Another day, another 5* KBO Under that was never really in doubt and the massive run continues in the KBO. After scratching and clawing to stay around even for the first month of the KBO season I’ve gotten the big payoff I thought was possible in this league cashing 13 of my last 16 KBO plays overall. I’m 9-1 on 5* plays this KBO season, for the past week or so it seems like there is one spot each night where the landscape of the game suggests UNDER AND the number is inflated and we have yet another one of those spots here when the NC Dinos take on the Lotte Giants in the second game of a three game set at Changwon NC Park in Changwon, South Korea.
The obvious reason to like the under here is Chang-mo Koo but there are a bunch of other reasons I like a low scoring, closer than expected game, so I’m going to start first with the situation for both teams. Lotte sprung a huge upset last night, they were +270 underdogs on the road against the top team in the league and rallied to win 10-8 in extra innings. Lotte got to .500 with that win as the Giants are now 23-23 on the season. It’s now back to back wins for Lotte as they won on Sunday against Samsung and I think that result and a mini winning streak gives Lotte a ton of confidence to give an “all-in” team effort here.
There’s a big emphasis on “team effort” because that’s what it will take for Lotte to win here as they will go with a bullpen game of sorts and try to “matchup” their way to another shock result tonight. Lotte will send a long time KBO veteran to the mound tonight as 37 year old Won-Sam Jang makes just his second appearance of the season for the Giants here. Since most people betting the KBO go off of what they have seen this year I think the masses (including the oddsmakers) are taking a quick glance and see a guy that made one start and got shelled and just assume that will be the case here. There’s no question Jang’s best days are probably behind him but at one point in time Jang was one of the better pitchers in this league so if he can find it for a night it’s possible he could be pretty good. Fortunately, we don’t need to bank on that and that would really be more of a bonus than anything because from what I’ve gathered Lotte will treat him more like an opener and if he gets in trouble they will go get him and go to the next guy in the bullpen.
I like that Jang will give NC a different look to start the game as he’s a lefty and I think that allows for a chance of pace when Lotte goes to their bullpen so I don’t think it’s out of the realm to think NC could be kept off balance by 5-6 different pitchers from Lotte in this game. Lotte enters play today with a 4.67 bullpen ERA, only the Kiwoom Heroes and Samsung Lions have a better bullpen ERA this season so, while we will have to grind out a bullpen game we will get to do so with one of the top bullpens in the league and one that has a ton of confidence right now having snuffed out rallies from Samsung and NC in back to back wins in their past two games.
The NC Dinos hand the ball to Chang-mo Koo, he’s the best pitcher in the KBO and he’s coming off of his worst outing of the season so I absolutely love this spot for Koo to bounce back here. Koo’s last start was a bit of a fluke, it was the second half of a double header and he just never looked comfortable giving up a season high eight hits and a season high four runs in the no decision. Even with a bad start Koo’s numbers are still ridiculous, he has a 1.37 ERA and 0.76 WHIP and I think the southpaw will be highly motivated to come out and blank Lotte here.
Lotte has had a couple of outbursts the past couple games but overall the Giants are one of the lesser offensive teams in the league and I see them coming back down to Earth against a much tougher pitcher here. I also like the fact Lotte hasn’t seen Koo yet this season so a huge advantage to Koo and in four home starts Koo has allowed three earned runs and never more than one in a game so I could see a scenario where a motivated Koo comes out and blanks Lotte here.
I’m banking on Koo bringing his “A game” and dominating a lesser Lotte lineup but I also think the mix of Lotte relievers will keep NC off balance enough where they are unable to completely blow open this game. I also liked the fact these two teams played an emotionally draining 10-8 extra inning affair last night so it would not surprise me to see NC come out a bit flat as a team since they know Koo probably won’t give up much, if anything at all.
I was shocked to see this total open at 10 and while it was only there for a minute I’m still surprised to see any matchup featuring Chang-mo Koo have a total higher than 9. I think the only way we lose this bet is if NC explodes for 9-10 runs on their own and while they are certainly capable of doing that this just doesn’t feel like a spot where they unload.
Instead I think this will be more like a HR here and a HR there type game for NC, I could see Lotte literally not scoring a single run and in the end NC probably wins an underwhelming game that stays under the number. Play on Under 9.5 -110 for 5 units
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