KBO Predictions and Analysis – Saturday, April 17 (2021)

| April 17, 2021 12:17 am PDT

The top South Korean baseball league continues on Saturday with a full round of games. The standings are still pretty close, so all teams are eager to gather some momentum early in the season.

I share my thoughts on the upcoming fixtures in my KBO predictions for April 17. They are mostly based on the form of each side and the latest team news.

Here are all fixtures included in my KBO predictions for Friday.

  • Kia Tigers vs. SSG Landers
  • Doosan Bears vs. LG Twins
  • Samsung Lions vs. Lotte Giants
  • Kiwoom Heroes vs. KT Wiz Suwon
  • Hanwha Eagles vs. NC Dinos

SSG Landers to Beat Kia Tigers

I expected a strong start of the series for the SSG Landers on Friday, and the team did have some good moments early on in the opening game. The problem is that the defense collapsed after that, and the Tigers crushed them.

It looks like SSG’s bullpen is simply not very good, which could be a problem going forward.

Despite that glaring issue, I can’t help but back the Landers for the second clash on Saturday. The team is expected to start a much better pitcher than the Tigers, so the first six or seven innings should be enough to build a strong lead.

Still, it might get tough later on because of the lack of good finishers, and I won’t be shocked to see plenty of runs in this one.

LG Twins to Beat Doosan Bears

1-0 victories are not too common in baseball, but the LG Twins are simply exceptional defensively. They probably have both the best starting pitchers in the league and the strongest bullpen.

The Bears held on their own in the opening game of the series, but a single run was enough to win it for the opposition. I’m afraid we might witness something similar on Saturday.

Andres Suarez is next in LG’s rotation, and the pitcher is yet to concede a run after two starts. He should be able to contain the Bears, and the bullpen can finish the job.

Doosan’s starter is solid too, but I once again expect a close win for the Twins, and that’s why I’m backing them in my KBO predictions for Saturday.

Lotte Giants to Beat Samsung Lions

The opening game between the Giants and the Lions went pretty much as I expected. Lotte’s offense had the upper hand and found plenty of runs for a final score of 9-3.

The second clash of the series on Saturday should be much closer because both sides are sending decent but unspectacular pitchers.

And yet, it feels like Enderson Franco’s potential is higher than what we’ve seen so far, and the Giants have the momentum from Friday’s victory. That’s enough for me to back them once again in the next encounter.

KT Wiz Suwon to Beat Kiwoom Heroes

Kiwoom’s struggles for consistency continue, and the team’s defense was shaky in the opening game versus KT Wiz Suwon. I’m not sure that the Heroes would be able to bounce back on Saturday either.

They will have to face Odrisamer Despaigne, who’s been reliable for the past two seasons. The Cuban should be able to handle the opposition rather comfortably.

I’m not sure I can say the same for Kiwoom’s projected starter, An Woo-Jin. He was solid last season, but his confidence is certainly down after a 7.71 ERA in the first two games of the 2021 KBO campaign.

If An is at his best, the Heroes have a chance, but I believe that KT Wiz Suwon should be able to win this one.

NC Dinos to Beat Hanwha Eagles

I don’t think that anyone was surprised when the NC Dinos demolished the Hanwha Eagles in the opening game of the series on Friday. The reigning champions have the most productive offense in South Korean baseball, and they will be tough to stop.

However, the Eagles should start Ryan Carpenter, who is one of their top pitchers. It should be closer than the first clash, but I’m not sure that the bullpen can handle the Dinos even if the starter does a good job holding them initially.

I feel obliged to back NC in my KBO predictions for Saturday, mostly because of their unstoppable offense, but it might be closer than most people think.

Jerry Summer
Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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