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KBO League Predictions


KBO League Predictions

Inform your KBO League predictions ahead of this week's biggest matches.

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SSG Landers at Doosan Bears

The SSG Landers have taken control of the standings after recording 67 wins from 100 matches so far this season, at the time of writing, and have an eight-game cushion going into the final third of the regular season. 

The Doosan Bears have work to do to reach the postseason as they have recorded 43 wins from 96 games this season to lie 22.5 games behind SSG, and, more importantly perhaps, 4.5 games behind the fifth-placed Kia Tigers.

SSG's pitcher Wilmer Font continues to be a key factor in their success. He was nominated for the monthly MVP in each of the last two months, pitching in 33 innings across five games and winning four to tie for first place during July. The 32-year-old has had an excellent season and ranks first in the league for victories (13), second for ERA (2.03), third for strikeouts (131), and fourth for win percentage (.765).

Doosan's key player has been on the other side of the ball with Jose Fernandez tied for fourth in the league with 120 hits, while his batting average of .321 is ranked eighth.

The Bears have reached the Korean Series for the last seven years, but after a disappointing first half of this season, they need to start winning more frequently if they want to even make the playoffs this time around.

LG Twins at NC Dinos

The LG Twins' victory over the Kiwoom Heroes last weekend was enough to see them move up to second place in the standings. This weekend's game against the NC Dinos, currently sitting outside the playoff places in seventh, is one in which they will be expected to continue their fine form. 

Batting has been the key strength for LG so far this season as they lead the league for most of the key categories, including runs (515), hits (930), home runs (91), total bases (1403), and slugging percentage (.413). It is the depth of their batting that is as much a problem as anything for their opponents with six batters boasting an average above .300.

Kim Hyun-soo and Oh Ji-hwan rank second and fourth in the league for home runs with 20 and 19 respectively, while the former ranks seventh for OPS with .874 with Chae Eun-seong (.847) also in the top 10.

By contrast, NC have struggled with the bat and only two teams in the league have scored fewer runs than their tally of 411, while their 828 hits is the second-worst tally, with Park Kun-woo (.347) the only Dino to average above .300.

LG are expected to see off the threat of NC as a win is vital to their chances of closing the gap on SSG, while the Kiwoon Heroes and the KT Wiz are not far behind in third and fourth respectively.

Lotte Giants at KIA Tigers

The Lotte Giants are down in eighth spot in the standings and need to start winning games consistently if they want to maintain any hope of reaching the playoffs.

It will not be easy for Lotte this weekend though as they head into this weekend's matches against the KIA Tigers, who are currently in fifth place. One thing that could work in the Giants' favour though is the fact that the Tigers have a 4.5-game cushion over the Doosan Bears, one place below them in sixth, although they still have a four-game deficit to overturn if they want to improve their playoff position.

There is some firepower in Lotte's ranks with Jeon Jun-woo, Han Dong-hui, and Lee Dae-ho all in the top 10 for batting average but the spotlight is likely to be on Zachary Reks, the former Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers player who made the move to the Giants only last month.

Batting has been a particular strength for the Tigers as they rank second behind only LG in runs (498), hits (498), and OPS (.762) and they have one of the most in-form players in their ranks.

Lee Chang-Jin was selected as the KBO Monthly MVP in July, the first time he had ever received the award, having topped the rankings for both batting average (.476) and on-base percentage (.492).

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