KBO: Week 7 Power Rankings

KBO: Week 7 Power Rankings

This article is part of our KBO Power Rankings series.

Week 6 of KBO action led to some shuffling in both the top and bottom halves of these power rankings, though the overall hierarchy of the league remains unchanged. The Dinos remain the undisputed favorites even after a mediocre week, with a tier of three legitimate contenders following them. The Tigers still seem to have a pretty firm grasp on the fifth and final playoff spot, though just how many bottom-half teams have a real shot to take it from them is up for debate.

1. NC Dinos 

Last Week: 1
Record: 26-9
Run Differential: +83

The Lowdown: The Dinos didn't have a particularly good week, going 3-3 while getting outscored by 12 runs. When a team's bad week involves them going .500 against two of the better teams in the league (the Bears and Heroes), however, there's little reason to move them from the top spot. It is worth noting that their pitching struggles this week mean they have fallen from first to third in runs allowed per game.

DFS Name to Know: MLB hopeful Sung Bum Na is having the year he needed if he's going to make the jump to the top league in the world, hitting 11 homers and posting a 1.028 OPS.

2. Kiwoom Heroes

Last Week: 2
Record: 20-16
Run Differential: +35

The Lowdown: The Heroes went a modest 3-3 last week, but they move up a spot nonetheless after becoming just the second team all season to win a series against the Dinos. They've proven they can hang with any team in the league – they also won a series against the Twins last weekend – but their body of work over the course of the season is still nowhere near what the Dinos have accomplished.

DFS Name to Know: Ha Seong Kim, a 24-year-old shortstop who is expected to be made available to MLB clubs this offseason, has rebounded from a poor start to hit .333 with six homers and a remarkable 19:9 BB:K over his last 25 games.

3. LG Twins

Last Week: 4
Record: 22-13
Run Differential: +46

The Lowdown: The Twins sit second in run differential and join the Dinos and Heroes as the only teams to sit in the top four in both runs scored and runs allowed. They won a pair of series against bottom-half teams (the Wyverns and Giants) this week but will need Roberto Ramos (ankle/back) to return from the injured list soon, as they'll face the Bears next weekend and the Heroes after that.

DFS Name to Know: In Ramos' absence, former big-leaguer Hyun Soo Kim takes the mantle as the Twins' best hitter, a role he's quite qualified for given his .354/.411/.528 slash line.

4. Doosan Bears

Last Week: 2
Record: 21-14
Run Differential: +4 

The Lowdown: The Bears suffered the ignominy of losing twice to the Eagles on Sunday, something no team had done even once since May 22. The defending champions' second-ranked lineup can keep them in games, but as we get deeper into the season and their pitching staff remains stuck in the bottom three, their status as a true top-tier team appears increasingly in doubt.

DFS Name to Know: Jose Fernandez has been so good this season that his .288 batting average in 12 June games counts as a cold stretch. He's still hitting .404 on the year and is on pace to lead the league in hits for the second straight campaign.

5. Kia Tigers 

Last Week: 5
Record: 18-16
Run Differential: +15

The Lowdown: The Tigers took two out of three against a pair of bottom-half teams, the Wiz and Wyverns, this week, but they still look to be a step below the KBO's top four. Their second-ranked pitching staff keeps them in games, but it's hard to be a true contender with the league's fourth-worst lineup.

DFS Name to Know: Last year's third-place MVP finisher Hyun Jong Yang has picked things up after a mediocre first few turns in the rotation, posting a 2.50 ERA, a 0.78 WHIP and an 18:5 K:BB over his last three starts.

6. Samsung Lions

Last Week: 7
Record: 17-19
Run Differential: +2

The Lowdown: A 4-2 week, which included a series win against the Heroes, sees the Lions move up in the rankings for a second straight week. There's not a ton of top-end talent on this team, but they deserve respect for their positive run differential, the product of a passable sixth-ranked lineup and a sixth-ranked pitching staff.

DFS Name to Know: David Buchanan looked quite poor in two of his first three KBO starts, but he's been on fire over his last four, winning each one while posting a 1.01 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP.

7. Lotte Giants

Last Week: 9
Record: 18-17
Run Differential: -12

The Lowdown: The Giants also move up for the second straight week, but I remain rather unconvinced despite their winning record. Against the league's top five teams, the Giants have gone a miserable 5-13, and that's without facing the Dinos even once.

DFS Name to Know: It's still Dan Straily and very little else in terms of compelling fantasy options on the Giants. The American owns an excellent 2.08 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP through his first eight starts in Korea, but his lack of run support has held him to just a single win.

8. SK Wyverns

Last Week: 8
Record: 12-23
Run Differential: -43

The Lowdown: I stubbornly kept the Wyverns at sixth last week on the theory that they were waking up following an awful start and deserved some respect after tying for the league's best record last year. Losing series to the Twins and Tigers this week is no great shame, but at a certain point they'll have to start beating good teams if they hope to get back in the playoff race.

DFS Name to Know: Rookie Ji Hoon Choi is worth keeping an eye on, as he's quite cheap and has settled into a role at or near the top of the Wyverns' order. He hit .344 with three steals through his first 19 career games.

9. KT Wiz

Last Week: 9
Record: 13-22
Run Differential: -18

The Lowdown: The Wiz did get 20-year-old phenom Baek Ho Kang back from a wrist injury at the start of the week, but he alone couldn't turn his team's fortunes around, as they were shut out twice in a week in which they went 2-4. Their previously top-ranked lineup has now slipped all the way to fifth and hasn't been nearly enough to offset their ninth-ranked pitching. 

DFS Name to Know: Kang homered twice this week, giving him seven – in just 20 games – to go along with his .329 batting average.

10. Hanwha Eagles

Last Week: 11
Record: 9-27
Run Differential: -112

The Lowdown: Congratulations are in order to the Eagles, who merely tied the league's longest-ever losing streak at 18 rather than setting a new record, as they beat the defending-champion Bears twice on Sunday. While that's enough to earn them a 10th-place ranking, as they now look like a legitimate KBO team rather than a minor-league squad, the gap between them and the rest of the league is still immense, as they're getting outscored by an average of over three runs per game.

DFS Name to Know: Warwick Saupold clears the very low bar to be the Eagles' best player, but his respectable 3.63 ERA comes with an average of just 3.5 strikeouts per start.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Halterman
Erik Halterman is an MLB staff writer at RotoWire. He also covers KBO, NPB and CPBL daily fantasy contests.
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