Korea Baseball Organization
LG Twins at Doosan Bears
6:30 p.m. Friday, Jamsil Baseball Stadium, Seoul
It is once more time for the Jamsil derby as the two clubs that use Jamsil Baseball Stadium as their home ballpark, the LG Twins and the Doosan Bears, clash over the weekend.
The Bears look like they will take the Korean Series again this year. The team’s ace pitcher Michael Bowden is currently leading the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) standings with a 2.43 earned run average as of May 26.
Essentially, the Bears has at least two of its players ranked within the top five in different categories, such as home run, batting average and wins. For instance, the Bears infielder Kim Jae-hwan leads the KBO in home runs with 14 dingers so far this season. Along with Kim, the Bears outfielder Min Byeong-heon is ranked fifth in homerswith 10 hits.The Bears’ winning rate is also top of the league at an astonishing .721 as of May 26.
The Twins are not looking too bad either. Although the Twins were ranked at the bottom of the league standings earlier in the month, the team steadily climbed up the ladder and is in fourth place at the moment. Luis Domingo Jimenez Rodriguez is ranked closely behind Doosan’s Kim in home run rankings at second with 13 hits.
The two clubs play at the same venue on Saturday at 5 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Incheon United FC at Seongnam FC
2 p.m. Saturday, Tancheon Sports Complex, Seongnam, Gyeonggi
The bottom ranked Incheon United FC travels to Seongnam to go against third-ranked Seongnam FC on Saturday in the 12th round match of the K-League Classic.
Brazilian striker Tiago Alves Sales leads the Seongnam-based club, scoring nine goals in the 11 games he’s played in this season to top the league in scoring. He’s already surpassed his record in scoring from the previous season when he netted four goals while playing for Pohang Steelers.
In comparison, it looks like the Incheon-based team is the prime candidate for relegation this year, yet to grab a single win in the K-League Classic while losing seven games. In terms of goal scoring, the team as a whole only netted eight goals in the past two months.
At this point, it would take a miracle for Incheon to edge Seongnam on Saturday. The last time Incheon and Seongnam clashed against each other on April 9, Seongnam edged Incheon 3-2. After conceding two back-to-back goals to Seongnam’s Hwang Ui-jo, Incheon managed to equalize the game through strenuous effort by scoring in the 42nd minute and again in 75th minute. However, Incheon United could not hold on to the tie game. With its defense crumbling down helplessly, Seongnam’s Tiago drilled a goal only two minutes after the 75th minute equalizing goal by Incheon.
Jeonnam Dragons at FC Seoul
2 p.m. Sunday, Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul
Coming out of a dramatic Asian Champions League (ACL) win over Urawa Red Diamonds on Wednesday that went all the way to a shootout, FC Seoul takes on Jeonnam Dragons on its home turf on Sunday.
FC Seoul is proving to be the top contender for the K-League Classic trophy this year, with two of its players ranked within the top 10 in goal scoring. Carlos Adriano is currently ranked second in the standings with seven goals in 10 games while Park Chu-young tied at eighth place with four goals in eight games he’s played.
The Jeonnam Dragons, on the other hand, are ranked 11th in the K-League standings at the moment, winning only one game while tying four and losing six.
Jeonnam might have a shot at edging the Seoul team since they are playing only four days after the FC Seoul defeated the Diamonds in the ACL round of 16. Coming out of a match that dragged over 120 minutes, it is questionable whether Seoul’s players will be able to fully recover in only four days.