With just a few more weeks to go in the KBO season, the playoff races are still in full force. While the final four teams are almost set, the race for positioning between the teams is in full swing.
Currently the LG Twins lead the league (70-47) bu they are only 1.5 games up over the two-time defending champion Samsung Lions. The Twins are one win away from being secured a spot in the final four which would be the first time they have made the playoffs since 2002. That was also the last time the Twins had a winning record.
Currently in second place are the Samsung Lions (67-47-2). The two-time defending champs are looking to secure their spot once again at the top of the league’s standings.
However, the biggest surprise is the team that is currently in third place, the Nexen Heroes (65-49-2). The Heroes, while they have only been a team since 2008, have their first winning season in team history. So far their best finish has been 6th in 2009 and 2012.
The final playoff team for 2013 looks to be the Doosan Bears. If, or when, the Bears make the playoffs this year it will mark the eighth time in the past ten years they have played in the postseason. However, they haven’t won a title since 2001.
This is also the first season for the NC Dinos after playing last season in the Future’s League, the KBO version of minor league baseball. They have been respectable so far this year and a lot of that goes to a foreign import, Charles Shirek.
Shirek, who hails from the University of Nebraska, was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox. However, he never did make it to the big leagues getting as far as Triple-A Charlotte in 2012.
After a solid year with the Charlotte Knights, Shirek made his way to Korea and the NC Dinos. So far he has been nothing short of spectacular. In 27 games this season, Shirek has pitched 176.2 innings. He has posted a nearly 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio (105/57) and a 2.39 ERA which leads the league. Perhaps the biggest key to his success has been keeping the ball in the yard. Through his 27 starts so far this year he has given up just five home runs.
1. LG Twins 70-47
2. Samsung Lions 67-47-2
3. Nexen Heroes 65-49-2
4. Doosan Bears 65-50-3
5. Lotte Giants 56-55-4
6. SK Wyverns 56-56-2
7. KIA Tigers 48-64-2
8. NC Dinos 48-67-4
9. Hanwha Eagles 37-77-1
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.