This season’s championship chase in the Korea Baseball Organization is starting to get very interesting. The previously red-hot NC Dinos have cooled off the last two weeks as they head to Doosan for a weekend showcase series. Meanwhile, the Kiwoom Heroes have put it all together to win EIGHT in a row heading into a home series against the rusty Kia Tigers.
Let’s run through recent form with KBO team tidbits as we update the standings after a busy Thursday (loaded because of Wednesday rainouts).
*NC Dinos: 30-13
NC has slowed down after a hot start, just 7-7 its last 14 games. Maybe that dominating three-game sweep at Hanwha awhile back was too easy. The Dinos have been meandering through their schedule since. Even Chang-mo Koo had a bad outing Thursday morning in a loss to the KT Wiz
. And, a bullpen that started the season reasonably well has sunk near the bottom of the league. It’s not “The Blue and Gold Machine” of late.
*Kiwoom Heroes: 28-17
A dramatic ninth inning grand slam helped the Heroes rally from a 5-0 deficit Thursday morning to finish off a sweep of the reeling LG Twins
. That was Kiwoom’s eighth straight win, and brought its record to 18-6 the last 24 games. We mentioned in a recent article that Kiwoom’s dome will host the KBO championship series this November. The Heroes are hoping to be there.
*Doosan Bears: 27-17
Explosive Doosan has failed to take advantage of soft spots in its schedule. It lost a series finale to the lowly SK Wyverns Thursday morning
, and recently lost two of three to helpless Hanwha. That lessened the impact of last weekend’s sweep of LG. Doosan is 8-7 its last 15 games.
*LG Twins: 25-19
Wow…six losses in a row in gut checks vs. Doosan and Kiwoom. Bettors can still consider taking LG vs. lesser lights. But, it’s tough to consider the Twins as a championship threat. LG is 11-1 vs. SK and Hanwha, but 5-12 vs. playoff caliber NC, Kiwoom, and Doosan.
*Kia Tigers: 23-19
Interesting situation here…as the Kia/Lotte series was washed out both Wednesday and Thursday (and the Tigers were rained out last Thursday too). Kia will be rusty as it visits NC this weekend, and its starting rotation could be out of sync for a bit. The Tigers are 8-4 their last 12 games when weather permits. Kia could still offer value this weekend if NC keeps stumbling.
*Lotte Giants: 21-21
A chance to mention a nice home/road split gleaned from Jason Latus’ stat smorgasbord here at vsin.com.
Lotte is 13-5 at home this season, for a betting profit of plus nine units…but 8-16 on the road for a loss of 8.25 units. That sets up a great series this weekend at home against Samsung…the top overall KBO money maker for bettors this season. Lotte plays its home games in Busan, at the southeast tip of South Korea. Longer travel could be a contributing factor to that home/road split in this unique season.
*Samsung Lions: 22-23
Samsung failed to sweep Hanwha this week, which feels like a service break given how badly the Eagles are playing. Lions are now 9-5 their last 14 games.
*KT Wiz: 19-25
Wiz are 6-3 their last nine games, which means they were an even worse 13-22 before that. A chance to keep rolling in a road series at Hanwha. Worth noting that KT is 9-3 vs. teams that currently have a losing record, but 10-22 against everyone else.
*SK Wyverns: 13-31
Thursday morning’s home upset of Doosan in the series finale ended an eight-game losing streak. Record is now 2-12 the last 14 games. The wavering Wyverns have been worse than Hanwha (4-10) during that stretch! An amazing riches-to-rags story for last season’s contenders that tied Doosan for the best regular season record at 88-55.
*Hanwha Eagles: 11-34
Of note to run-line bettors, Hanwha finally lost a one-run game this week. That 3-2 decision vs. Samsung ended a string of 24 consecutive losses by two runs or more. At least there are signs the Eagles are become more competitive after playing well below league standards for several weeks.
Fun weekend ahead. Note that ESPN will televise all three games from the NC/Doosan showdown live.
HELPFUL STATS FOR HARD-WORKING HANDICAPPERS
You already know that VSiN’s Jason Latus built a treasure trove of data for stat handicappers. Here are some quick links to pages you should find helpful.
Season-to-date betting and game stats, with easy links to specific breakdowns like home/road, performances vs. RH/LH starting pitchers, and the last seven games.
If you have pet stats you liked for finding sleeper value in MLB, you’ll likely find them here for the KBO.
Classic pitching stats plus money line information for every pitcher to make a start this season.
If you want to know Raul Alcantara’s babip allowed, or KT’s record with Odrisamer Despaigne on the mound…this is the place. You can’t whine about not having access to important pitching stats any more! VSiN puts them all at your fingertips.
Very important for handicapping team sides and totals, particularly in games started by hurlers at the back of the rotation.
Stop complaining about what bullpens are doing to you…and start winning with what bullpen knowledge can do for you.
VSiN returns Monday for more KBO coverage from a market perspective. That will include a preview of the Doosan/Kiwoom series set for Monday through Wednesday at the Gocheok Skydome. See you then. Now, get to work! You have some handicapping to do.