10 teams. 144-game schedule. The team with the best regular season record gets a bye all the way to the championship. BASEBALL IS BACK!!!
The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) League kicked off this week, and is the first live sports since March. With no fans, mandatory mask wearing, and six national televised games each week, you may be wondering…
Which team should I root for?
Kiwoom Heroes (3-1)
MLB Team Comparison: Yankees
After losing the league’s top RBI leader, the Heroes need a hero to step up. Luckily they have slugger, Byung-Ho Park. After a unsuccessful run with the Twins, Park returned to the KBO, hitting the most home runs. Pair him and young Shortstop, Ha-Seong Kim, and the Heroes are looking to go deep this year.
NC Dinos (4-0)
MLB Team Comparison: Phillies
After leading the KBO in home runs last year, the Dinos have started out with a bang; scoring 29 runs in the first four games of the season. Adding an energetic mascot, the Dinos may be the most entertaining team to watch. Catcher Eui-Ji Yang finished second in MVP voting last year, and is the favorite to win it this year.
Lotte Giants (4-0)
MLB Team Comparison: Giants
After being the worst team in the KBO last year, the Giants added pitchers, Dan Straily and Adrian Sampson. A surprise start for such a young team, the Giants are looking to go on a Cinderella run. With such a inexperienced team, don’t expect the Giants to go far in the playoffs
Doosan Bears (2-2)
MLB Team Comparison: Red Sox
Coming off a championship and losing last year’s MVP, Josh Lindblom, the Bears want to continue their success. The Bear’s best player, Jose Miguel Fernandez, will look to lead this team to a second straight championship. In order to do so, the Bears need to address their biggest need- pitching.
SK Wyverns (1-3)
MLB Team Comparison: Angels
After losing their two best pitchers, Kwang Hyun Kim and Angel Sanchez, the SK Wyverns will start to build around their young players. They will do this with the help of Jeong Choi, a KBO veteran, that finished second in home runs and OPS last year.
LG Twins (1-3)
MLB Team Comparison: Mets
American Pitchers Casey Kelly and Tyler Wilson lead the stacked pitching staff. However, the Twins offense struggles. The center part of their offense, Hyun-Soo Kim, is getting old and went from 5th in the league to 25th in OPS, in one year. With almost no playoff appearances in the last 20 years, the Twins are running out of time.
Hanwha Eagles (2-2)
MLB Team Comparison: Mariners
With the longest playoff drought in the KBO, the Eagles have yet to rebuild. They are trying, but have remained in the bottom three in the league for 8 of the last nine years. Their only success is highlighted by their early years in the 80’s, but have nothing to show for today.
KT Wiz (1-3)
MLB Team Comparison: Blue Jays
The newest team in the KBO has only existed for five years. With a very young team, it make take a couple more years for the Wiz the see the playoffs. Some of their young players have shown promise, but for now they are playing for the “fans.”
Kia Tigers (1-3)
MLB Team Comparison: Cubs
Holding the most titles in the history of the KBO is due to the Tigers winning the title 7 out of their first 11 seasons. However, their most recent championship was in 2017 and are continuing to downfall into rebuilding mode.
Samsung Lions (1-3)
MLB Team Comparison: Orioles
Finishing top two in the league 18 times in their history is the most in KBO history by far. The Lions look to get back to the top since their playoff drought started in 2016. They get no help when their top hitter, Darin Ruf, left.