KBO: Week 8 Power Rankings

KBO: Week 8 Power Rankings

This article is part of our KBO Power Rankings series.

There were a pair of rather significant sweeps in the seventh week of the KBO season, with the Tigers taking both games of a rain-shortened series against the Dinos and the Bears sweeping the Twins in their shared home park, Jamsil Baseball Stadium. As you will see below, the Dinos and Tigers still haven't budged from their respective spots, but we're as close as ever to a truly fluid set of five playoff teams, rather than a tier of three interchangeable sides bookended by the Dinos and Tigers as was the case the past several weeks. There could be more movement this upcoming week with several key series between top-5 sides, including Heroes-Twins during the week and Dinos-Bears and Tigers-Heroes over the weekend. In the bottom half, the Wiz have finally shown signs of life and move up a pair of spots, while the Lions continue to hang around the edge of the playoff picture.

1. NC Dinos 

Last Week: 1
Record: 28-12
Run Differential: +82

The Lowdown: The Dinos had yet another uninspiring week, losing both games against the Tigers before winning just two of three against the Eagles, which counts as a disappointment given that the Eagles have won well under a third of their games this season. The Dinos have won just four of their last 10 games but built up enough of a lead with their early dominance that I'm willing to keep them in the top spot for now, though the gap is slimmer than ever and a series loss against the Bears next weekend could see them drop down the rankings.

DFS Name to Know: Aaron Altherr struggled early on in his KBO career, partially due to a nagging hand injury, but he's been everything the Dinos could ask for from their lone foreign hitter over his last 30 games, hitting .318/.392/.636 with eight homers and 35 RBI.

2. Kiwoom Heroes

Last Week: 2
Record: 25-17
Run Differential: +47

The Lowdown: The Heroes hold onto the second spot after going 5-1 against a pair of bottom-half teams, the Giants and Wyverns. The fact that they've been playing this well with just one active foreign player (Eric Jokisch) hints at their potential down the stretch once Jake Brigham returns from his elbow injury and new addition Addison Russell joins the team. 

DFS Name to Know: It didn't look like it would be easy for 21-year-old outfielder Jung Hoo Lee to top his .359/.430/.598 slash line in the month of May, but he's done just that, hitting .412/.474/.691 so far in June.

3. Doosan Bears

Last Week: 4
Record: 25-16
Run Differential: +20 

The Lowdown: The Bears started the week quite poorly, extending their losing streak to four in a row, all against bottom-half teams, by dropping a pair of games to the Lions. They pulled out of that spiral in dramatic fashion by sweeping their local rivals, the Twins, over the weekend and vault over them on the back of that performance.

DFS Name to Know: Veteran second baseman Joo Hwan Choi has moved up to third in the order thanks to injuries and struggles of some of the Bears' bigger bats. He remains quite cheap despite hitting .286 with eight homers – already the second-highest total of his career.

4. LG Twins

Last Week: 3
Record: 25-16
Run Differential: +42

The Lowdown: The Twins opened the week by sweeping the Eagles, though that's barely notable given how many teams have done the same. They drop a spot this week after getting destroyed by the Bears over the weekend, losing all three games by a combined score of 29-13.

DFS Name to Know: Kang Nam Yoo has been one of the KBO's top catchers this season, leading all players at the position with 31 RBI and hitting .314/.380/.463.

5. Kia Tigers 

Last Week: 5
Record: 23-18
Run Differential: +16

The Lowdown: For the first time in a long time, I think you could make a strong case for ranking the Tigers higher than fifth, as they went 4-1 last week and swept a two-game set against the league-leading Dinos. The Twins' overall body of work still keeps them just barely ahead of the Tigers for me, but another strong week by the Tigers could certainly move them into the top four.

DFS Name to Know: The Tigers have the deepest rotation in the league thanks in large part to Ki Young Im, who had very little success prior to this year but leads the team's starters with a 2.91 ERA, a number backed up by a 22.2 percent strikeout rate and a 4.0 percent walk rate.

6. Samsung Lions

Last Week: 6
Record: 20-22
Run Differential: +5

The Lowdown: The Lions had another respectable week, grabbing a series win against a quality opponent in the Bears before dropping two of three against the Tigers. With a positive run differential on the season and a pair of matchups against the Eagles and Giants this week, there's a chance they're knocking on the door of a playoff spot this time next week.

DFS Name to Know: Tyler Saladino looked like he could be in for a very brief KBO career after hitting just .156/.255/.244 in his first 16 games for the Lions. However, he has turned things around dramatically, hitting .375/.500/.681 over his last 23 contests.

7. KT Wiz

Last Week: 9
Record: 18-23
Run Differential: -19

The Lowdown: They're alive! The Wiz move up two spots in these rankings after going 5-1 against a pair of bottom-half teams, the Wyverns and Giants. They actually got outscored by a run over the course of the week, though that's in some ways a positive as they're finally winning close games, something their bullpen prevented them from doing for most of the year.

DFS Name to Know: Mel Rojas Jr. is all over the leaderboards, tying for first in homers (13) while sitting second in RBI (38) and batting average (.382) and third in runs (35).

8. Lotte Giants

Last Week: 7
Record: 20-21
Run Differential: -6

The Lowdown: The Giants were two games over .500 on June 11 but have since gone on to lose three straight series. Their fourth-ranked pitching staff keeps them in games, but they just don't score enough to be a real threat, ranking eight in offense. When Dan Straily has won just one of his nine starts despite posting a 2.12 ERA, you know you have a problem.

DFS Name to Know: Dixon Machado has remembered how to hit following an extended slump, going 14-for-25 (.560) with a pair of steals over the last week.

9. SK Wyverns

Last Week: 8
Record: 12-29
Run Differential: -60

The Lowdown: The Wyverns looked to be coming alive around the turn of the month after an awful start, but they have collapsed again, getting swept by the Wiz and Heroes this week to give them a 1-10 record over their last 11 games. They're now 11 games out of a playoff spot and just 2.5 games up on the lowly Eagles.

DFS Name to Know: Though his team continues to struggle, Jamie Romak has woken up in the month of June, hitting .304/.452/.696 with five homers and more walks (15) than strikeouts (12).

10. Hanwha Eagles

Last Week: 10
Record: 10-32
Run Differential: -127

The Lowdown: Any Eagles win is cause for celebration these days, so they deserve praise for taking a game off the league-leading Dinos. That said, they went 1-5 over the course of the week and have won just three of their last 26 games, so they remain by far the biggest pushovers in the league. 

DFS Name to Know: Warwick Saupold accounts for four of the Eagles' 10 wins after beating the Bears and Dinos in his last two starts, but his low 13.8 percent strikeout rate limits his fantasy upside.

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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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