The Korean Baseball League (KBO) has set a return date of May 5, which is a blessing to baseball fans all around the globe. Considered one of the top leagues in the world, the KBO is a 10-team league that began play in its current format in 1982.
Like Japan and Taiwan, there are Korean and American ex-big leaguers playing, but few really big names. Former Philadelphia Phillies Ben Lively and Aaron Altherr, ex-Astro Preston Tucker and onetime Oriole Tyler Wilson are among the American KBO players with MLB experience.
Australian Warwick Saupold – who spent time with the Detroit Tigers and also pitched for the Perth Heat – is a member of the Hanwha Eagles.
ABOUT THE LEAGUE
The regular season is normally 144 games per club, with each team playing every other team 16 times.
Five teams make the post-season, with the Korean Series championship a best-of-seven affair.
The first place teams gets a bye straight into the championship Series and the playoffs begin with a best-of-three series between #4 and #5…BUT…the #4 team starts out with a 1-0 advantage in games!
The KBO uses the Designated Hitter and there are ties (draws) after 12 innings in the regular season, 15 in the post-season.
Doosan Bears (Seoul): Most successful team in recent years. Won the title in 2019, their third in five years. Original KBO team founded in 1982.
LG Twins (Seoul): Share a stadium with the Bears, have only won two titles, the last one in 1994. Original KBO team founded in 1982.
Kia Tigers (Gwangju): Have won the most titles (11) but mostly in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Only one title since 2010. Original KBO team founded in 1982.
Samsung Lions (Daegu): Have won eight championships, the last one in 2014. Original KBO team founded in 1982.
Lotte Giants (Busan): Have only won the title twice, the last one in 1992. Original KBO team founded in 1982.
Hanwha Eagles (Daejon): Joined in 1986, have won one championship, in 1999.
SK Wyverns (Incheon): Joined in 2000, have won four titles including 2018. A ‘Wyvern’ is a mythological dragon.
Kiwoom Heroes (Seoul): Joined in 2008, play in a domed stadium. Have never won a title, lost twice in the Korean Series, including 2019.
NC Dinos (Changwon): Joined in 2013, have never won the title, lost in the Korean Series in 2016.
KT Wiz (Suwon): Newest club, having joined the league in 2015, have never made Korean Series.
We currently have Outright Winner markets. Doosan Bears are favourites at $4.50, followed by SK Wyverns ($5.00), Kiwoom Heroes ($5.50) and NC Dinos ($6.50).
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL UPDATE
Still trying to decide if they can salvage the season. The latest proposal is to divide the teams geographically to make travel easier and safer. The plan would eliminate the American and National Leagues, with teams only playing within their 10-team divisions. It would be structured like this:
Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals.
Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers.
Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals.