Two weeks into the KBO season a clear frontrunner has emerged and the cellar-dwellers are being defined. All around the league, bullpens continue to implode and bandwagons fill. Here are some power rankings to fill the power ranking-shaped void in your life. And once again, please do yourself a favor and set the alarm clock early to watch the action. It's quite good.
10. SK Wyverns (1-8)
Today's extra-innings loss to the NC Dinos was the seventh consecutive defeat for a side that simply hasn't been able to get it together. The -30 run differential portends very bad things for the future and SK have struggled to even compete with regularity. A lone bright spot? Han Dong-min, who entered Friday tied for the league lead in home runs (4) and second in slugging percentage (.852).
9. KT Wiz (2-7)
Talk about wasted opportunities. The Wiz somehow depressingly parlayed a -1 run differential to seven losses in the first eight games. A historically bad bullpen has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory no less than five times early on. Mel Rojas Jr. continues to rake (.457 average, 1.144 OPS) and Bae Je-seong (1.35 ERA) has put together two quality starts before relievers piddled away his chances to pick up a win.
8. Samsung Lions (4-6)
Here's the thing about the Lions. They don't have a batter in the top 14 of batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, or OPS. Not great. On the other hand, three of the top nine base on balls leaders reside in-house.
7. Kia Tigers (4-6)
The team really highlights the importance of having the few foreign-born players excel. Americans Aaron Brooks (two quality starts, 1.42 ERA) and Preston Tucker (.406/.500/.750, 3 HRs, 11 RBI) have been killing it for Kia. Backup catcher Baek Yong-hwan has made the most of his 10 at-bats, going deep twice.
6. Hanwha Eagles (4-6)
Spectacular win today, perhaps the win of the year taking down mighty Lotte. Pitcher Kim Ee-whan (1.63 ERA) twirled another gem. Top to bottom, the Eagles have the most productive pitching staff (Warwik Saupold and Kim Min-woo have been fantastic) in the league and should really excel once the bats come around.
5. Doosan Bears (6-3)
Doosan have been laying waste to opposing pitches. The potent offense is averaging 8 runs/game and leads the KBO in runs, hits, and home runs. Jose Fernandez, Oh Jae-il and Kim Jae-hwan have paced the way with eye-popping stats.
4. LG Twins (5-3)
Only the rain can slow down Seoul's best side, proud owners of a four-game winning streak. Starter Cha Woo-chan has been a rare strikeout machine (15 in 12 innings) and the Twinkies can claim one of the more competent bullpens in the KBO. And if you like sexy slashes, this is the team for you. Roberto Ramos: .419/.486/.806, Kim Hyun-Soo 455/.500/.727, and Lee Chun-woong .387/.457/.516 are just having fun out there.
3. Lotte Giants (6-3)
Former Major Leaguer Dan Straily has been fanning batters at an alarming rate and sports a 1.42 ERA. Lee Dae-ho and Son Ah-seop are each hitting over .400. The Giants can claim five of the top 14 OPS leaders and all are north of 1.000.
2. Kiwoom Heroes (6-3)
Much of the sports-shouting chatter is focused on the Heroes' current two-game winning streak. But friends, I am here to tell you there's no reason to fret. I am, in fact, so unconcerned that I refuse to address it. This plucky upstart franchise must be protected at all cost.
1. NC Dinos (8-1)
Look, did everyone who didn't pick the Dinos and their incredible mascot as an adopted team make a massive mistake? Yes. Is it too late to switch? Why, also yes. Don't be a baby. We made a sloppy bed and we'll sleep in it uncomfortably.
There's just so much to like here, namely a pitching staff surrendering less than 3 runs per game. Na Sung-bum is fighting for the league lead in home runs but it's jarring just how much of the second-most productive offense comes from the margins. Deep, balanced, and poised to make a run at the coveted No. 1 playoff spot.