This article is part of our KBO Power Rankings series.
The 10th week of the KBO season was a short one, with the entirety of Sunday's slate getting wiped out due to rain and moved to Monday. That means there were slightly fewer chances for teams to move in these rankings, though there was still plenty of movement in the tight group of teams battling for the final two playoff spots, especially as those teams played quite a few games against each other. There remains three distinct tiers in these rankings, with splits between the third and fourth spot as well as spots seven and eight. Expect more movement within these tiers during the upcoming seven-game week, with the Dinos-Heroes midweek series looking like the best and most consequential matchup of the set. The Tigers-Lions midweek matchup should be quite significant for positioning within the group of mid-tier teams as well.
1. NC Dinos
Last Week: 1
Run Differential: +96
The Lowdown: The Dinos had a solid enough week against a pair of struggling teams, taking two of three from the lowly Wyverns before going 1-0-1 against the slumping Twins. They could face a real challenge to their top spot this week, as their next two series come against the second-place Heroes and the surging Wiz, though they've gone 9-3 against that pair so far this season.
DFS Name to Know: Chang Mo Koo bounced back from his lone poor start of the year on June 25 against the Heroes with a pair of excellent performances, allowing three runs in 14 innings while striking out 17 and walking just one.
2. Kiwoom Heroes
Last Week: 2
Run Differential: +46
The Lowdown: The Heroes remain in second place, though they're much closer to third than first in these rankings following a week in which they went 2-3 against a pair of mid-table teams in the Lions and Tigers while getting outscored by 14 runs. They're entering a key stretch of their schedule, as two of their next three series come against the Dinos and Bears, though the return of last season's ace Jake Brigham from his elbow injury should help quite a bit.
DFS Name to Know: It's hard to break out after hitting .336/.384/.456 last year, but 21-year-old outfielder Jung Hoo Lee has done just that, posting a .360/.420/.610 slash line with nine homers, already three more than his previous career high.
3. Doosan Bears
Last Week: 3
Run Differential: +33
The Lowdown: The Bears could have moved up into second place had they done more than go a modest 3-2 against the Twins and Giants. A complete lack of starting pitching depth continues to hold the defending champions back, as they've gone 17-6 when Raul Alcantara or Chris Flexen takes the mound but are just 17-18 when anyone else is starting.
DFS Name to Know: Kyoung Min Hur's return from a fractured finger in late June gave the very left-handed Bears another trustworthy right-handed bat. He's been on a tear in his nine games this month, going 19-for-38 at the plate while grabbing at least one hit in all nine contests.
4. KT Wiz
Last Week: 6
Run Differential: +16
The Lowdown: The Wiz continue to surge up the standings, sitting three spots higher here than in the standings as a reflection of their remarkable hot streak. They've gone 10-3 over their last 13 games, including four straight series victories against teams above them in the standings (the Twins, Heroes, Tigers and Lions). Their lineup remains dominant, but they're finally pairing that with respectable pitching, allowing 4.7 runs per game over that 13-game stretch, a number which would rank second over the course of the season.
DFS Name to Know: Former San Francisco Giant Jae Gyun Hwang has been on a tear over his last 13 games, hitting .414/.477/.672 and moving up to the number two spot in the order ahead of Mel Rojas Jr. and Baek Ho Kang as part of one of the toughest trios in the league.
5. Kia Tigers
Last Week: 5
Run Differential: +19
The Lowdown: The Tigers yet again remain locked into the fifth spot despite movement all around them among a crowded group of bubble teams, as they fall behind the Wiz after losing a pair of games against them to start the week before recovering to win the last game of that series followed by both games against the second-place Heroes. Their dominant rotation keeps them in games on a consistent basis, and their bats finally came to life over their last three games, where they scored a total of 27 runs.
DFS Name to Know: Preston Tucker has bounced back from a miserable eight-game stretch in which he hit .067/.200/.100 to hit .370/.469/.778 over his last seven contests.
6. Samsung Lions
Last Week: 4
Run Differential: +21
The Lowdown: The Lions fell a pair of spots this week and easily could have fallen a third, as they won just a single game against the Heroes and Wiz, but they remain above the Twins for now, who also managed just a single win last week. Following a surprising 10-2 stretch that saw them charge up the standings, they've won just one of their last six games and need to turn things around quickly as they finish their series against the Wiz on Monday before taking on another bubble team, the Tigers, for three games.
DFS Name to Know: Tyler Saladino returned to the lineup Friday after a 14-game absence due to a back issue. He struggled early on this season but owns an excellent .360/.482/.607 slash line over his last 28 games.
7. LG Twins
Last Week: 7
Run Differential: +10
The Lowdown: There's no shame in struggling against the Bears and Dinos, which the Twins did to the tune of a 1-3-1 record this week, but they'll have to start beating good teams at some point if they want to be taken seriously as a contender. They now sit 6-15-1 against the top three teams in the league and haven't won a series against anyone but the bottom three teams since all the way back in May.
DFS Name to Know: Hyung Jong Lee is still quite cheap, as he's only played in two games since returning from the fractured wrist he suffered back in spring training, but he's slotted right into the number three spot and is coming off a season in which he hit a solid .286/.358/.442.
8. Lotte Giants
Last Week: 8
Run Differential: -11
The Lowdown: The Giants remain safely above the final two teams in the league after taking two from three from the Eagles and splitting a pair of games with the Bears. They remain closer to the cluster of teams from four to seven in the standings than they do in these power rankings or in terms of overall roster talent, though they have a chance to earn some respect this week with a pair of matchups against two bubble teams, the Twins and Lions.
DFS Name to Know: Dan Straily finally earned his second win of the season Wednesday against the Eagles, though his 2.29 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 26.3 percent strikeout rate are all far more accurate representations of his ability.
9. SK Wyverns
Last Week: 9
Run Differential: -86
The Lowdown: The Wyverns have shown a glimmer of respectability recently, winning four of their last eight games, but when a .500 record over a small sample counts as improvement, you know a team isn't doing well. They're unlikely to be much more than a punching bag for the Bears and Heroes this week.
DFS Name to Know: 37-year-old Tae In Chae has emerged as a playable budget option recently, hitting .480/.536/.720 in nine games so far in July.
10. Hanwha Eagles
Last Week: 10
Run Differential: -147
The Lowdown: By their own incredibly low standards, this week was a great one for the Eagles, whose 2-3 record represented their best mark since they went 3-3 all the way back in the second week of the season, which is still the only week all year in which they've even gone .500. The Eagles are hitting .241/.314/.337 as a team this season while allowing their opponent to hit .300/.377/.466, with all three components of both slash lines representing the worst mark in the league.
DFS Name to Know: Shi Hwan Jang's 5.07 ERA and 1.83 WHIP this season are both quite poor, but he's allowed just a single run in each of his last three starts, striking out 19 and walking just four over that stretch.