Study Ks when handicapping KBO

By Jeff Fogle  (VSiN.com) 

May 21, 2020 12:06 PM

Baseball analysts have known for decades that pitching statistics related to strikeouts were the most important when predicting immediate and long-term success or failure. 

*Bill James showed long ago in his Baseball Abstracts that strikeouts-per-nine innings outlined “this is what he is now, and how long his career will be” for pitchers better than any other single stat. ERA’s could be inconsistent, and strongly polluted by the impacts of home ballparks. Wins and Losses were polluted by varying run support or team quality. The ability (or inability) to throw strikeouts provided the cleanest reads. 

*Newer stats that focus on “fielding independent” pitching rely heavily on strikeout counts because pitchers control their own destiny (or don’t) by how often they prevent balls from being put into play. 

*Volatility introduced to the sport globally by changes in ball manufacturing only magnified the issue. Balls can’t soar farther if they’re not hit in the first place! If a league is playing with juiced balls, bettors definitely want to bet on pitchers that miss bats, against those who throw to contact. 

This is important for those of you considering whether or not you want to handicap the Korea Baseball Organization. You know Major League Baseball here in the US (and Canada) won’t start July at the earliest (still more than a month away). You’re not familiar Korean players. You may not even be sure how to say the names of pitchers because the man you know as Chan Ho Park over here was Park Chan-ho over there. 

That’s OK. You don’t have to speak Korean to pick winners. You just have to speak strikeout. Look up strikeout-related material for each day’s starting pitchers to gain a sense of which are most likely to dominate, or at least control their own destiny. These are easy to find at baseball-reference, and the mykbostats page that has easy-click access to current and career stats once each day’s probables are announced (look for "compare tomorrow's starters"). 

Among your options:

*K/9, meaning strikeouts-per-nine innings. You can calculate this yourself just by multiplying strikeouts by nine, then dividing by innings pitched. (A hurler with 10 strikeouts in 18 innings would have a rate of 5.0, as that’s 10 times nine divided by 18.)

*K/BB, meaning the strikeout to walk ratio. Some high strikeout pitchers are also wild, which makes them less effective than their pure K-rate would suggest. And, low strikeout pitchers who are prone to walks are poison to your bankroll. 

Early in a new season, it’s usually better to focus on career performances in these stats rather than what’s happened over just a few games. If you have time, study year-to-year progressions of relatively young or very old pitchers. Youngsters with promise develop an ability to overpower as they mature…while aging veterans basically announce when they’re on their way out. 

Best K/9 marks so far in the KBO for pitchers who have completed at least 10 innings: Drew Gagnon 12.67, Seung-won Moon 10.8, Woo-chan Cha 10.7, Dan Straily 10.2, Chang-mo Koo 10.2, Jong-Hoon Park 10.2. 

Any pitcher likely to sustain at least 9.0 (1K per inning) based on career norms (or being a foreigner who can dish!) deserves consideration for support at affordable prices.

Baseball handicapping fundamentals are the same around the world because baseball performance is bounded by the same realities. Studying the KBO is a “manageable” challenge for new bettors because there are only 10 teams and five games per night (compared to 30 and 15 in MLB). That’s about 50 rotation pitchers, many of whom are very similar in relevant skill sets. You already speak strikeout. Get to work!

NC DINOS DELIGHT IN DOOSAN, NOW HOST HANWHA

VSiN spotlighted this important series for you in our last report. Three exciting NC/Doosan games all went down to the wire. The Dinos won Tuesday’s opener 5-4. The Bears bounced back with a 2-1 win in 11 innings Wednesday. In Thursday’s finale, NC trailed 4-3 in the ninth before exploding for nine runs in a 12-6 victory. 

NC has clearly earned the respect of betting markets, priced around -110, 110, and -125 in three ROAD games at the defending champions. There were concerns that the Dinos’ hot start was over-influenced by an easy early schedule. Not an issue after this three-game set. NC won’t go 12-2 every 14 games through the season. But it’s a very legitimate championship contender with outstanding pitching and a productive offense. 

In other early-week series: The Kia Tigers swept the Lotte Giants to rain on the rags-to-riches story that had been brewing in Busan…the KT Wiz took two of three from the Hanwha Eagles…the LG Twins took two of three from the Lions at Samsung…and the Kiwoom Heroes took two of three from the disappointing KT Wyverns

Standings heading into weekend matchups…

12-2: NC Dinos

9-5: LG Twins

9-6: Kiwoom Heroes

8-6: Doosan Bears

8-7: Kia Tigers

7-7: Lotte Giants

6-8: KT Wiz

6-9: Hanwha Eagles

5-10: Samsung Lions

2-12: SK Wyverns

Friday through Sunday, NC must avoid a letdown at home against Hanwha. Doosan will try to regroup at Samsung. Kiwoom at Lotte is the only series matching two teams entering the weekend at .500 or better. But, KT at LG matches two recently-hot teams. The Wiz have won five of their last six, the Twins eight of their last 10. Finally, Kia visits SK. 

ESPN2’s TV coverage this weekend (all times Eastern)…

Friday: KT at LG…5:30 a.m. live, 2 p.m. replay

Saturday: Doosan at Samsung…4 a.m.

Sunday: Hanwha at NC…1 a.m.

(Sunday’s Eagles/Dinos game will actually start late Saturday night Pacific time, 10 p.m. for Las Vegas bettors).

See you Monday for more KBO betting notes. 

back to news

FREE Email Sign-Up

Get the latest sports betting news & VSiN programming updates with this free daily email from VSiN, The Sports Betting Network.

Headlines

View All
  • Zach_LaVine

    Tuley's Takes Today: Tuesday recaps, Circa Quarter prizes, Wednesday best bet (12/8)

    “You can’t win ‘em all.” If you were to watch games with me in the Tuley’s Takes home office or in one of the sportsbooks...
  • bama

    Early CFP Semifinals Sharp Report

    Today bettors have a loaded Wednesday slate to choose from including 13 NBA games, 4 NHL games and 50 College Basketball games. For an updated breakdown...
  • USATSI_17214623

    Peterson: Best bet for Wyoming vs. Arizona

    The Wyoming Cowboys have started out the season with eight straight wins, but face their toughest test yet when they go to Tucson on Wednesday to face...
  • makinennfl

    Analyzing NFL QBs for betting success

    I have always been a football handicapper who puts a ton of stock into the quality of quarterback play. In my opinion, there is no more important position...
  • makinencbb

    Ten midmajors to watch

    The college basketball season has been up and running for nearly a month, and it’s a good time to start plotting for the rest of the season based...
  • makinencfb

    Who's hot, not ahead of bowls?

    With college bowl season opening Dec. 17, here’s a look at which bowl-bound teams are hot and which are not, as well as teams that have had big...
  • burkesurvivor

    Tricky week in survivor pools

    There are only five weeks left in the NFL regular season, but for those still alive in survivor pools, the light at the end of the tunnel is merely a...
  • burkecbb

    Why pace matters in college hoops

    A lot of early-season questions have been answered in college basketball. But as conference play kicks into gear, adjustments will be needed. There...
  • tuley

    Tuley's Takes on NFL Week 14

    NFL Week 13 was another roller-coaster ride here in the Tuley’s Takes home office, but as has happened many weekends this season, teasers saved...
  • hill

    NFL capsules for Week 14

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1 SU, 5-7 ATS) will be looking for their second win in five days when they...
  • appelbaum

    Five NFL games on wise guys' radar

    It was a mixed bag for NFL Week 13 bettors as favorites went 8-6 SU and 8-6 ATS. Dogs remain profitable for the season at 107-85-1 ATS (56 percent). ...
  • macneil

    NHL teams slip-sliding away

    The Canucks and Flyers fired their coaches over the weekend, and the Canucks took it a step further, firing their general manager as well. It’s...

custom-banner-3
VSiN Logo Plus

Free Trial

Make a risk-free bet on VSiN!

VSiN+ FREE TRIAL

  • Afternoon subscriber-only email with highlights and best bets from the day's programs
  • Point Spread Weekly, VSiN's digital magazine on sports betting
  • 24-7 Live video stream of VSiN programs plus replays
  • Any special sport-specified betting guides we do
  • All exclusive subscriber-only stories and data on VSiN.com
Sign Up Now
Google Play
App Store
Close