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Complicated Method for Confirming Fourth Place

Posted September. 28, 2001 09:00,   


As of 26th, the 2001 professional baseball pennant race left only 18 games. There is a ray of hope even for the last place LG. Which team will capture the fourth place may be determined in the last game of the regular season on Oct. 3rd.

The five low-ranking teams are fiercely contesting over the last spot for the playoffs.

Of course, the fourth place Kia and the fifth place without game difference Hanhwa have the advantageous position. Both teams are scheduled to play a two-game series on Oct. 2nd and 3rd. Whoever sweeps the series is likely to advance to the postseason.

Let us look at the possibility of each team for the playoffs.

First of all, the Kia can advance to the playoffs with sweeping in three remaining games, irrespective of the other teams` results. In case that the Kia wins all three games, the Kia marks the winning percentage of 0.477. Even if the Hanhwa captures all four games with other teams than the Kia, its winning percentage only reaches 0.473. Other three teams cannot surpass the Kia even if they win all remaining games.

However, if the Kia and the Hanhaw exchange the win in head-to-head encounters, the situation becomes complicated. If the Kia marks the winning percentage of 0.469 with 2 wins and 1 loss, the Hanhwa can exceed the Kia with 3 wins and 1 loss (0.473) in the remaining games. Of course, if the Hanhwa sweeps the two-game series, it will be for sure that the Hanhwa moves up to the postseason.

On the other hand, even if it wins all 6 games, the sixth place Lotte can reach playoffs only under such condition that the Kia records below 2 wins and a loss, and the Hanhwa records below 4 wins and 2 losses. With only 2 games left, the SK fell into a more desperate situation. Even after winning two remaining games, there will be no other way than hoping that all high-ranking teams record the winning percentage below 0.500. With five games left, the LG can surpass the Lotte with the complete victories. In that case, the LG has a hope for the playoffs if the Kia and the Hanhwa record 1 win and 1 loss in the head-to-head matches.

Zang Hwan-Soo zangpabo@donga.com