2011.4.1 Weekend PicksKBO opening day
* LG Twins at Doosan Bears
* Jamsil Baseball Stadium, Seoul
* Tomorrow, 2 p.m.
The new season of the Korea Professional Baseball League opens tomorrow with the Seoul derby between the LG Twins and Doosan Bears, who share the same stadium throughout the season.
The two teams played against each other during the last week of the KBO preseason, and the Bears were able to win both games by one run.
Neither team has faced the other side’s starting pitcher since the two foreign starters were signed during the offseason. The Bears will start the 6-foot-8 Dustin Nippert and the Twins will introduce Radhames Liz, a Dominican whose fastballs regularly flirt with 100 miles per hour.
* Sangju Sangmu Phoenix (2-1-0) at Jeju United (2-1-0)
* Jeju World Cup Stadium, Jeju
* Tomorrow, 3 p.m.
The current leader in the K-League table, the Sangju Sangmu Phoenix, will face last season’s runner-up Jeju United after the K-League took a week off because of the national team’s international friendly game against Honduras. This match will be an age-old battle of offense versus defense.
Sangju Sangmu, a team comprised of Korean military soldiers, is leading the league in scoring with eight goals in three games, while Jeju has only allowed one goal in its three games despite the absence of critical defender Hong Jung-ho, who received a five-game suspension for an obscene gesture.
Sangju Sangmu is led by Kim Jung-woo, who leads the league with four goals.
* Samsung Fire Bluefangs at Korean Air Jumbos
* Incheon Dowon Gymnasium, Incheon
* Sunday, 2:20 p.m.
In the first game of this best-of-seven series, no team is more prepared than the Samsung Fire Bluefangs, who have now reached the championships seven consecutive times. But the Bluefangs may still be without injured right attacker Park Chul-woo, which will mean more reliance on Garvin Schmitt, who averaged 45 points per game in the second round of the playoffs.
The Korean Air Jumbos do not have championship experience, but they led the Bluefangs in the regular season with a 4-1 record. The regular season winner’s strength is a powerful first serve that can shake their opponent’s defense. One key matchup will be Schmitt against Jumbos attacker Evan Patak.