The Thursday/Friday series saw all three of the teams stuck in the basement remind the league that they still know how to play baseball. The Hanwha Eagles and the kt wiz both managed a two game sweep, and the Samsung Lions got a win and a tie. Additionally, the SK Wyverns really helped their own cause with a two game sweep. Finally, the Kia Tigers and the Lotte Giants found a way to split their series.
With these mid-week series in the books, we can now look towards the weekend match-ups. The race for the fifth spot continues to heat up, and strange things could be afoot, in the middle of the playoff standings.
Hanwha Eagles vs LG Twins
Hanwha’s two strong outings against the Nexen Heroes stands in stark contrast to LG’s struggles against the last place kt wiz. The Twins have to still be feeling the sting from the back-and-forth battles with the wiz. So, they will be looking to get back on track and catch up to Nexen for that coveted wild-card spot. Meanwhile, the Eagles will be looking to keep the spoiler role going, and finish out their season on a high note.
Hanwha’s Kim Jae Young (3-6, 5.37) will face LG’s Cha Woo Chan (8-7, 3.48) on Saturday. This match up goes in LG’s favor, at least on paper, but as they are playing in the KBO anything can happen. That being said, LG does have more to play for.
Head to head:
The Hanwha Eagles have gotten the better of the LG Twins this season, winning 7 out of 13 this season. The past two outings went the Eagles way as well, so LG will really have to step up their game if they are serious about this whole playoff thing.
kt wiz vs Kia Tigers
The 1st place team are set to play at home against the last place team in a two game series. Obviously, this has sweep written all over it, right?…….right?? The wiz’s recent love of playing spoiler, and the Tiger bullpen’s ability to blow any lead, make this a series to keep your eye on.
Kia Tiger ace Hector Noesi (17-4, 3.54) takes the mound against kt wiz starter Park Se Jin (0-1, 5.19). We will probably see the Tigers take the lead with stronger hitting and starting pitching. The big question will clearly be if the bullpen can hold onto that lead. kt would love to play a part in knocking out the league leaders from their 1st place spot.
Head to head:
Despite being polar opposites in the rankings, the Tigers and wiz have split their 10 games this season, 5 wins and 5 losses. If you are kt, keep playing the spoiler. If you are Kia, time to start playing like the first place team (yes, we’re talking to you bullpen).
Doosan Bears vs Samsung Lions
After taking second place from the NC Dinos the Doosan Bears have seemed comfortable in that spot, sometimes even threatening to take Kia’s first. However, they can never seem to fully put it together (they are on a three game losing streak). Therefore, after putting up 22 runs in two games, the Samsung Lions might relish this chance to play the third spoiler team.
On Saturday the Doosan Bears will be handing the ball to Ko Won Joon (0-1, 9.72), while the Samsung Lions will turn to Hwang Su Beom (1-1, 7.99). The Lions will want to go out with their heads held high, while the Bears will want to hold off a surging Lotte and possibly threaten the Tigers yet again.
Head to head:
Overall, Doosan has had the better of Samsung this season, 10-1-3. Good news for Doosan. However, the Lions are hitting well and look eager to play. Keep an eye out for more spoilers this weekend in Daegu.
SK Wyverns vs Lotte Giants
Both teams will have to be feeling good coming into this series in Busan. SK’s solid outings against the Bears mid-week, have put them in the hotly contested fifth spot, with a little breathing room. While the Giants took advantage of the Kia bullpen for a walk-off win yesterday.
Merill Kelly (15-6, 3.62) gets the start for the Wyverns, and Song Seung Joon (10-5, 4.40) will take the mound for the Giants on Saturday. A good pitching match-up looks to be in the cards and both teams have plenty to play for.
Head to head:
The Wyverns have gotten the better of the Giants this season, barely, 7 wins and 6 losses. Furthermore, SK is coming in on a three game win streak. They will be looking to solidify the wild-card spot, and maybe even threaten Lotte’s 4th spot. However, the Giants might have other plans, looking at a sickly NC at 3rd.
Nexen Heroes vs NC Dinos
Both the Heroes and the Dinos will look to this series to help turn things around, after both sides suffered sweeps mid-week. The Dinos are watching their playoff spots quickly slipping away. First they lost the 2nd place spot to Doosan, and now Lotte is looking pretty big in the rear-view mirror. As for the Heroes, their playoff chances seem to be slipping away, since they now see themselves in 7th and 3.5 games behind 5th place.
Nexen’s Kim Sun Min (4-3, 4.64) will go head-to-head against NC’s Koo Chang Mo (7-10, 5.52) on Saturday. This could get scrappy, as both teams are starting to look desperate for a win.
Head to head:
Throughout the season, NC has reaped the rewards from this match-up, winning 9 out of 12. Good new for the Dinos, since they need to stabilize. However, the Heroes have nothing to lose, and should leave nothing on the field in the quest for the wild-card.