A batting champion, a hitter, and a scorer. A triple crown and a second career 300-hit season. Plus the team’s first regular season title in 29 years. That’s a pretty good case for regular season MVP.
Toward the end of the 2023 season, the MVP race seemed to be heating up. The NC Dinos’ Eric Peddie, who led the league in wins and ERA, became the first pitcher to win the pitcher’s triple crown after KIUM Heroes’ Ahn Woo-jin went out for the season with an injury, leading the league in strikeouts.
Pedi’s main rival, Hanwha Eagles’ Noh Shi-hwan, is leading the league in home runs, RBIs, and on-base percentage, but he’s competing in the Asian Games, so there’s no guarantee that he’ll lead the league in home runs and RBIs. However, recently, his RBIs have increased significantly. As of Aug. 28, Noh has 96 RBIs, 12 points behind the second-place LG Twins’ Austin Dean (84). In terms of home runs, there is also a five-run gap between Noh (30) and Choi (25). There is some talk that if Noh wins the triple crown, he could be in contention with Pedi.
There’s another contender on the horizon. The LG Twins’ “unstoppable top hitter” Hong Chang-ki. After clinching the de facto batting title with a 4 for 5 slugging percentage and a large gap to second-place Doosan’s Yang Yang-ji (0.412), Hong went 5 for 3 with three RBIs and three runs scored against SSG Landers in Jamsil on the 16th to take the top spot in runs scored with 99, surpassing Kiwoom’s Kim Hye-sung (97) by two points, and his 3 for 4 batting average pushed him past NC Son Asub (0.339) and SSG Eredia (0.337). First place in batting average, runs scored, and slugging percentage. Through 16 days, Hong has totaled 253 plate appearances with 154 hits, 78 walks, and 21 strikeouts, which mathematically translates to 301 plate appearances. This would make him the second player in history to surpass the 300-strikeout mark in a single season, behind only Hanwha’s Kim Tae-gyun’s 310 in 2016. It would cement Hong as the undisputed “RBI king.
If the season ends this way, it will be a three-way tie for the regular season MVP.
While not an all-time record, Eddie will become the fourth pitcher to win the Triple Crown, joining “national treasure” Sun Dong-yeol (1986, 1989, 1990, 1991), Ryu Hyun-jin (2006) and Yoon Seok-min (2011), and the first foreigner to do so.
If Noh wins the home run and RBI titles, he will become the first KBO player born after 2000 to win the home run and RBI titles. If LG wins the regular season title, Hong will have the added bonus of winning three titles and leading the team to its first championship in 29 years.
But there’s still about a month left on the schedule. With a jagged schedule, there’s no telling what could happen. Pedi is also a Triple Crown favorite, but his ERA of 2.21 is only 0.08 higher than Doosan’s Alcantara (2.29). He had an unexpectedly poor outing against KIA on August 31, giving up seven runs in three innings, so it’s unclear if he’ll be able to hold onto the top spot 바카라.
He will be away until the end of the Asian Games when his team is called up for the Asian Games on August 23, so it’s unclear how the title race will unfold along with the team standings.
Who will lift the 2023 Regular Season MVP trophy?