KT Wiz has the best winning percentage in the second half of the season. They are 12-3 in the second half of 15 games through July 7, which is a whopping 8 percent winning percentage. Recently, the team’s biggest strength, “starting baseball,” has been maximized, and hitters who are supposed to serve as the centerpiece, such as Hwang Jae-gyun and Choi Jae-dae, have improved their batting pace, resulting in a significant improvement in scoring. In the second half of the season, the team is ranked fourth in batting average (0.280), third in runs scored (77), first in home runs (11), and fourth in OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) (0.756).
It’s a huge jump up the standings. After falling to the bottom of the standings at the start of the season, they’re now in fourth place, trailing only the third-place NC Dinos in winning percentage. Their win-loss margin is +5 (49 wins, 2 draws, 44 losses).
The offensive and defensive balance has improved, and the league schedule isn’t too bad. Looking at the remaining games in the sweltering August, KT only has two long road trips, to Daejeon and Sajik. There are a lot of home games, and most of the away games are in the metropolitan area, so the traveling burden is relatively low. The optimal conditions are in place to continue their upward trend.
The problem is the opposition. The schedule has some tough opponents. On Aug. 8-10, the team will play a three-game home series against Hanwha. On the 18th and 20th, they play Hanwha again on the road for a three-game series, and on the 22nd and 24th, they play the KIA Tigers at home for three days. For KT, the outcome of the nine games against Hanwha and KIA this month will be crucial. Here’s why.
KT has a winning percentage of more than 5 percent against seven teams other than Hanwha and Kia in the head-to-head series this season. They are 5-5 against the first-place LG Twins and 8-4 against the second-place SSG Landers. However, they have been particularly weak against KIA and Hanwha. Against Hanwha, the team has just one win, one draw, and four losses in six games. That’s a 0.200 winning percentage. It was even worse against KIA. In seven games, they are 1-6-1 with a winning percentage of 0.143. They were swept in a three-game series against KIA at home in early July. Coincidentally, KT has a lot of games against Hanwha and KIA in the rest of the pennant race.안전놀이터
Head coach Lee Kang-cheol and his players are well aware of this fact. Last year, KT finished 8-8 against Hanwha after a weak first half and a lot of wins in the second half. Against KIA, they went 10-1-1 with five draws. It will be interesting to see if KT can capitalize on its strong second half with more than a sweep against Hanwha and Kia after a rough first half this season.