‘Bomde?’ ‘Top?’ This week, it’s a toss-up! Will Hanwha-SSG rebound?

(MHN Sports Reporter Lee Kyu-won) Professional baseball, which began on April 1 and will play a total of 720 games with 144 games per team, is entering the midway point of the season from the initial “three strong, four weak” structure, and the standings are fluctuating.

This week, Samsung-LG (Jamsil), KIA-KIUM (Gochuk), kt-SSG (Incheon), Hanwha-LOTTE (Busan), and Doosan-NC (Changwon) will be held during the week (13-15).

The three-game series on the weekend (Nov. 16-18) will feature Doosan-LG (Jamsil), Lotte-SSG (Incheon), Samsung-KT (Suwon), Kiwoom-Hanwha (Daejeon), and NC-KIA (Gwangju).

The main movers and shakers in the standings are the ‘Nakdong River rivals’ NC Dinos and Lotte Giants.

The two teams have starkly diverged in June.

On the 11th, NC swept the SSG Landers 8-4 to move into third place with a five-game winning streak. They also handed leader SSG their first three-game sweep of the season.

On the other hand, Lotte, which formed a top three with SSG and LG Twins at the beginning of the season, dropped out of the top three after 47 days after losing third place to NC. The two teams are separated by 0.5 games.

NC has been on a steep upward curve this month, going 8-1 despite the injury setback to left-handed starter Koo Chang-mo, and has emerged as a threat to both SSG and LG.

They are two games back of second-place LG and 3.5 games back of SSG.

Lotte, which went 1-5 last week, including dropping all three games of a three-game series against KT WIZ, dropped to last place in the June monthly win percentage (3-7).

NC welcomes the fourth-place Doosan Bears to Changwon this week for a one-game series. Lotte will try to bounce back at home against the last-place Hanwha Eagles.

NC’s biggest strength is its solid mound.

Lee Jae-hak, who was added to the starting rotation in late May, has provided a boost with four consecutive quality starts (six or more innings pitched and three earned runs or less) and two wins this month.

Eric Peddie is on pace to tie the KBO record for wins in fewest games (12) with 10. Three pitchers combined for two wins in June, including the all-around all-weather Choi Sung-young out of the bullpen.

NC leads the league in team ERA (3.19) on the season, and dominates the nine-team mound with a staggering 2.25 in June. The NC bullpen’s 0.76 ERA in June is more than three points lower than the league average (4.12).

NC is two games behind Doosan and two games behind their weekend opponents, the Kia Tigers. With the team on the rise, this week’s losses to both teams are timely.

Lotte lands in Incheon after a three-game 메이저놀이터 series against Hanwha, which has a 4-1 record, and then hosts SSG on the weekend for the third “distribution battle” of the season.

The first meeting in April was rained out twice and ended in a 1-0 win for SSG, and the second meeting in May in Busan saw SSG take a 2-1 lead.

Both SSG, looking to defend their lead, and Lotte, looking to rebound and rejoin the top three, will have their work cut out for them in this three-game series, which is sure to bring out the best in Incheon.

Second-place LG will attempt to reclaim the top spot in a six-game home stand against the Samsung Lions and Doosan, while the Kiwoom Heroes will try to break into the mid-table with a resurgent Lee Jung-hoo.

They’re also within striking distance of a record.

KIA’s veteran slugger Choi Hyung-woo needs six RBIs this week to surpass Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop (1,498) for first place on the career RBI list.

Choi increased his total to 476 after overtaking Lee (464) for the top spot in the career doubles category in April.

With another 30 runs, Choi will tie Yang Jun-hyuk (3,879) for second place on the all-time list.

Hanwha’s veteran bullpen pitcher Jung Woo-ram, who has appeared in 24 games this year, will become the first pitcher in history to reach the 1,000-game milestone with 24 more appearances on the mound.

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