Once again volatility ruled the day in the KBO with Hanwha defeating the NC Dinos on the road, Lotte getting a shutout win against a surging KT Wiz offense, and Kiwoom won without the need of a walk-off win for the first time in four contests. Speaking of Kiwoom, they made some waves signing a new import player to their roster:

Unable to catch on with a major league team, Addison Russell attempts to get his career back on track with Kiwoom. It’s a curious one since the Heroes start talented Ha-seong Kim at shortstop most games which could cause he or Russell to switch positions: 

Once Russell serves his 14-day mandated quarantine entering South Korea, he will get into game shape working out with Kiwoom and logging games in the Futures League. This puts him on track to join Kiwoom near the end of July as alluded to above. Not sure how KBO fans will accept Russell, but it’s worth monitoring. Although Kiwoom signed Russell, they shot for the moon but got rejected by a player of intrigue:

Since the KBO represents a league which features bat flips and playing with flare, Yasiel Puig could have been a game changer for Kiwoom with his power in smaller ballparks. They settled for Russell, but could benefit from a boost in their lineup in about a month. Stay tuned and get caught up on the top performances from Saturday’s slate of games.

Starting Pitcher Spotlight

Lotte’s Adrian Sampson recorded his second win firing six shutout innings giving up three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. After ceding six earned runs in two of his previous three outings, this start provides hope he’s assimilating to the KBO. His ERA dropped by almost two runs as a result of his six scoreless frames, and he owns a 20:8 K:BB through his first 25.2 innings. 

Jong-gi Park notched his first win of 2020 in only his second start for Doosan prohibiting LG from scoring over six innings allowing four hits while striking out three. It remains to be seen if Park can carry over his early success with more exposure to the KBO, but he’s filling in nicely for the Bears in the rotation so far. 

Warwick Saupold won his second straight start working 6.1 innings in NC yielding seven hits, two runs (one earned), and striking out seven. Saupold evened his record (4-4) and beat two of the top three teams in the league his last two outings (NC Dinos and Doosan Bears). If he’s going to build on his recent success, Saupold will need to miss more bats with pitches like these:

Kia’s Ki-young Im won his third straight decision moving to 4-3 this year tossing five innings giving up five hits, two earned runs, and two walks with five strikeouts. Kyung-chan Moon registered his 10th save, moving into a tie for first in the KBO in the category with a scoreless ninth. Moon has only allowed one run (unearned) over his last 15 appearances. 

Casey Kelly fell to 3-2 on the season but logged a quality start in a loss pitching seven innings yielding six hits, three earned runs and a walk with seven strikeouts. 

Hitter Highlights

Lotte Giants

  • Hoon Jung (1B) - Went 3-for-5 with a run, double, an RBI, and walked. 
  • Ah-seop Son (OF) - Recorded his fourth straight multiple hit game going 3-for-5 with a run, a double, and an RBI. Son has been on a tear of late with multi-hit games in eight of his last 11 contests. 
  • Byung-hun Min (OF) - Scored two runs with two hits in five at-bats and drove in one. 
  • Dixon Machado (SS) - Stayed hot with three hits in four at-bats, including a double with a run, three RBI, and a walk. Through 17 games in June, he’s hitting .364 with 10 runs and 10 RBI while stealing three bases. 

Doosan Bears

  • Soo-bin Jung (OF) - Finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and drew a walk. 
  • Joo-hwan Choi (2B) - Moved his hit streak to seven games going 2-for-4 with a run and a double. Choi’s also recorded an extra-base hit in each of his last four with three doubles, two home runs, and seven RBI in them. 
  • Se-hyuk Park (C) - Drove in four runs with a double, triple and two runs in four at-bats.
  • Hae-sung Kuk (OF) - Entered this game without an extra-base hit all year, then notched two in this one with a double and his first home run driving in three. He’s registered multiple hits in his last two games with three RBI in each against LG. 

Kiwoom Heroes

  • Hye-sung Kim (2B) - Batting leadoff, Kim went 1-for-4 with a run and a walk. 
  • Ha-seong Kim (SS) - Scored four runs going 2-for-3 with a triple, his eighth home run, knocked in a run, and walked twice in a breakout outing. Perhaps he’s about to go on a hot streak with power? 
  • Jung-hoo Lee (OF) - Set a career high in home runs launching his seventh during a three-hit day with four RBI. 
  • Byung-ho Park (1B) - Returned to the lineup and hit his eighth home run driving in two in two at-bats. 
  • Jeong-hyeop Heo (OF) - Went 1-for-3 with his second home run and two RBI along with a walk. 

Kia Tigers

  • Ho-ryung Kim (OF) - Racked up two hits with two runs, a double and walked twice atop the Tigers lineup. 
  • Min-sang Yoo (1B) - Blasted his third home run and drove in five runs on two hits in four at-bats. 
  • Jeong-yong Choi (2B) - Finished 2-for-4 with a run and his first home run. 

SK Wyverns

  • Jamie Romak (1B) - Crushed his seventh home run and walked reaching base in three of his four plate appearances. 
  • Jong-wook Ko (DH) - Recorded two hits in four at-bats driving in two runs. 

Samsung Lions

  • Sang-su Kim (2B) - Extended his hit streak to six going 3-for-5 with a run and a double. Kim’s 13-for-26 in the streak with seven runs and three doubles. 
  • Tyler Saladino (1B) - Went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double, an RBI, walked, and stole his fifth base. Saladino’s hitting .320 over 17 games in June with 14 runs, five doubles, three home runs, and 13 RBI. 

Hanwha Eagles

  • Soo-kwang Noh (OF) - Tallied two hits in four at-bats with a run and stole his third base. 

NC Dinos

  • Sung-bum Na (OF) - Moved into third in the KBO in home runs hitting his 12th, a solo shot during the Dinos loss. He also hit fourth with Eui-ji Yang on the injured list meaning more RBI could ensue going forward. 

LG Twins

  • Roberto Ramos (1B) - Shaking off the rust from his layoff, Ramos finished with two hits in four at-bats, but also struck out twice. 
  • Ji-hwan Oh (SS) - Went 2-for-4 extending his hit streak to seven games. He also doubled, drove in a run and stole his eighth base. 

With an eye on Sunday’s contests, here’s the updated standings in the KBO:

Both Kiwoom and Kia enter their games riding four-game win streaks while SK looks to avoid losing its sixth straight. Remember, only the top five teams make the playoffs in the KBO, so how these standings evolve can make or break a season. Be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm to remain ahead of the competition across all fantasy formats and stop back later for the KBO DFS playbook for the early morning slate. 

Statistical Credits: