Prediction: Can the Dinos Take the Top Spot?

Photo Credit: The Korea Herald

 

The NC Dinos have cruised to a 47-27 record behind the KIA Tigers (48-27) and now, they’re only one win away from taking the top spot in the league. Whether that would be a possibility seems more likely to happen throughout the coming weeks after we saw them dismantle the Tigers with a 3-game sweep.

Pitchers

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Eric Hacker, Photo Credit: Yonhap News

 

Eric Hacker has been a steady force for the Dinos this season with an 8-2 record while pitching on a 2.96 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. He currently has 49 strikeouts and 11 walks in 971/3 innings.

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Hector Noesi, Photo Credit: Yonhap News

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For the Tigers, ace Hector Noesi (2.92 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) has been spectacular so far with an unbeaten 12-game winning streak. But the secret to their success has been 24-year old Im Ki-young who’s got a 1.82 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP with a 7-2 record. Unfortunately, the young pitcher has been inflicted with pneumonia and would likely return by the end of July.

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Im Ki-young (임기영), Photo Credit: Yonhap News

 

Batters

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NC Dinos, Photo Credit: My KBO Stats

 

The Dinos’ best hitter so far has been Na Sung-bum with a .367/.432/.642 stat line, 1.074 OPS, 13 homers, and 50 runs. However, his teammates haven’t been as productive on offense aside from Kwon Hee-dong and Mo Chang-min. Their active roster’s 289 RBI hasn’t been impressive at all while they continue to struggle at getting some runs consistently with the absence of Xavier Scruggs (.284/.391/.581, 17 homers, 49 RBI) and Park Suk-min (.239/.347/.388, 6 homers, 34 RBI) due to injuries.

 

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Na Sung-bum (나성범), Photo Credit: Yonhap News

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KIA Tigers, Photo Credits: My KBO Stats

 

On the other hand, the Tigers have been a threat at scoring with a healthy batting lineup. Their best, Choi Hyung-woo, has a .356/.471/.652 line, 18 homers, and 63 runs in 328 plate appearances. While their whole active roster has scored 440 runs in just 75 games.

 

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Choi Hyung-woo (최형우), Photo Credit: Yonhap News

 

Prediction

The SK Wyverns (2-3 vs KIA), LG Twins (4-5 vs KIA), and surprisingly even KT Wiz (3-3 vs KIA) could all pose a threat against the Tigers and get some wins for next week. For the Dinos, they will face the Lotte Giants (3-6 vs NC) and LG Twins (2-7 vs NC) next but these matches could seem one sided if the Dinos continue to dominate. However, the Doosan Bears (5-4 vs NC) would be the challenge that the Dinos are looking for by the end of July’s first week.

Projected Wins: 3/7 for the Tigers, 5/7 for the Dinos

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