“The next three months are critical.”
The managers battling for the top spot shake their heads emphatically. “It’s not time yet,” they said.
The current KBO standings are shaping up to be a three-way race. As of the 27th, the LG Twins are in first place with a winning percentage of 0.644, followed by the SSG Landers in second place, 0.5 games behind LG. The Lotte Giants remain in third place. Lotte and SSG are also separated by just 0.5 games. There are still five games between the fourth-place Lotte and the third-place Lotte.
While the top of the leaderboard, led by LG, SSG, and Lotte, is getting stronger by the day, the teams themselves remain vigilant. Speaking to reporters at Jamsil Stadium on the 27th, SSG head coach Kim Won-hyung said, “It’s still a long way off. We’re only a third of the way through the season, and the next three months are crucial. The hottest part of the summer starts in June, and it will depend on how we perform during this period, including the All-Star break,” he cautiously predicted.
LG coach Yeom Kyung-yup agrees. “The ranking is not important now. It won’t be until at least August that we’ll know where we stand.” LG is currently dreaming of being at full strength since mid-June, thanks to the resources they have available.
The team gained momentum in the middle of last week when they took the best-of-three series against SSG, going 2-1 to clinch the ‘Winning Series’. Having the upper hand in a head-to-head matchup is a huge boost. LG and SSG were not unaware of this, and LG smiled and took a slight advantage.
While it’s not quite time yet, there’s no denying that the battle for the first half of the standings is most likely going to come down to the wire. Last year, SSG’s ultimate power to win the overall title came from its early-season winning streak.
The top teams are preparing for the summer showdown. Much will depend on how this warm-up plays out in the summer and how many more injury variables come into play 안전놀이터.