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A beginner’s guide to the KBO: Five key differences from the MLB

A beginner’s guide to the KBO: Five key differences from the MLB

Is everybody ready for some baseball? The Korean Baseball Organization has kicked off the 2020 season, and ESPN will be giving live coverage of selective games this week.

With most of the sports world currently on pause due to the coronavirus, it’s great to see leagues slowly come out with a plan on how to play and stay safe during this pandemic. With all eyes currently on the KBO, there are some critical differences from the MLB. Those differences especially play a huge role in our daily KBO Picks, so make sure to check out our expert predictions before placing any bets.

With ten teams ready to battle it out in the KBO this season, let’s take a look at five key differences from the KBO to the MLB.


The MLB has been known for some wild walk-offs in recent years as a tie rarely happens in the league. However, the KBO is alright with ties. The Korean Baseball league will declare a tie after the 12th inning during the regular season and after the 15th inning in the postseason. During the postseason, the ties are replayed. Even though ties are still rare in the KBO, they still happen 3-5 times per season.

Regular Season

The regular-season schedule is much more balanced than the MLB. During the 144-game slate, each team will face the other nine teams a total of 16 times.

Mondays are traditional off days, but that won’t happen this season. With most of the teams being geographically close, most of the travel is by bus.


With the regular season being well-balanced in the KBO, a win is even more critical compared to the MLB. A total of five teams make the playoffs in the KBO with the top seed automatically advancing to the best-of-seven championship series. Having the best record in the regular season is a huge advantage, and it pays off as teams usually win from the No. 1 seed. The No. 4 and No. 5 seeds face off in a wild-card playoff with the winner taking on the No. Three seed. The winner of that series plays the No. 2 seed.

Designated Hitter

A hot topic in the MLB has already been solved in the KBO. There is a universal designated hitter in the KBO, as each team will always have nine hitters ready in the lineup. Unlike the MLB, where the National League has pitchers in the starting lineup to hit. The KBO went away from that and gave each team an option for a DH slot.

Bat Flips

Back to back hot topics here as bat flips are filled with pros and cons in the MLB. However, in the KBO, bat flips are used and used often. They don’t just do bat flips on home runs, and most KBO players will chunk, toss, throw the bat even for a single. Players love to show emotion, and it runs wild here at the KBO.

Last updated: Thu 7th May 2020

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