Over in the Korean Baseball League (KBO), the NC Dinos (+275 odds) and Doosan Bears (+375) are the top two favorites to win the Korean Series championship, according to a recent update by CircaSports. The defending champion Bears will attempt to notch back-to-back titles while the Dinos are on a mission to win their first KBO Series championship.
The NC Dinos have lost only one game thus far this season. The Dinos (11-1) are atop the standings and are also the overall favorite to win the KBO Series at +275 odds.
The Doosan Bears, the KBO Series’ defending champions, are the second-best odds on the futures board at +375. The Bears lumbered off to a sluggish 7-5 start. The third-place Kiwoom Heroes (8-5) are third-best on the KBO Series board at +400 odds.
2020 KBO Korean Series Odds
NC Dinos +275
Doosan Bears +375
Kiwoom Heroes +400
LG Twins +505
Lotte Giants +900
Kia Tigers +1000
KT Wiz +2000
SK Wyverns +4000
Samsung Lions +4000
Hanwha Eagles +5000
Neither the NC Dinos nor the Kiwoom Heroes have ever won a KBO Series championship. Could this be the season one of them finally makes it to the promised land?
The SK Wyverns (1-10), Samsung Lions (4-9), and Hanwha Eagles (5-8) are the trio of long shots on the board in the 40/1 to 50/1 odds range to win the Korean Series. The bottom three teams are automatically eliminated from postseason action.
KBO: Cool Playoff System
The KBO league consists of eight teams and baseball players in Korea love to celebrate home runs with a bat flip. The season lasts 144 games, with each team playing each other 16 times. The KBO utilizes a designated hitter so pitchers don’t have to bat. Check out KBO games on ESPN if you’re up late.
Extra innings only extend to 12 innings before a game results in a tie. In the playoffs, there’s a 15-inning maximum on extra innings before the game results in a tie. In an event of a tie in the postseason, the teams replay the game from scratch.
The top five teams earn a spot in the postseason. The first-place team earns a bye through the championship series. Thus, teams chase a pivotal benefit and huge incentive to secure the best record in the KBO.
The fifth-place and fourth-place teams square off against each other in the KBO wild-card series. The cool twist to this series is that the #4 seed starts with a 1-0 lead. The #5 seed team needs two victories to advance, while the #4 seed needs a single victory to win the wild card.
The wild card winner plays a five-game series against the #3 seed or third-place team. The winner of that series faces the #2 seed or second-place team. The winner of the semis advances to the KBO Korean Series.
The KBO Korean Series, much like the MLB’s World Series, is a best-of-seven games affair. The first team to win four games wins the KBO championship.
KBO Champions: Lions, Tigers, and Bears
The Kia Tigers have won 11 KBO titles. The Tigers are the equivalent to the NY Yankees of KBO. The Samsung Lions won eight championships, including four-straight between 2011 and 2014.
The Doosan Bears (then known as the OB Bears) won the first KBO title in 1982. They’ve won six titles overall, including three since 2015. The Bears won back-to-back KBO Series titles in 2015 and 2016. They were runner-ups in 2017 and 2018. They finally won again last season, which makes them the defending champions. The hungry and consistent Bears are on pace to advance to their sixth consecutive trip to the KBO Series.
KBO Series Champions (Since 2004)
2019 Doosan Bears
2018 SK Wyverns
2017 Kia Tigers
2016 Doosan Bears
2015 Doosan Bears
2014 Samsung Lions
2013 Samsung Lions
2012 Samsung Lions
2011 Samsung Lions
2010 SK Wyverns
2009 Kia Tigers
2008 SKY Wyverns
2007 SK Wyverns
2006 Samsung Lions
2005 Samsung Lions
2004 Hyundai Unicorns
The Hyundai Unicorns won four KBO Series championships between 1998 and 2004. The Unicorns are now defunct.
The Kiwoom Heroes and NC Dinos have never won the championship, despite three combined appearances in the KBO Series. The Dinos (+275) and Heroes (+400) are among the favorites to finally break through to the winner’s circle in the 2020 KBO Korean Series.