LG, the “dynamite batting lineup” that has been driving baseball’s popularity this season, meets Lotte, the “score just enough to win” team.
LG and Lotte will play three midweek games at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul from the 30th to the 1st of next month. It is the second head-to-head matchup of the season. Also known as the “El Rascico,” it is one of the top box office draws in baseball because it has nothing to do with the ranking or strength of the teams when they meet. It is exciting for baseball fans, but the problem is that fans of both teams are exhausted….
In the first meeting in Busan last month, Lotte won the game 2-1, but it was a fierce game that did not let up for a moment, with the closers of both teams blowing one after another.
While Lotte may have been in a better mood at the time, LG’s momentum seems to be stronger now.
As of the 29th, LG is leading the way with a 30-1 record (.652), while Lotte is in third place with a 26-16 record (.619). LG is led by free agent acquisition Park Dong-won, who has 13 home runs and a nuclear offense that includes Hong Chang-ki, Moon Sung-joo, and Austin Moon.
LG currently leads the league in team batting average (.290), hits (467), RBI (241), OPS (.780), and slugging percentage (.403), and is second with 30 home runs. There are also four LG players in the top 10 in batting. Teams that face LG have been known to say that their lineup leaves them breathless.
Lotte, on the other hand, is in the middle of the pack, ranking 5th in batting average, 9th in hits, 5th in RBI, and 5th in OPS. They don’t even have a foreign hitter, Rex. Fortunately, they have the second-best batting average in the league, a steady defense that has improved from last year, and the presence of Yoo Kang-nam and Noh Jin-hyuk in a weak center field. In addition, the unbelievable transformation of the starting lineup in May, which was disastrous in April except for Na Kyun-ahn, has maintained the team’s top ranking. However, if you look at the overall team offense, the third-place finish is a mystery.
The bullpen has held up well, but the offense without the big bats has always put a lot of pressure on the pitching staff, which has been without mercenary hitter Rex and leadoff man Hwang Sung-bin, and without players who were expected to be first-team mound strength before the season, including Choi Jun-yong Lee In-bok, Lee Min-seok, and Seo Jun-won (released). In the series against Kiwoom, giving up five runs in the ninth inning on April 27 and a walk-off home run in the eighth inning on April 28 illustrated this risk. 안전놀이터
In the three-game series, Lotte will start Han Hyun-hee, Park Se-woong, and Dan Straily, while LG will go with Lee Min-ho, Kelly, and Plutko. The key to the series will be how well Lotte’s bats can handle the two foreign pitchers, and how the Lotte mound can keep the fearsome LG bats at bay.
“I asked him if this is how you play baseball, and he said yes. I’ve been a manager for 10 years (at Nexen and SK), but I’ve never played baseball like this before. It’s embarrassing,” he said.
It’s going to be tough for the players and fans of both teams, but baseball fans couldn’t ask for a more entertaining game.