The Korea Baseball Organization, the highest level of baseball in South Korea and one of the first major professional sports leagues to return to action during the coronavirus pandemic, has entered its home stretch as the Korean Series will determine the 2020 KBO champion.
The matchup features the NC Dinos, who charged out of the gate and sat atop the league for most of the season, facing the Doosan Bears, the defending Korean Series champs who beat the LG Twins in the first round of the playoffs and KT Wiz in the semifinals.
For those just getting familiar with the Korean baseball league, it’s action-packed baseball filled with home runs, bat flips (lots and lots of bat flips), former MLB players and Korean-born stars who could follow the path of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Ji-Man Choi from the KBO to major league stardom.
You can watch the action with English-language broadcasts airing on ESPN2, or streaming on ESPN3 and the ESPN app.
KBO on ESPN broadcast schedule
All times ET
Tuesday, Nov. 17
Korean Series Game 1: NC Dinos 5, Doosan Bears 3
Wednesday, Nov. 18
Korean Series Game 2: Doosan Bears 5, NC Dinos 4
Friday, Nov. 20
Korean Series Game 3: Doosan Bears 7, NC Dinos 6
Saturday, Nov. 21
Korean Series Game 4: NC Dinos 3, Doosan Bears 0
Monday, Nov. 23
Korean Series Game 5: Doosan Bears vs. NC Dinos, 4:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Tuesday, Nov. 24
Korean Series Game 6: Doosan Bears vs. NC Dinos, 4:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Wednesday, Nov. 25
Korean Series Game 7: Doosan Bears vs. NC Dinos, 4:30 a.m. (ESPN2)*
* If necessary
ESPN’s KBO Power Rankings
(updated Nov. 1)
1. NC Dinos: 83-55-6 (Last week: 1) — As the regular-season champ and top seed, the Dinos are off until the Korean Series, which begins Nov. 17. Under the current KBO playoff format, the top seed has won the Series 24 of 29 times.
2. KT Wiz: 81-62-1 (3) — Things broke well for the Wiz, who ended up as the No. 2 seed to earn a double bye. They will play the winner of the first-round series between Doosan and the Kiwoom-LG wild-card winner.
3. Doosan Bears: 79-61-4 (5) — The defending Korean Series champs closed the regular season with four straight wins and won the tie-breaker with LG to secure the No. 3 seed. The Bears face the Kiwoom-LG winner in a best-of-three first-round matchup.
4. LG Twins: 79-61-4 (2) — LG limped to the finish, but held on to the No. 4 seed. The Twins get two chances to beat Kiwoom and move on in the playoffs.
5. Kiwoom Heroes: 80-63-1 (4) — The Heroes finished as the No. 5 seed, a half-game behind Doosan and LG, meaning they need to beat the Twins in back-to-back games to advance.
(Selected by Joon Lee, Alden Gonzalez and Dan Mullen)