The May MVP race is shaping up to be a “family affair” for LG. LG has the top hitter and the top pitcher. Catcher Park Dong-won, who has nine home runs, and pitcher Lim Chan-kyu, who has won all four of his appearances and posted a one-run ERA, are in the running for the monthly MVP.
The LG Twins maintained their sole lead in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League with a 7-1 victory over the KIA Tigers at Gwangju KIA Champions Field on the 28th. They also moved to 30 wins ahead of the 20-win SSG Landers, who have played two fewer games. Starter Im Chan-kyu pitched an effective seven innings on 87 pitches to lead LG to victory.
Im’s performances have become a familiar sight. In 11 games (seven starts), he has a 5-1 record with a 1.97 ERA, a .222 batting average, and a 1.16 WHIP. Despite opening the season in the bullpen and only starting to rotate into the starting rotation in mid-April, he has recorded quality starts in three of his last four games.
However, LG has another MVP candidate besides Im. Battery catcher Park Dong-won is a threat to Chan-gyu.
Park was silent in the 28th game, going 0-for-4, but through 28 days, he’s batting .318, 19th in the league, but leading the OPS (1.192) with a dominant on-base percentage. That’s thanks to nine home runs. Park’s OPS in May is a whopping 0.797, 0.202 higher than second-place SSG Choi Ju-hwan (0.595).
The nutritional value of his home runs is also perfect. Six of his nine have come within three runs. LG has won seven of the eight games Park Dong-won has homered in (including his multi-homer game on 25 May).
Led by Park Dong-won, who is in the running for monthly MVP, LG went 15-1 in May, adding another +10 runs for the month. Head coach Yeom Kyung-yup aimed to stay afloat and has already exceeded his goal.
Meanwhile, LG reached the 30-win mark for the seventh time in its history with 28 wins. In 2021, they finished third in the regular season, but four other teams reached 30 wins, including champions KT. Reaching 30 wins is often a good indicator of the final regular season standings. In the nine years from 2014, Samsung (30 wins, 1 tie, 14 losses) to last year’s SSG (30 wins, 2 ties, 13 losses), all 30-win teams finished the regular season in first place.