Professional baseball is in the midst of a heat wave, and this week, co-leaders SSG Landers and LG Twins will play a three-game series in Incheon for sole possession of first place.
This week’s professional baseball games will take place during the week of March 23-25, with Samsung-Dusan (Jamsil), Kiwoom-KT (Suwon), NC-Lotte (Busan), LG-SSG (Incheon), and KIA-Hanwha (Daejeon) battling it out.스포츠토토
The weekend of the 26th-28th will see SSG-Dusan (Jamsil), Lotte-Kiwoom (Gochuk), LG-KIA (Gwangju), kt-Samsung (Daegu), and Hanwha-NC (Changwon).
The big card is the LG-SSG midweek game in Incheon.
The first meeting between the two teams took place last month at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on April 25-27, with LG taking the series 2-1.
Barring a draw or a rainout, the three-game series between the two teams, which will be their first in a month, will determine the true owner of the top spot, which they have shared for the last two games in a row.
SSG returns home with a 2-1 advantage after taking two of three from the visiting Lotte Giants last weekend in what was dubbed the “Distribution War.
They dropped the first game of the three-game series, but back-to-back strong pitching performances from Kim Kwang-hyun and Kirk McCarty helped them take the second and third games and knock Lotte off the top spot.
LG, which finished last week with four wins, one loss, and one tie, has plenty of momentum.
The LG offense, which leads the league with a team batting average of .290 this season, was somewhat quiet in the three-game series against the Hanwha Eagles last weekend, but the team continued its winning streak with the help of its bullpen, which allowed just one run per game.
The three-game series between SSG and LG is a matchup of spears and shields.
If LG, who leads the team in batting average, is the spear, then the SSG mound, which leads the league with a 3.28 team ERA, is the shield.
In the three-game series between the two teams, LG outfielder Park Hae-min was one of the hottest hitters.
Park, who has three home runs this season, cleared the fence twice in the three-game series against SSG, going 6-for-11 with a .545 batting average.
Oh Ji-hwan (9-for-5, 4 doubles) and Hong Chang-ki (13-for-7) also tormented the SSG mound.
SSG’s bats will be reliant on Choi Jung.
Choi has multi-hit games (two or more hits in a game) in five straight games and has crushed four home runs in four games.
In three games against LG this season, he also showed good feel, going 4-for-11 with a .364 batting average and one home run.
Guillermo Heredia, who leads the league in batting (.346), has also performed well against LG, batting .357 (5-for-14).
■ No. 3 Lotte to play three-game home series against ‘Nakdong River rival’ No. 4 NC
Lotte, which jumped to first place with a win over SSG on the 19th, dropped to third place after losing two straight games in front of a full house at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 20th and 21st.
This week, Lotte will play a three-game series at home against the fourth-ranked NC Dinos, their ‘Nakdong River rival.
Cruising in the top half of the standings with spring almost over and summer just around the corner, this week is Lotte’s chance to shed the nickname “Bomde”, meaning “only good in spring”.
With only two games separating them from co-leaders SSG-LG, it’s not easy for Lotte to regain the lead in this three-game series.
Instead, the realistic goal is to accumulate at least one more win and use it as a bridgehead to regain the lead.
Lotte won all three games against NC on March 21-23.
At the time, Lotte utilized the starting rotation of Na Kyun-an, Charlie Barnes, and Park Se-woong to sweep the three-game series against NC for the first time in six years since 2017.
Coincidentally, Lotte hasn’t played fall baseball since finishing third in the 2017 regular season and advancing to the postseason.
NC will try to sweep Lotte with the help of Koo Chang-mo.
In the starting rotation, Koo Chang-mo will take the mound for the first game of the three-game series against Lotte.
In his last start against the Changwon Lotte on March 21, Koo shut down the opposition with six innings of four-hit ball, striking out seven, but was unable to get the win due to a poor batting performance.
He hasn’t had much luck this season, earning just one win in eight games with a 3.28 ERA.
It will be interesting to see if NC, which leads Lotte in both team ERA (3.47 vs. 4.25) and team batting average (0.272 vs. 0.254), will be able to come up with a ‘full strength’ result.
KT WIZ, who won a three-game series at home last weekend for the first time in a month, will welcome the Kiwoom Heroes home to try to escape last place.
Doosan Bears head coach Lee Seung-yeop will take on the Samsung Lions in a midweek three-game series at home, this time at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul.
The Hanwha Eagles, who have slumped to two wins, five losses and two draws in nine games since Choi Won-ho took over, face the KIA Tigers in Daejeon.
Oh Seung-hwan, who returned to the Samsung closer’s chair last week and earned a shutout and one save in three consecutive games, is within striking distance of reaching 500 career saves in Korea and the United States.
With 375 saves in Korea, 42 in the United States and 80 in Japan, he needs just three more Samsung victories to reach the 500-save plateau.