‘Preview KS’ SSG and LG to battle for first place starting today

SSG and LG have an inevitable battle for sole possession of first place.

The SSG Landers and LG Twins will play a three-game midweek series at SSG Landers Field in Incheon starting on the 27th.

Currently, SSG is in first place with 43 wins, 1 tie and 25 losses, while LG is in second place with 43 wins, 2 ties and 26 losses, half a game behind SSG. The outcome of this series is expected to shake up the top spot.메이저사이트

Choi Jung (center) and Eredia (left) have been on fire lately, leading SSG’s offense. Photo by Kim Young-gu
The head-to-head record between the two teams so far this season is 4-2 in favor of LG. As there is not much difference in power between the two teams, a fierce battle is expected in this three-game series.

SSG’s strong batting lineup is their biggest strength, as they showed a stable performance last week with a 5-1 record. As of 27 games ago, SSG’s team batting average sits in fourth place with a .261 average, but they have 71 arches to lead the division.

This is largely due to veteran infielder Choi Jeong-jeong. He’s batting .319 (7th) with 19 home runs (1st) and 54 RBIs (1st) this season and has sent 11 balls over the fence in the month of June. Guillermo Heredia, who has established himself as the league’s best foreign-born hitter this year, cooled off a bit in late May, but is still hitting .342 (1st) with 89 hits (tied for 1st) and 48 RBI (tied for 4th).

The bullpen is also solid. With a 2.62 ERA, they are the only team in the top 10 to maintain a sub-2 ERA. Noh Kyung-eun and Seo Jin-yong lead their respective categories with 16 and 23 saves, respectively, while Ko Hyo-joon (2.77 ERA in six appearances) and Choi Min-joon (3.09 ERA in six appearances) are also solid in the back end.

To start the game, SSG has announced left-hander Oh Won-seok as the 27th starter. After making his professional debut in 2020 and posting a 13-15 record with a 5.12 ERA in 72 games (263.2 innings) last year, he’s already posted a 5-4 record with a 3.77 ERA in 13 games (71.2 innings) this season. The only concern is that he struggled against LG on May 23 in Incheon (1-9 SSG), giving up six runs on six hits, one walk, five hits, and two strikeouts in five innings.

LG also has a strong batting lineup. Photo by Chun Jeong-hwan
LG’s biggest strength is its powerful batting lineup. Unlike the ‘cannon’ SSG, they are tied for seventh in team home runs with 37, but they lead the league in batting average (0.282), RBI (355), and runs scored (375). She also leads the league in batting average with runners in scoring position (0.291).

Turning to individual records, Hong Chang-ki (0.317) and Moon Sung-joo (0.315) are ninth and 10th in batting average, respectively, and even Kim Hyun-soo, who suffered through an extreme slump in May, has recently rebounded. In June, Kim is batting .333. Additionally, foreign-born Austin Dean has shown his clutch ability with 49 RBI (2nd).

The bullpen hasn’t been bad either, with a 3.52 ERA, and LG will start Chan-kyu Im on the 27th. The right-hander, who made his professional debut in an LG uniform in 2011, has a 51-69 record with eight saves and a 4.80 ERA in 268 career games (155 starts, 931 innings) through last year.

After starting the season as a long reliever, Lim has not only earned a spot in the starting lineup with a string of strong performances, but has recently become one of the most reliable resources among LG’s homegrown starters. He’s 5-1 with a 3.18 ERA heading into the SSG. Coincidentally, he’ll be facing Oh Won-seok in a rematch of their starting matchup in the SSG on March 23, where he pitched six innings of three-hit ball, allowing one run on one hit and one walk while striking out three.

LG coach Yeom Kyung-yup also has a lot of confidence in Im. “I’m going to trust Im more in the future. That way, he will have a sense of responsibility. I’m going to treat him like a domestic ace.” He gave a thumbs-up.

Two teams that have been dominating the KBO this year, playing to their own clear strengths, will face off against each other. With so much at stake, the team that can come out of this series with a smile on their face will have the upper hand in the race for first place at the end of the first half.