Korea Baseball Organization
KT Wiz at Nexen Heroes
6:30 p.m. Friday, Gocheok Sky Dome, Seoul
KT Wiz, struggling near the bottom of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) rankings, will have to face Nexen Heroes at the Heroes’ home in Seoul, the Gocheok Sky Dome, the first domed baseball park in Korea.
The Wiz is in its second season in the KBO after being admitted to the top league prior to the 2015 season. Unsurprisingly, the first season was disastrous for the new team, which finished last while winning just 52 games and losing 91 games. The team’s earned run average was also the last in the league at 5.56. Its batting average, however, was rather promising for the young team, which was ranked at sixth at .273, one rank above the SK Wyverns who finished fifth in KBO rankings that year.
The team looked solid during the spring camp, finishing second in exhibition games. However, just as the managers of other team suspected before regular season started, the team quickly languished to the bottom of the league, struggling especially in batting. Its .276 batting average, as of Thursday, is ranked ninth in the category.
The two clubs play at the same venue 5 p.m. Saturday and on Sunday.
Incheon United FC at Suwon Samsung Bluewings
6 p.m. Saturday, Suwon World Cup Stadium, Suwon, Gyeonggi
After adding a much-needed first win, the bottom-ranked Incheon United FC will travel across Gyeonggi to Suwon to take on ninth-ranked Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
Since finishing as the runner-up for the K-League Classic in 2005, Incheon United has not had much to show for in the top division of professional football league in Korea, finishing within the bottom half of the league standing for the past decade. The team managed to stay in the top league but things never looked solid. Some fans, however, thought things might be turning around as the team finished second last year after FC Seoul for the FA Cup, in a knockout football competition in Korea involving teams from different leagues including the K-League Classic, K-League Challenge, National League, amateurs and university clubs. Unfortunately, Incheon United is proving once again that it is a likely candidate for the bottom this year. If Incheon can continue to add more wins until the end of the season, then the team might have a chance to evade demotion, as it’s only one win short to the other teams ranked at the bottom pool.
Incheon has one win, four draws and seven losses so far this season, while Suwon has two wins, seven draws and three losses.
FC Seoul at Suwon FC
7 p.m. Sunday, Suwon Sports Complex, Suwon, Gyeonggi
Coming out of a disappointing 3-4 loss to Jeju United FC, second-ranked FC Seoul travels to Suwon to meet tenth-ranked Suwon FC.
There arduous journey in the Asian Champions League (ACL) is coming to its final stage as the team now has only quarterfinals and semi-finals before fighting for the ACL trophy this year. Seoul has secured its position in the quarterfinals after the Round of 16 matches against Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds. After the May 25 match against the Diamonds, which went all the way to the penalty shootout, Seoul’s players seem to be struggling to recover from fatigue, tying a game against Jeonnam Dragons FC on May 29 and losing to Jeju United a week later.
This week might be a different story for FC Seoul as it is determined to reclaim the top position in the K-League Classic rankings from Jeonbuk Hyundai FC.
For Suwon FC, who comes out of a 1-0 win over Korean football elite team Pohang Steelers last week, it hopes to continue to momentum and defeat yet another powerhouse this week.
Suwon FC has two wins, five draws and five losses this season.