The Hanwha Eagles and Lotte Giants, who are leading the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) with their late-season surge, will play a three-game weekend series at Sajik Stadium in Busan from the 28th to the 30th.

The matchup between Hanwha and Lotte is attracting the attention of many baseball fans due to the standings and the reunion of managers Kim Kyung-moon and Kim Tae-hyung.

Hanwha is currently in seventh place with 35 wins, 41 losses, and two ties for a winning percentage of 0.461, while Lotte is in eighth place with 34 wins, 40 losses, and three ties for a winning percentage of 0.459.

The two teams have no losses and are separated by only 0.002 points.

With only three games separating them from fifth-place SSG Landers, either team could quickly join the top-five fight if they can sweep the series.

Both Hanwha and Lotte are in good spirits.

Hanwha has won 11, lost nine and drawn one of its 21 matches since Kim Kyung-moon took over as head coach on March 4, and is third in the league with a 0.550 winning percentage in that time.

In first place is Lotte, with 12 wins, eight losses, and one draw for a winning percentage of 0.600.

Hanwha is in position to contend for the title in the second half of the season if Ryu Hyun-jin, who has regained his ace form after an early-season slump, and new faces Jaime Barria and Ryan Weiss can hold down the 1-3 spots on the mound.

In terms of starting order, Hanwha could use all three for the three-game series against Lotte.

Baria has been announced as the starter for the 28th, while the starters for the 29th and 30th have yet to be revealed.

Add to that the fact that Noh Si-hwan has regained his home run power from last year with two home runs and eight RBIs in his last two games.

On the other side of the ball, Lotte has been one of the scariest hitting teams this month.

Lotte leads the league in team batting average (0.312), team OPS (0.863), and RBI (158) in June.

Even with a steady stream of injuries, the batting lineup never seems to cool down, with players stepping up to fill the void.

On the 25th, Lotte was down 1-14 in the top of the fourth inning against the Busan Kia Tigers, but came from behind to win 15-14 in the bottom of the seventh inning to draw 15-15.

With momentum on their side, Lotte took both games against KIA on the 26th and 27th.

This season, Lotte has become the “Tiger Hunters” with a 7-3-1 record against league leader KIA.

With their win-loss margin now down to minus-6, Lotte will look to make a serious push once Charlie Barnes returns from injury in the second half.

The relationship between Hanwha coach Kim Kyung-moon and Lotte coach Kim Tae-hyung adds to the story of this three-game series.

It’s no longer what you’d call a “priestly relationship,” but Kim Tae-hyung unabashedly looks up to Kim as a mentor.

The two played together as seniors and juniors in the OB Bears from 1990 to 1991, and continued their relationship as manager and battery coach at Doosan.

Even after Kim Tae-hyung rose to become one of the KBO’s most prominent managers, he still holds Kim in high regard, saying, “I learned so much from him that I’ve gotten to where I am today.”

The last time Kim and Kim faced off in the KBO was in a three-game series from April 27-29, 2018, at Masan Stadium.

Kim Kyung-moon, who was at the helm of the NC Dinos at the time, dropped the series to Kim Tae-hyung, who had built a dynasty at Doosan, winning one and losing two of the three games.

More than a month later, Kim stepped down as NC head coach.

Both coaches wear different uniforms than they did six years ago, but their respect for each other and desire to win is still there.

The biggest variable in the three-game series between Hanwha and Lotte is the rain.

The weather forecast calls for rain in Busan on the 29th and 30th. 메이저놀이터

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