By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network
The 2023 Korean Series matchup is set in stone. The KT Wiz and LG Twins will face off in the best-of-seven series starting Tuesday, November 7 at 4:30 a.m. EST.
The Twins (86-56-2) finished with the best record of any organization during the regular season and received an automatic berth to the Korean Series. The Wiz (79-62-3) owned the second-best record in the KBO and defeated the NC Dinos three games to two in the best-of-five playoff series. Due to the current structure of the KBO postseason, the second-place KT Wiz did not have to compete in the opening Wild Card round or Semi-playoff round.
KT Wiz (79-62-3)
The KT Wiz are on their way to the second Korean Series since the team’s first year in the KBO in 2015. They swept the Doosan Bears in four games in 2021 to bring home the first title in franchise history. The Wiz had not made the postseason in five of the team’s first six years in the KBO.
The Wiz defeated the NC Dinos 3-2 in game five on Sunday to advance. The Dinos put forth a valiant effort in the postseason, beating the Doosan Bears in the Wild Card round and sweeping the SSG Landers in the Semi-playoff. Playing without Triple Crown-winning starting pitcher Erick Fedde limited the Dinos’ chances of making the Korean Series.
Fedde dealt with right-arm fatigue throughout the playoffs and was only available out of the bullpen in the do-or-die game five against the Wiz. However, Fedde did not pitch in game five.
“He tried to get ready, but he said his body still felt very heavy. So that was that,” the NC Dinos manager Kang In-Kwon said in his postgame press conference.
As for the Wiz, relief pitcher Son Dong-hyun was named MVP of the series. He threw seven scoreless innings and allowed just three hits against the Dinos.
Kim Min-hyuck’s two-run double in the bottom of the fifth in game five tied the score at two, and Park Byung-ho grounded into a bases-loaded double play in the sixth inning to put the Wiz ahead 3-2. The score remained the same until the top of the ninth, and the Wiz were victorious. Now, they must defeat the league champion LG Twins to be crowned champions.
“LG is a great team. They were the first-place team in the regular season for a reason,” KT Wiz manager Lee Chang-kul told reporters. “I am worried about everything that they bring to the table. I think they have a perfect balance of pitching and offense. They run the bases well, and they play great defense.”
LG Twins (86-56-2)
The LG Twins return to the Korean Series for the first time since 2002, when they lost to the Samsung Lions four games to two. They swept the Pacific Dolphins in 1994 to win the organization’s second Korean Series championship and have not won since.
On offense, the Twins had the highest team batting average (.280) and OPS (.755) and scored the most runs (767) of any team in the KBO. On the mound, the Twins ranked first in ERA (3.67) and home runs allowed (74).
The Twins played their last regular season game on October 15, a 5-2 win against the Doosan Bears. Almost a month has passed, but The Korea Herald reports the team has been playing scrimmages and simulated games in preparation.
They won 10 out of their 16 regular season games against the KT Wiz, and Casey Kelley will be the Twins game-one starting pitcher. Kelley had a strong 2023 season, posting a 10-7 record with a 3.83 ERA. Although the Twins had such a successful season against the Wiz, manager Youm Kyoung-youb knows they won’t be easy to defeat.
“The Wiz have always been a very difficult team to play against, and there were many games that we were lucky to win,” Youm said in a press conference. “I could really feel a sense of urgency and determination from our players as we were getting ready for this series.”
Game one of the 2023 Korean Series will begin at 4:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, November 7. The LG Twins will host game one at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, South Korea.
2023 Korean Series Schedule
Game 1 – November 7 at 4:30 a.m. ET – Jamsil Baseball Stadium
Game 2 – November 8 at 4:30 a.m. ET – Jamsil Baseball Stadium
Game 3 – November 10 at 4:30 a.m. ET – Suwon Baseball Stadium
Game 4 – November 11 at 12 a.m. ET – Suwon Baseball Stadium
Game 5 – November 13 at 4:30 a.m. ET – Jamsil Baseball Stadium
Game 6 – November 14 at 4:30 a.m. ET – Jamsil Baseball Stadium
Game 7- November 15 at 4:30 a.m. ET- Jamsil Baseball Stadium