April, May, and June, a three-month battle. Through the clouds, a picture is slowly emerging.
The bitey, jungle-like battle for the top spot is coming to a head as the first half of the season comes to a close.
It’s a best-of-seven, best-of-one system. Expect this to continue through the early part of the second half.
Nine games left in the first half per team until the 13th. There may be a few more games in the aftermath of the rainy season. It’s all about differentiation in the top two and top seven.
Absolute second place, a league of their own
Barring a major upset, the LG Twins and SSG Landers will remain in the top two for the foreseeable future.
As of Day 3, LG and SSG are separated by 1.5 games.
The distance between the top two and third-place NC and fourth-place Lotte, who have been struggling lately, has increased. Second-place SSG and third-place NC, which has lost three straight games, are separated by 7.5 games. Fourth-place Lotte is eight games back.
The battle for direct qualification to the Korean Series will be fierce between LG and SSG.
LG has brought in manager Yeom Kyung-yeop to solve last year’s unresolved Korean Series title. The prerequisite is to win the regular season. If they lose to SSG like last year, they won’t be able to guarantee their short-term dominance.
Even for the defending champions, 먹튀검증 the only way to win back-to-back titles is to finish first.
Considering the weight of the starting lineup without Font, there is no guarantee that they will be stronger than last year. Going straight to the top is a must.
Only 5 games separate 3rd and 9th place…a wide-open mid-table spring season
The third-place NC Dinos and ninth-place KIA Tigers are separated by five games. In between, seven teams are separated by half a game or one game.
Fourth-place Lotte, fifth-place Doosan, and sixth-place Kiwoom are each separated by one game. Seventh-place KT is half a game behind. Eighth-ranked Hanwha, which has made a major leap forward with its first eight-game winning streak in 18 years, is 1.5 games behind seventh place. KIA is trailing Hanwha by half a game.
Any of the seven teams could finish third through ninth.
There are a lot of injury variables, the fall Asian Games without key players, and a lot of rainouts. It’s a season where the wrinkles are bound to grow.
Samsung, 4.5 games out of ninth place, has become a ‘public target’
It’s not just their current position that makes them feel bad. It’s a vicious cycle that’s only getting harder.
There is no mercy in the law of the jungle. The predator will go after the weakest member of the pack. The lion, the king of the jungle, is being hunted.
It’s going to get harder and harder if you don’t overhaul your team quickly and get out of last place.
Given the choice, opposing teams will likely focus their ace pitchers on Samsung in order to secure a ‘surefire win’. To make matters worse, Samsung is likely to keep pitching even when they are losing.
Moreover, knowing that Samsung’s biggest weakness is its bullpen, opposing teams will have no choice but to play Samsung as a strategy for a late-game comeback. The already weak Samsung bullpen will be overloaded even more. It’s a deadly situation in a heat wave that came early.
They escaped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Hanwha on “Promise Sunday,” but are still 4.5 games behind ninth-place KIA. It is not easy to escape the last place by the first half of the season.