South Korea is no stranger to metropolitan areas

South Korea is no stranger to metropolitan areas. Baseball was no different. Until the introduction of the rookie draft last year, the three Seoul clubs that held the first pick in the draft had a disproportionate number of prospects, and the gap between them and their regional counterparts widened.

In the nine years leading up to last year, 2017 was the only year in which more provincial clubs made the postseason than metropolitan clubs, after the 10-team league was split into five provincial and five metropolitan teams in 2015. At the time, three provincial teams – No. 1 KIA, No. 3 Lotte, and No. 4 NC – advanced to the fall baseball season.

The other eight years were dominated by at least three metropolitan teams, with only one provincial team among the five postseason teams in the last five years, 스포츠토토 from 2019 to last year. The fifth-place NC in 2019, the first-place NC in 2020, the third-place Samsung in 2021, the fifth-place KIA in 2022, and the fourth-place NC last year were the only provincial teams.

This year is different.

The top three teams in the KBO League through the past 19 days are all local clubs. KIA (29 wins, 16 losses, 1 draw, .644 winning percentage) is leading the way, followed by second-place Samsung (26 wins, 19 losses, 1 draw, .578 winning percentage) and third-place NC (25 wins, 20 losses, 1 draw, .556 winning percentage). Fourth-place Doosan and fifth-place LG and SSG are close behind, so the top three could change at any moment, but it’s a notable change to see three local clubs in the 1-2-3 spots that haven’t risen together before.

Kia has been plagued by injuries all season long, but they have a solid baseball team, ranking first in both ERA (3.79) and OPS (.812). With two starting rotation spots vacant due to injuries, the team continues to win despite new manager Lee Bum-ho’s far-sighted approach to managing baseball. 파워볼실시간 Fresh faces like pitchers Hwang Dong-ha and Kim Do-hyun and infielder Hong Jong-pyo have stepped up and turned crises into opportunities, and the team has held the top spot for 43 days.

Samsung, which was not considered a top-five contender before the season, has also surged to second place after quickly overcoming the shock of an early eight-game losing streak. After adding Kim Jae-yoon and Lim Chang-min in free agency to bolster its weak bullpen, the team went from having the most upset losses in the league (38) to the fewest (five) in a year. Third baseman Kim Young-woong, who hit 11 home runs, emerged as a hero, while struggling veterans Kim Heon-gon and Lee Sung-kyu revitalized the entire team.

NC, which has made it to the Fall League six times

The most of any local club in the 10-team system, is battling at the top of the standings this year despite being underrated. MVP Eric Pedroia returned to the majors, but the team has found a new ace in Kyle Hart and stabilized on the mound with the second-best team ERA (3.80). The bullpen has been bolstered by new pitchers like Jae-seung Han and Jae-yeol Kim. As long as the batting lineup stays consistent, the team will not fall easily.

If the three provincial teams stay in first through third place, it will be the first time in a decade that the 10-team system has done so. Going back to 1989, there were two other times after the single-league system in 1991 (Haetae, 1st; Binggrae, 2nd; Samsung, 3rd) and 1992 (Lotte, 1st; Binggrae, 2nd; Haetae, 3rd). However, it’s important to note that five of the eight teams were local clubs at the time.

While Kia, Samsung, and NC dominate the top of the standings, the other two local teams, Hanwha and Lotte, are fighting to stay in the race as they slip to 9th and 10th place. 바카라사이트 추천 It’s not time to write off the season yet, but barring a massive rebound, it’s unlikely that the four provincial teams will make it to fall baseball. The last time four provincial teams made the postseason was in 1991-1992.