‘Previewing the Korean Series’ LG and SSG face off for sole possession of first place starting today
The LG Twins and SSG Landers are set for an inevitable battle for sole possession of first place.
LG and SSG will play a three-game midweek series at SSG Landers Field in Incheon from today (April 23) to April 25.
After a dominant start to the season, both teams are currently tied for first place with 26 wins, one draw and 14 losses. The team that comes out of the three-game series with the winning series will take the lead in the race for the top spot.
LG and SSG had already played a three-game series at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul from March 25 to 27. While LG emerged victorious in the series, the difference in performance was not significant, as all three games were decided by less than three points.
First, LG’s biggest strength is its powerful batting lineup. As of 23 games ago, LG leads the league in most offensive metrics, including team batting average (0.290), runs scored (208), and OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage – 0.775).
Turning our attention to individual records, Austin Dean and Sung-joo Moon are second and third in the batting average category with 0.333 and 0.329, respectively. The somewhat crowded infield, which was an issue early in the season, has also stabilized somewhat.
What makes LG’s batting lineup even stronger is that the bottom of the order includes Park Dong-won, who leads the league in home runs with 10 arches, and Lee Jae-won, the “big boy in the batting cage,” who boasts a fast bat speed. Speaking about Lee Jae-won, LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop recently said, “You only need to get (the ball) in the center of the bat. If he makes an in-play hit, he can become a triple hitter. (His bat speed) is one of the best in the major leagues,” he said.
LG will start right-hander Im Chan-kyu in the opener on Game 23. In his professional career until last year, Lim compiled a 51-69 record, eight saves and four holds with a 4.80 ERA in 931 innings over 268 games (155 starts), but a string of strong performances earned him a spot in the starting rotation. This year, he is 3-0 with a 2.48 ERA.
SSG’s biggest advantage is its strong pitching staff. SSG has a team ERA of 3.28, the best among the 10 clubs. In particular, the bullpen, anchored by Noh Kyung-eun (2-1, 2 saves, 11 holds, 1.96 ERA) and Seo Jin-yong (1-0, 16 saves, 0.42 ERA), is stable with a 2.34 ERA.
The offense isn’t bad either. Their team batting average is .257, fifth out of 10 teams, but they have the “one shot” with 34 home runs (first). Veterans Choi Jeong (.302 with eight home runs) and Choi Joo-hwan (.278 with six home runs), as well as newcomer Guillermo Heredia (.346 with four home runs), are all hitting well.
On the mound for Game 23 is left-hander Oh Won-seok. After turning pro in 2020 and going 13-15 with a 5.12 ERA in 263.2 innings over 72 games (46 starts) last year, Oh has established himself as a solid starter for SSG this year. In eight appearances (45.2 innings), he has posted a 4-1 record with a 2.96 ERA.
After pitching 5.2 innings of no-hit ball against the Changwon NC Dinos on the 17th to secure his fourth win and SSG’s 4-0 victory, Oh said through the organization, “I feel like my control is improving as I continue to pitch in games. I’m getting my own points and feelings, and I’m creating a stable pitching mechanism.”
토토사이트 This three-game series is often referred to as the “preview of the Korean Series” because of the strong teams representing the league. The winner of this series could emerge as the hero of May, with so many eyes on them.