Familiar faces are out of the Korea Baseball Organization postseason this year. It is the first time since 1996 that the Bears and Lions miss the KBO postseason. Also, the Doosan Bears’ streak of straight Korean Series appearances ends at seven.
On the other hand, the Samsung Lions will miss the postseason after ending its five-year drought last year. Moreover, after losing vital players in free agency for several years, the Bears had a bad season. Thus, qualifying for the Korean Series surprised online sports betting fans.
The Bears were in ninth place with a 58-80-2 record heading into their game on Wednesday night. But, after Wednesday, they had already tied the franchise record for most losses in a season with three more games to go.
Bears and Lions Out of the Postseason
Since 2015, the Bears have dominated the Korean Series, winning three consecutive championships in 2015, 2016, and 2019. They also placed second in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021. Now, however, those former Doosan players who left for better opportunities and bigger paychecks can be easily replaced in an All-Star lineup.
The Bears had successfully patched together a winning roster in recent seasons, but in 2022, injuries finally derailed them.
Ariel Miranda, a left-handed pitcher who struck out 225 batters in 2021 and won the league’s Most Valuable Player award, made just three appearances this season. According to a sports betting site, his shoulder injury stopped him from pitching this season.
Jose Miguel Fernandez has been one of the most productive hitters over the past three seasons. According to online sports wagering sources, he set a new league record of putting the ball into double play 31 times. After that, however, his power numbers fell to a career low.
Kim Jae-hwan, an outfielder, and Yang Suk-hwan, an infielder, were the two remaining veterans who could not reproduce their previous levels of success. Aside from relief pitcher Jeong Cheol-won, who has a 3.14 ERA in 57 appearances but has had a limited impact on a team that has lost so much, they haven’t had any new faces emerge to take charge.