Week 2 KBO power rankings

Photo by Paul Muth.

Week one power rankings usually never mean anything. There's a reason that baseball plays over 100 games, and this past week the KBO did a great job of either introducing or simply reminding everyone of how chaotic the league is. Because of the lack of bullpen depth across the league, no lead is safe. It's not always fun for fans of the specific team that it happens to, but it makes for a more interesting game for the rest of us.

Last week we started to see teams settle into their identities. The Lotte Giants cooled off something fierce, while the Kia Tigers and LG Twins shook off their slow starts. Meanwhile, the NC Dinos have just been finding ways to win all along.

1. NC Dinos (10-1); previous week rank - 3

The Dinos are the toughest out in the KBO at the moment. The Dinos put together 3 extra innings wins in one week, which is more strain anyone's heart needs in that short amount of time. They're currently riding a 6 game win streak thanks in part to Sung Bum-Na's 3 home runs this week alone (one of which was the league's first walkoff Dino-Dinger). The Dinos have a tough start to the week against the defending champ Doosan Bears, but then it eases up against the Hanwha Eagles.

2. LG Twins (7-4); previous week rank - 5

The Twins started the week 2-3 and ended it 7-4, so you could say they figured some stuff out. Taking on the league-worst SK Wyverns is sure to do that for any team, but following that up with a series win against last year's Korean Series runner-up is a good sign that things are headed in the right direction. Nothing says KBO-ness more than their Tuesday victory, scoring 14 runs without a single home run. Starting pitcher Casey Kelly turned in a solid performance Saturday with 6 innings of 3 hit baseball. The Twins schedule looks pretty favorable as they match up with two sub .500 clubs this week (Lions and Wiz).

3. Doosan Bears (7-4); previous week rank - 4

The Bears are almost as exhausting to watch as the Dinos. They sport the league's best offense, but it's paired with the league's worst bullpen. They've yet to lose a series this season, but they also haven't swept anyone. First baseman Oh Jae-Il has been on a tear, batting .408 last week with 2 home runs and 10 RBIs. The Bears have an opportunity to gain some serious early season ground on the Dinos beginning tomorrow, before they finish the week against the unimpressive Lions.

4. Lotte Giants (7-4); previous week rank - 1

The Lotte Giants had nowhere to go but down last week, and that's exactly what they did. Dropping a series against the Bears is understandable, but to follow it up by dropping a series to the sub .500 eagles will get you dropped in the power rankings. Son Ah-seop was out of his mind at the plate last week batting .608 despite last week's 2-4 record. This week they'll look to get back on track against the Tigers and the Heroes.

5. Kiwoom Heroes (7-5); previous week rank - 2

Kiwoom found themselves in a similar situation as the Giants, taking a solid first week and squandering it. The offense just isn't really there at the moment, as evidence last Wednesday when they were shut out against the 9th place Lions. This week Kiwoom should be able to get back on track, with an easy series against a Wyverns team on a 9 game losing streak. They'll follow that up with a statement series against the Lotte Giants.

6. Kia Tigers (5-7); previous rank - 8

The Tigers made up some ground this week, due in large part to the bat of former Astro Preston Tucker. En route to a 13-4 victory against the Bears, Tucker went 4-4 with a home run and 7 RBIs. That's impressive at any level. Unfortunately, the rest of the offense has yet to catch up to Tucker's blistering pace, and they remain a sub .500 team. If they can take the series from the Giants to begin the week, the following series against the Wyverns could start some positive momentum to push them back into the win column.

7. Hanwha Eagles (5-7); previous rank - 7

The Eagles inexplicably finished last week with a solid series win against the Giants. They are the second worst offense in the league, and the fact that they've even won 5 games is pretty surprising. They have a fairly even match up to start the week against the KT Wiz, before they travel to take on the league leading NC Dinos later in the week.

8. KT Wiz (4-7); previous week - 9

The Wiz seem to be the most unlucky team so far to start the season. They're second in the league in runs scored, and still only have 4 wins to show. That's baseball for ya. That's the KBO for ya. They should be able to gain some ground early in the week against the Eagles, but we'll see if that gives them any momentum when they take on the LG Twins later on in the week.

9. Samsung Lions (4-8); previous week - 6

I don't think the Lions will be down here for that long. They're not very good at the moment, but they're not this bad. This week probably won't be the one that they make up any ground through, as they take on the LG Twins and the Doosan Bears. Maybe next week fellas.

10. SK Wyverns (1-10); previous rank - 10

Meet your 2019 Orioles. These guys are in for a long season.

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Houston looked much more like themselves

Astros return to form in win over Angels at home

Cristian Javier was impressive Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hoping to avoid spiraling further out of control, the Astros turned the page from their disappointing road trip and the recent stretch of games. They hoped to start this new homestand on a good note, welcoming in the Angels for four games of this eight-game stint at Minute Maid Park.

Houston would get the much-needed win, with their offense coming alive early in the game to put up big innings, which they rode to the victory thanks in part to a great start by Cristian Javier.

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 8-10, fifth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1)

Astros' offense starts clicking early

Houston would grab the early momentum, despite leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. They would get a leadoff double by Aledmys Diaz in the bottom of the second, followed by an RBI triple by Myles Straw to jump in front 1-0. They made it a three-run inning, with an RBI by Carlos Correa then a bases-loaded RBI-walk by Yuli Gurriel, though for consecutive innings would leave three runners stranded on base.

Correa drove in another in the bottom of the next inning, getting an RBI single to push the lead to four runs, then would come in on a two-run single by Alex Bregman, who made it 6-0. That set things up nicely for Cristian Javier, who was on the mound trying to take advantage of the opportunity for another start.

Javier has an electric start

Javier was electric over the first three innings, including getting eight of the first nine outs by strikeout while allowing only a walk and double during that span. He would have longer innings in the next two, but in both cases would keep the Angels off the board, finishing in line for the win. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 P.

Houston gets the much-needed win

Meanwhile, Houston's offense kept scoring. They pushed the lead two runs further over the fourth and fifth, getting a run in each with another RBI each for Straw and Bregman. With Javier's night done, Bryan Abreu was first out of the Astros bullpen, and despite allowing a controversial two-run home run to Albert Pujols, of all people, that looked to be a foul ball, got through the inning.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the seventh but would get just one out while hitting a batter and allowing a single before Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to face the heavy left-handed part of the Angels lineup. Raley would get through it, sending things to the seventh-inning stretch with the six-run lead intact.

Raley would get another out before Joe Smith would finish that inning in the top of the eighth. Ryan Pressly, who has been starved for work lately with no save opportunities, would close things out in the ninth as Houston would start this series off with a win.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday night. Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, while Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.81 ERA) will look to repeat the success of his last start; an eight-inning shutout performance for the Astros.

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