Spring is over, momentum is down, and those who rise will rise…a mid-major ‘shakeup’ at the end of the first half

The team that will rise will rise.

Kiwoom Heroes and KT Wiz are on a roll. Kiwoom has collected eight wins (one draw) and KT six wins (four losses) in their last 10 games, and they are slowly climbing up the standings.

The Lotte Giants’ momentum has taken a hit. Once in the thick of the race with a win-loss margin of +10, Lotte has a dismal record of just two wins (8 losses) in their last 10 games. A series sweep at Suwon KT on June 20-21 sealed a five-game losing streak. In the month of June, the team won just five games in 18 matches, resulting in a monthly winning percentage of just 0.278. Their win-loss margin has also dwindled to +2, and they now have to worry about reaching the 5-win mark.메이저놀이터

The 2023 KBO League game between the Lotte Giants and KT Wiz was held at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on April 21. KT won 8-2. Lotte players greet fans after the game. By Heo Sang-wook wook@sportschosun.com/2023.06.21/
Meanwhile, Kiwoom and KT seem to be gaining momentum lately. After snapping a four-game losing streak against the SSG Landers in Incheon on June 4, Kiwoom has nine wins (two draws and three losses) in 14 games and four consecutive winning series. KT has 11 wins (5 losses) in 16 games in June, ranking second in overall monthly winning percentage (0.688).

Lotte has been able to rack up wins through its bullpen and batting cohesion despite a lackluster start to the season, but the bullpen’s fatigue after two months of nonstop work has begun to take its toll. Foreign pitcher Dan Straily hasn’t rebounded, and free agent Han Hyun-hee hasn’t been up to par. Even Na Kyun-ahn, who has been the best of the homegrown starters, is faltering.

The game between the LG Twins and Kiwoom Heroes of the 2023 KBO League was held at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 7th. Kiwoom’s Kim Soo-hwan celebrates with Lee Jung-hoo after hitting a tiebreaking two-run home run to left center field in the bottom of the 12th inning. Gocheok = Choi Moon-young 기자deer@sportschosun.com /2023.06.07/
Kiwoom and KT are slowly returning to their original form. Kiwoom has been showing its characteristic cohesiveness as its main players have started to find their groove after a slow start to the season. After groaning under the weight of injuries to their main players at the beginning of the season, KT has regained its cohesion as they start to return. Kiwoom replaced Eric Yokishi with Ian McKinney after he was sidelined with an injury, and KT made a quick switch to foreign players with William Cuevas replacing the struggling Bo Schuler.

With Lotte’s fall and Kiwoom’s rise, the middle of the pack is shaping up to be a battleground. As of the 21st, only three games separate the four teams from fourth-place Lotte to seventh-place KIA. Depending on the outcome of the three-game series, the standings could flip. In addition, KT, which is trailing KIA by one game, is in a position to join the race if they continue their recent form.

The 2023 KBO League game between the Lotte Giants and KT Wiz took place on April 21 at KT Wiz Park in Suwon. KT won the game 8-2. KT players celebrate after the game. Suwon=Sang-wook Heo wook@sportschosun.com/2023.06.21/
The Doosan Bears and Kia Tigers could be the difference makers in this one. Doosan has struggled in June, with a five-game winning streak broken, while KIA has also struggled to accumulate wins. Both teams have their constants – Doosan’s tenacity and KIA’s comeback power – but given their recent performances, it’s unclear if they’ll be able to capitalize on them. Depending on how these two teams perform over the remainder of the first half of the season, we could see Lotte hold onto their spot, or we could see Kiwoom and KT get stuck in their current positions.

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