While the MLB has been slow to embrace bat flips (the practice of players stylishly throwing their bat after hitting what they believe to be a home run), the Korean Baseball Organization has been flipping its bat since the ’90s and shows no signs of slowing down.
Many US F sites, sportsbooks, and apps offer bets on the KBO now, so it’s a great time to familiarize yourself with South Korea’s professional baseball league if you’re starved for some baseball betting action.
Just like MLB, there are plenty of wagers you can get in on before the season, during, and after. Below, you’ll find plenty of information for betting on the Korean Baseball Organization.
Teams in the KBO
Unlike Major League Baseball, where teams are named after the cities or regions they represent and play in, teams in the KBO are named after the companies or business conglomerates who own them.
The Samsung Lions, based in Daegu, are named after the famed tech company and have won the Korean Series (the KBO equivalent of the World Series) a whopping eight times.
The Lotte Giants are owned by the Lotte Corporation that owns many companies across diverse industries such as candy manufacturing, beverages, hotels, fast food, retail, financial services, industrial chemicals, electronics, IT, construction, publishing, and entertainment. Lotte is the largest candy manufacturer in South Korea.
The KBO is composed of the following teams:
The NC Dinos currently have the best record in the KBO 2020 season. Their record is 14-3, and they have a .824 winning percentage.
The Dinos are a relatively new team, having joined the league in 2013. They’ve never won the Korean Series and have been eliminated by the Doosan Bears three times in the playoffs.
The LG Twins come in behind the Dinos and carry an 11-6 record. Unlike the Dinos, the Twins have played since the league’s inaugural 1982 season and won the Korean Series twice.
KBO Regular Season Details
Every team in the KBO plays 144 games a season. Each team plays every other team 16 times. Up until 2015, each team only played 128 games, but the addition of the KT Wiz mandated the league to change their regular season schedule.
Like the MLB, KBO also has an all-star game in July every season. The players are divided into “Dream All-Stars” and “Nanum All-Stars” based on their team, and the all-star game does not determine KBO home-field advantage like the MLB all-star game used to.
The simplicity of the KBO regular season stands in stark contrast to the MLB regular season.
While each KBO team plays each of the other nine KBO teams 16 times each, MLB teams play the four teams in their division 19 times each.
The MLB season is more convoluted with leagues being another factor. Each MLB team will play six games against four of the other opponents in their same league (but not division) and seven games against the other six opponents in their same league (but not division).
As a result, MLB teams have to play a lot of four-game series, much to the chagrin of bettors who prefer to bet on series results.
The final wrinkles in the MLB regular season are the 20 interleague games every team must play each year.
These interleague games present an interesting MLB betting opportunity due to the differences between the American League and the National League.
The fact that each team in the KBO plays every other team the same amount of games makes it easier to make season totals bets on KBO teams.
You don’t need to worry about which teams are in strong or weak divisions like you would when making MLB season totals bets, and the smaller number of teams makes it easier to find favorites or underdogs.
With KBO betting, you also don’t need to factor in interleague play. All teams in the KBO use a DH, so there’s no need for interleague games like there is in MLB.
KBO Postseason Details
The KBO Korean Series is the KBO equivalent of the World Series, caps off every KBO season, and determines the league champion.
The top five teams by win/loss record all qualify for the KBO Korean Series and face off in the following format:
KBO Wild Card Game: Fifth-place team vs. Fourth-place team
The fourth-place team gets a 1-0 lead to start the series and advances if they win or tie. The fifth-place team must win twice to avoid elimination.
KBO Semi-playoffs: KBO Wild Card Game winner vs. Third-place team
KBO Playoffs: KBO Semi-playoffs winner vs. Second-place team
Best of five series
KBO Korean Series: KBO Playoffs winner vs. First-place team
Best of seven series
Here are two important rules to distinguish the KBO from MLB:
Universal designated hitter – The MLB has a designated hitter in the American League but requires pitchers to bat for themselves in the National League. This creates a lot of opportunity for pitcher injuries and makes betting on interleague games trickier.
Tie games – Currently, the rules in KBO for tie games are different for regular season and postseason games. KBO games are ruled tie games after the 12th inning in the regular season and the 15th inning in the postseason.
Playoff games ending in a tie are replayed. Many playoff series will go more than five or seven games thanks to this rule change. Prepare for players to be much more fatigued if they play an extra playoff game, and remember to adjust betting strategies if certain ace pitchers get worn down by a fruitless, tie game.
KBO 2020 Season
The 2020 KBO season was originally slated to begin on March 28th but instead started later on May 5th. The KBO regular season is set to end on October 18th so there is still plenty of time to get in of the action!
While it’s can be harder to bet on KBO games if you’re only used to betting on the MLB and its teams, it’s still worth it to do your research and give it a short. The KBO may be different from the MLB in a lot of ways, but it still offers good sports betting opportunities and fun viewing action.
What’s your favorite KBO team? Have you made any KBO bets? Let us know in the comments.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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