The KBO is slated to begin their season in just a matter of hours, and we have some free picks and parlays, as well as some DFS advice for the first day of Korean Baseball.
The COVID-19 outbreak, as we all know, has delayed the 2020 MLB season until who knows when. June/July seems to be the likely return date, but in the meantime, we will have professional baseball to enjoy.
KBO Picks and Parlays – Opening Day Action
If you don’t mind games that start in the wee hours the morning broadcast in Korean, the KBO might be your cup of tea.
Yes, the 20202 Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) has opening day scheduled to see the first pitch at 1:00 AM ET on Tuesday morning. The top league in South Korea has ten teams who all play on the same day in front of empty stands.
With sports action around the globe very limited at the moment, I expect many to take a chance on this alternative league.
I sure am.
Here are moneyline odds for the five games taking place on opening day:
- NC Dinos -160 vs. Samsung Lions +110
- Doosan Bears -145 vs. LG Twins +110
- KT WIz -145 vs. Lotte Giants +110
- SK Wyverns -140 vs. Hanwha Eagles +100
- Kiwoom Heroes -135 vs. Kia Tigers +100
Before you lock in any bets, here are my best picks and parlays for KBO’s opening day of action.
Hanwha Eagles (Warwick Saupold) vs SK Wyvern (Nick Kingham)
We will start off with a pick based on a name you might actually know. Nick Kingham went 4-2 last year with a 7.28 ERA with the Pirates in 2019 before making the jump to the KBO. Not great numbers, I admit, but Kingham is better than that ERA suggests and will now be pitching against lesser opponents.
Kingham will be making his KBO debut in this season opener for the Wyverns. SK had a team ERA of just 3.48 last year and allowed the fewest runs to opposing batters (546).
Much like the Mets or Nationals in the MLB, the Wyverns are known for their pitching talent, and Kingham should excel for SK. Their offense leaves a little to be desired, but they can undoubtedly score enough runs for their pitching to carry them.
Warwick Saupold toes the rubber across from Kingham in his 2020 season debut. The 30-year-old righty had a 12-11 record in 2019 to go along with a 3.51 ERA in 31 appearances. He did manage an impressive 20 quality starts in those 31 games and struck out 135 while walking 54. Good numbers but slightly skewed as Saupold pitched against the Lotte Giants a lot down the stretch, and they were easily the worst team in the league. He allowed at least one run in 18 of his last 20 games as well.
If Warwick did not pitch those games against the Giants, he would be 9-11 with a far worse ERA than his 3.51 final number. He also had issues with SK last year, pitching opening day and allowing seven runs in a short day of work.
Kingham is more of a question mark in his first work for the KBO, but as I mentioned, SK has a stellar track record with imported pitchers. He has also more recently faced a higher quality of hitter, and I think he will be ready to go from day one.
Best Bet: SK Wyverns -140
KBO Daily Fantasy Value Players of Note
C Jae Hoon Choi | Hanwha Eagles | $2,800
Choi ranked second among all catchers last season with a .398 OBP, which I love to see. This tells me Choi has a high floor, which is exactly what I’m looking for in a DFS value player. His only big knock is his lack of power, hitting only three home runs last year. This makes him more suitable for cash games and not so much in tournaments, but overall he is a low-risk player at a low price. A price that I expect to see some inflation as the season progresses.
SP Warwick Saupold | Hanwha Eagles | $6,500
Despite my earlier bet against the Hanwha Eagles today, I still believe that at $6,500, Saupold is a safe bet to live up to his pricing. He had a sub 4.00 ERA last year, but perhaps more importantly, he is a stud. He ranked second in the league last year, averaging 6⅓ innings pitched per game. This gives him a few extra batters to earn his stats on Tuesday. If he can make it to the seventh inning, this pick will pay off.
That’s it for our first day of betting, and DFS picks for the KBO. But it won’t be our last. Check back for betting results later in the week and picks and parlays for the next round of games right here at SportsIntel.