LG-SSG-Lotte, baseball’s three-way tie for first place becomes clearer
The Korean Baseball Organization’s top three, led by LG, SSG, and Lotte, is becoming increasingly clear.
The weekly games in the final week of May in the 2023 KBO League were characterized by strong performances by the top teams, which further widened the gap between them and the teams in the middle of the pack. It was also characterized by the rebound of the bottom two teams, 9th-ranked Hanwha and 10th-ranked KT, which improved their weekly winning percentage by more than 5%.
First place LG maintained its lead from the 20th with a 4-2 record. Their season record stands at 30 wins, 1 draw and 16 losses (0.652 winning percentage), with a win-loss margin of over +14 already.
The team finished a successful six-game road trip with a 2-1 win in a midweek three-game series against SSG in Munhak, also known as the Korean Series, followed by a 2-1 win in a three-game series against KIA in Gwangju over the weekend.
If we look at LG’s weekly games, we can see that there are some games that were lost after disappointing plays in the details, such as the game against KIA on the 27th, but most of them are characterized by a good process of ‘hitting well and blocking well’. Gradually moving towards full strength, LG is dominating with 15 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses in May with a winning percentage of 0.750.
Second-place SSG, despite their disappointment, managed to keep LG within one game of them. With a season record of 28 wins, 1 draw and 16 losses (0.636 winning percentage), they are one game behind LG in second place.
Their biggest disappointment came in the midweek home three-game series against LG, where they only won one and lost two. SSG, which was in a close race with LG for the title in last year’s regular season, has struggled this season, going 2-4 against them.
For SSG, it will be even more important to bounce back against LG as they have a 3-1 record against Lotte, who are in the running for the title. As a result, these results are even more important as the field of championship contenders is gradually narrowing down to three teams in the top three.
SSG will also be disappointed with Sky. The team’s 14-3 victory over Doosan in Jamsil on the 26th completely lifted their spirits, but the rain that poured down on the Seoul metropolitan area on the 27th and 28th forced them to cancel back-to-back games.
Third-place Lotte also had a successful week with four wins and two losses. With a season record of 26 wins and 16 losses (0.619 winning percentage), Lotte is on its way to becoming a full-fledged “winning team” by maintaining a win-loss margin of more than +10. They are in third place, two games behind first-place LG and one game behind second-place SSG.
Lotte won both the midweek ‘Nakdong River Derby’ against NC in Sajik and the weekend away series against Kiwoom in Gocheok, recording two wins and one loss in each game.
Against Kiwoom on the 28th, the bullpen, which had been one of the strongest this season, gave up a walk-off home run and lost the game. However, it’s encouraging to see that aside from that game, the team is gradually gaining some two-hitter stability, and they’ve been cruising to victory.
In fact, Lotte was tied with LG for the most harmonious two-hitter last week. For the week, their team ERA was third in the league at 2.72, their team batting average was first at 0.293, and their OPS was second at 0.725.
With better offensive and defensive cohesion, there is a good chance that Rodeigi, who is currently showing strong team colors and late-game stability, 메이저놀이터 can continue their current good run. Lotte is gradually shaking off the doubters and establishing itself as a stable powerhouse.
The current top three has been solidified for over a month now. At the beginning of the season, SSG was dominant and consistently battling for the lead with LG, but after Lotte moved up to third place on the 26th of last month, three teams have been battling for the top three spots. LG continues to hold on to the lead and has been chipping away at it, but second-place SSG and third-place Lotte are not slowing down.
De are not slowing down either.
Who will be the first team to take the lead among the three, and what kind of ranking changes and head-to-head results will occur? Baseball fans will be increasingly interested in watching the fierce competition between LG, SSG, and Lotte.