The weekend Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) series get underway Friday May 22, 2020 with some very intriguing matchups. One of those is the American televised game featuring the LG Twins (9-5) hosting the KT Wiz (6-8). This game will air live on ESPN2 at 5:30 a.m. EST. Both teams are coming off a successful three games midweek.
The KT Wiz hosted the Hanwha Eagles for a three-game series and came away with two wins. KT gave up seven runs in the top of the seventh inning, but still held on to win game one 13-11. In the second game of the series the Wiz scored a combined five runs in the first three innings and cruised to an 8-1 run. The final game of the series saw Hanwha score seven runs in the top of the third inning and cruised to a 9-4 win.
LG Twins went to Daegu and took two of three from the Samsung Lions. In the first game of the series the Twins scored seven runs in the first two innings and finished with a comfortable 10-6 win. Game two was a close one that saw Samsung come away with a tight 3-1 win. In the series finale the Twins shutout the Lions and came away with a 2-0 win.
Below is my pick for the KT Wiz vs LG Twins. All odds are from BetMGM Sportsbook.
KT Wiz (-102) vs LG Twins (-120): O/U 9.5 (-110/-116)
Pitching Match-Up: Odrisamer Despaigne (1-0, 2.65 ERA) vs Casey Kelly (1-0, 5.63 ERA)
One of the bright spots early in the season for the KT Wiz is Odrisamer Despaigne pitching gems in his first three starts in the KBO. The righty has started three games this season and is allowing just five hits per start and 1.7 earned runs in 5.7 innings pitched. Despaigne has two quality starts but has gotten just one win as the Wiz bullpen has let them down.
Last time out, Casey Kelly rebounded from a tough opening start of the season to shutout the Kiwoom Heroes in six innings of work. The righty gave up just three hits and struck out five on his way to the win. It was a drastic turnaround from Kelly who lasted just two innings in his opening start of the season.
If the KT Wiz could just bat all game, they would be KBO Championship Series favorites, but unfortunately for them they also have to rely on their pitching staff as well. The Wiz lead the league in runs scored (101), hits (172), and are tied for second with 17 home runs hit, but their pitching staff has been abysmal. Their staff has given up the third must runs allowed (85), second most hits given up (148), and third most home runs allowed (15). The Wiz have an offense that can compete for a championship, but if their pitchers don’t turn it around it won’t matter.
The LG Twins are a bit more over the place as they have scored the fourth most runs (79), have the third fewest hits (128), and the fifth fewest home runs hit (14). Their pitching staff has allowed the fourth fewest runs (68), second fewest hits (130), and fifth fewest home runs allowed (13).
Prediction: I like the LG Twins to get the win in the series opener.
KBO Picks Record: 6-5