KBO Thursday betting preview: Fade Giants in Sampson's debut
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After a 3-1 Tuesday we had to settle for a 1-2 Wednesday as both 'dogs failed to come through on a morning dominated by favorites.

Let's see what Thursday has to offer.

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

ESPN game: Samsung Lions (+135) @ Lotte Giants (-165)

A couple of new faces will grace the mound in Thursday's KBO tilt between Samsung and Lotte. The Lions send out 18-year-old rookie Heo Yoon-dong, while the Giants counter with veteran Adrian Sampson, who arrives from MLB.

Heo was Samsung's first selection in this year's KBO draft. The southpaw makes the step up from the youth leagues where he impressed clubs in the playoffs, boosting his draft stock. There aren't any available stats on the teenager, though, which makes capping this game incredibly difficult.

Finding Sampson's stats isn't an issue, as he spent the last eight years bouncing between MLB and the minors. The right-hander spent the entire 2019 campaign with the Texas Rangers, starting 15 games and appearing in 35.

There's good reason to be excited about Sampson, who pitched many more innings and put up significantly better numbers in MLB in 2019 than the likes of Aaron Brooks, Chris Flexen, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Dan Straily, all of whom are enjoying strong starts to their KBO careers.

At 28 years old, Sampson comes over still in his prime pitching years. He posted a 7.3 K/9 rate and a 2.81 K/BB rate in the bigs last season, evidence that he could dominate in the KBO.

The issue for Sampson is the pitch count. He still needs to be stretched out and will be on a strict 50-pitch limit, according to the Giants manager, meaning it will be largely a bullpen game for the hosts. That's concerning given the Giants have one of the worst pens in the league, collectively managing a 5.27 ERA through 19 contests.

This line is inflated due in large part to Sampson's name value. The Giants have one of the league's worst lineups, which has managed a paltry 4.53 runs per game this season to go with a collective .260 average, and their hitters haven't seen the young lefty before. It's a tough game to cap, but there's certainly value with the visitors.

Pick: Lions (+135)

Other picks:

  • Hanwha Eagles (+135)
  • Twins/Eagles under 8.5 (-115)
  • Wyverns/Bears over 11 (-120)

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

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KBO Thursday betting preview: Fade Giants in Sampson's debut
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