1st and 10th place is 13G difference…the all-time professional baseball fight

During the 2024 season, the KBO League displayed record-breaking competition for ranking positions. There are only 13 games gap between the top-ranked KIA Tigers and the 10th-ranked Kiwoom Heroes. This is the smallest gap between the top-ranked team and the bottom-ranked team in the first half since 2016 when the 10-team league was established. The previous record was 18 games gap in 2021.

There has been a fierce ranking battle throughout the season, with neither the absolute strong nor the absolute weak.고소득알바

Kia Tigers (48 wins, two draws and 33 losses), which started the 2024 season amid assessment of a “champion candidate,” overcame fierce competition to remain at the top of the rankings. It is the first time in seven years that Kia finished the first half of the season as No. 1 overall since 2017 when it achieved a combined championship.

Despite the departures of key players such as Will Crow and Lee Ui-ri, the remaining players stuck together and survived. Both pitching and hitting showed stability to the extent that both the team’s ERA (4.40) and the team’s batting average (0.296).

Kim Do-young, who is in his third year of joining the team, led the team’s offense by harvesting 23 home runs and 26 stolen bases before the end of the first half, achieving 20 home runs and 20 steals.

The “defending champion” LG Twins, Doosan Bears, and Samsung Lions are closely behind it.

While second-ranked LG (46 wins, two draws and 38 losses) is trailing first-ranked KIA by 3.5 games, third-ranked Doosan (46 wins, two draws and 39 losses) and fourth-ranked Samsung (44 wins, two draws and 39 losses) are closely tied. The gap between second-ranked and fourth-ranked teams is only 1.5 games.

In the beginning, LG was worried about the sluggishness of foreign pitchers Casey Kelly and Detrick N.S., but as they revived, they re-energized the ranking fight.

Doosan, which drew attention with “strong baseball” shown by manager Lee Seung-yeop, who is in his second year as head coach, also continued to compete for the top spot. Doosan was also troubled by a series of injuries to foreign pitchers such as Raul Alcantara and Brandon Waddell, but young pitchers made the team laugh by showing their presence.

Samsung, which had not received much attention in the pre-opening evaluation, broke everyone’s expectations. Young players, including left-handed pitcher Lee Seung-hyun who moved to his starting position as a starting pitcher and Kim Young-woong who is in full swing, have grown significantly, making it a more difficult team for opposing teams.

However, the trend of repeating consecutive wins and losses without continuing the good atmosphere remained a task in the second half.

The fifth-ranked SSG Landers (41 wins, 1 draw and 42 losses) and the sixth-ranked NC Dinos (40 wins, 2 draws and 41 losses) were also underrated ahead of the season. However, they are aiming to stay within the middle ranks and leap into the top ranks.

KT Wiz (38 wins, two draws and 45 losses), ranked seventh along with Kia Tigers and LG Twins, fell to the bottom of the list amid a flurry of injuries among its players. At one point, the team fell to the 10th place, but garnered seven wins, one draw and two losses in 10 games at the end of the first half, signaling a rebound.

After starting the 2024 season with Kim Tae-hyung at the helm, Lotte finished eighth (35 wins, 3 draws, and 42 losses). The team struggled until April, finishing the season at the bottom of the winning rate (0.276), but amid growing young players, it started counterattack by ranking first (0.560) in winning rate since June.

The ninth-ranked Hanwha Eagles (36 wins, 2 draws and 44 losses), the only team among the 10 clubs to change their head coach during the season, posted a 50% winning rate with 12 wins, 1 draw and 12 losses since manager Kim Kyung-moon took office.

Ryu Hyun-jin, who had shown ups and downs in the early days, regained his “special ace” mode, and the batting line’s destructive power is also strengthening, raising expectations.

As Ahn Woo-jin and Lee Jung-hoo (San Francisco Giants), who were the main pillars of pitching and hitting, respectively, left the military and advanced to the U.S., the Kiwoom Heroes, which received evaluation as the weakest team, finished the first half at the bottom (35 wins and 46 losses). However, the gap with fifth-ranked SSG is only five games.

Foreign pitchers Enmanuel De Heysus, Ariel Hurado, and foreign batters Ronnie Dawson, who are active every day, are trying to fight back in the second half.

The KBO League, which begins its four-day All-Star break from the 5th, begins its second half schedule on the 9th.

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