“Their organization is better than ours in some areas.”
LG is by far the best offense this season. They are first in team batting average at 0.285, first in team on-base percentage at 0.397, third in team slugging percentage at 0.367, first in team OPS at 0.764, and second in team slugging percentage at 0.296. For the most part, KIA is second to LG in these metrics. 2nd in team batting average at 0.277, 2nd in team home runs at 84, 2nd in team slugging percentage at 0.395, 3rd in team on-base percentage at 0.348, 2nd in team OPS at 0.743, and 1st in team slugging percentage at 0.305.
But if you limit the scope to the second half, it’s a different story. It’s a Kia world. First in team batting average (0.308), first in team on-base percentage (0.449), first in team slugging percentage (0.379), first in team home runs (31), and second in team stolen bases (44), per Baseball-Reference. With a league-dominating batting lineup, the team jumped from fifth place to fourth, closing in on second-place KT by just two games.
KIA built a complete batting lineup with the addition of Choi Won-jun in mid-June, Na Sung-beom and Kim Do-young in late June, and Kim Tae-gun in early July. In fact, half of their lineup was upgraded from the end of the first half. Of course, Kim Sun-bin had nagging injuries and Kim Tae-gun didn’t hit right away. First base is still without a solid starter. Choi Won-jun’s batting struggles are not without their own concerns.
But the combination of Park Chan-ho, Choi Hyung-woo, Socrates Brito, and Lee Woo-sung doesn’t leave much room to breathe. The mobility of the triple setters (Park Chan-ho, Kim Do-young, and Choi Won-jun), the long batting and clutch ability of the center fielders (Na Sung-beom, Choi Hyung-woo, Socrates, and Kim Sun-bin), and the ability of Ko Jong-wook, Lee Chang-jin, and Lee Woo-sung to bat in the middle of the order.
Before the game against KIA in Gwangju on the 10th, manager Yeom Kyung-yeop said, “KIA is the most difficult team to play against among the nine clubs. They have a good batting order and a good left-right balance. Their batting order is better than ours. They have good long balls.” It’s a nutritious and productive batting lineup because they can hit multiple colors.
In fact, in the doubleheader on the 9th, the pinch-hitting continued to work, and the center fielder’s home run was the game-winner. On the other hand, in the 10th game, they managed to steal eight bases. It took 41 years to break the franchise record for stolen bases in a single game, which was set on May 2, 1982, against Jeonju MBC. They lead the league with a batting average of .274 and are second in the league with a stolen base success rate of 79.4%.
LG’s bats are also second to none in mobility, accuracy, and clutch ability. “We have a lot of fast players, a lot of accurate hitters,” Yeom said, adding, “We don’t have a lot of pinch-hitters, and we’re left-handed.”안전놀이터
LG is also a team with details that maximize their scoring power. SPOTV commentator Lee Dae-hyung analyzed that LG scores the most runs when there is a runner on third base, because the batter has already run home when he swings. While LG maximizes the strengths of its members and plays to the details, KIA plays to diversity.
The best offense in the KBO may have to wait until the postseason to find out. The destructive power of KIA in the second half of the season is recognized by Yeom and others in the organization.