old veteran in his fourth year with Lotte. He's a typical back-of-the-rotation arm for the Giants and has provided them with solid innings in the past. While his first start against the Wyverns wasn't ideal, he did go six innings of one-run ball against Hanwha on May 16. A career 16 K% with a near 11 BB% isn't something to be faithful in, but it could worse.

Kiwoom is heavily favored here, and considering the mound matchup and lineup combo, that's no mistake. I wouldn't be surprised if the Heroes jumps out to a big, early lead leaving Lotte clawing from behind, and while both of these bullpens are two of the better units in the league, Lotte is a team that waits until after the fifth inning to do their damage.

Pick: Over 8.5

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