With the half-way point of the KBO season fast approaching, we're diving into the starting pitching rotations for each team.
We will examine how they stack up against one another team by team, as well as which arm has been the most reliable for each staff. First, let's look at the best of the KBO 1-5.
NC Dinos 1 (38-17)
LHP - Chang-Mo Koo (8-0 ERA 1.48 WHIP 0.81)
RHP - Drew Rucinski (7-1 ERA 2.30 WHIP 1.11)
RHP - Mike Wright (6-2 ERA 3.63 WHIP 1.35)
RHP - Jae Hak Lee ( 3-4 ERA 5.59 WHIP 1.44)
Chang-Mo Koo is easily having the best season of any pitcher in the KBO. The 23-year-old is putting together monster numbers in his fifth season, and is at the top of a short list for the Choi Dong-Won Award given to the best starting pitcher in the KBO. He punched out seventeen batters over his last two games and now boasts a 82:13 K:BB ratio. Pitching at least six innings in all but one of his starts this season, he is a must start whenever on the mound for the league leading Dinos.
NC Dinos Pat Shannahan/The Republic
Kia Tigers 2 (28-25)
LHP - Hyun Jong Yang (5-5 ERA 5,55 WHIP 1.37)
RHP - Min Woo Lee (4-3 ERA 4.92 WHIP 1.36)
RHP - Aaron Brooks (3-3 ERA 2.36 WHIP 1.08)
RHP - Drew Gagnon (5-3 ERA 3.94 WHIP 1.30)
RHP - Ki Young Im (4-4 ERA 3.42 WHIP 1.31)
Aaron Brooks may be a name you are familiar with if you follow the Royals, Athletics, Cubs, or Orioles minor league systems. He has bounced around the MLB minor leagues since being drafted in 2011. It now seems as though he is finally finding his stride with the Kia Tigers. He is putting together the best year of his professional career yet and his WHIP has been on a steady decline since mid-may which is a good indicator that he has figured out a thing or two. If the Tigers can find a way to give him a little more run support he will make for a great inexpensive pitcher each time he toes the rubber for the remainder of the season.
Kiwoom Heroes 3 (35-22)
LHP - Eric Jokisch (8-2 ERA 1.41 WHIP 0.89)
RHP - Won Tae Choi (4-3 ERA 4.02 WHIP 1.24)
RHP - Hyun Hee Han (3-3 ERA 5.94 WHIP 1.62)
LHP - Seung Ho Lee (2-3 ERA 5.33 WHIP 1.46)
RHP - Young Gun Jo (1-1 ERA 8.05 WHIP 2.11)
As I mentioned above, the list for the Chio Dong-Won Award is a short one; in my opinion it's a two man race. Right now number two in the race is another former Athletics and Cubs prospect Eric Jokisch. He has been the model of consistency this year only once allowing more than two earned runs in his eleven starts. He has also been outstanding at keeping the ball in the park this year. His amazing ratios make for a must start each time he gets the ball.
Doosan Bears 4 (33-23)
RHP - Chris Flexen (3-3 ERA 4.18 WHIP 1.36)
LHP - Hui Kwan Yu (6-2 ERA 4.87 WHIP 1.66)
RHP - Raul Alcantara (8-1 ERA 3.14 WHIP 1.10)
RHP - Young Ha Lee (3-4 ERA 5.79 WHIP 1.85)
RHP - Yong Chan Lee (1-3 ERA 8.44 WHIP 1.76)
Raul Alcantara is another starter that has had no problems getting the win when he is out on the mound. Though his ratios aren't quite up to par with the three starters featured above, his team is providing ridiculous run support leading him to the tune of eleven starts in a row without taking a loss. He has not had a problem at all missing the bats this season either, in his last start he sat eight batters down on strikes putting him at sixty nine for the year.
LG Twins 5 (30-26)
RHP - Tyler Wilson (3-5 ERA 4.48 WHIP 1.40)
LHP - Woo Chan Cha (4-5 ERA 6.04 WHIP 1.61)
RHP - Casey Kelly (4-3 ERA 4.86 WHIP 1.40)
RHP - Chan Gyu Lim (4-2 ERA 4.14 WHIP 1.31)
RHP Chan Heon Jung (4-1 ERA 2.62 WHIP 1.07)
Chan Heon Jung is an interesting player. He has by far been the best starter for the Twins this year, however the team is limiting his innings and only pitching him every other time through the rotation. Aside from his first two starts he has surpassed the 35 point mark in each of his last five starts, taking the win in four of those. He makes for a sneaky low cost start when the Twins allow him to let it loose on the mound.