Baseball experts predict Twins, Heroes for playoffs
The Ilgan Sports conducted a survey of 10 baseball commentators from local media outlets and all of them agreed that the Twins would finish in the top four of the pennant race.
The Twins, who are red-hot and only a half game away from the league-leading Samsung Lions, last made it to the playoffs 11 years ago.
Another Seoul-based franchise, the Heroes are now in third, 2.5 games behind the Twins, and seven of the commentators said they think the team will make its first-ever post-season appearance since the team was created in 2008.
Four of the analysts surveyed said the Doosan Bears, who are trailing the Heroes by one game, will have a shot at the last four.
As to who will win the regular season, seven of those surveyed predicted the Lions. One voted for the Heroes and another for the Tigers, while the final analyst did not respond.
The prediction for home run king was less divisive - everyone thinks Park Byung-ho of the Heroes will win the home run title for a second year in a row. Park currently has 19 homers, one more than Choi Jeong of the SK Wyverns.
Yang Joon-hyuk, a SBS commentator, predicted that Park will hit up to 40 homers this season, which would best the 31 he hit last year.
As for pitchers, nine commentators predict Dustin Nippert of the Bears will win the title. Nippert now has 10 victories from 16 games.
Meanwhile, in the All-Star Game on Friday, the Eastern League beat the Western League 4-2, raising its All-Star dominance to 24-13.
BY KIM YOO-JUNG, MOON GWANG-LIP [email@example.com]