The 2019 Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) league is set to open on Saturday, 23 March. The ten teams will play a 144-game regular season. The winner will advance directly to the Korean Baseball Series and the runner up will advance to the playoff series, that will qualify the winner to the Korean Series.
Number four and number five seed will compete, in a best of three series, for a wild card and a chance to face number three in the best of five playoff series.
KBO is the most popular sports league in Korea. The 2018 season averaged a total attendance of over 8 million fans. Each game of the final series was a 25,000-fan sold out.
KBO struck a record broadcasting deal for the 2019 season. Telecommunication Portal Consortiums won the bidding with a five-year-110-billion South Korean Won offer, almost US $ 97 million. It’s the largest deal ever in Korean professional sports.
The 2019 season will also see KBO follow the international WBSC rules to speed up the games. In particular, about the cases when a batter can/can’t leave the box.
SK Wyverns are the defending KBO champions. They defeated 4-2 in the best of seven Korean Series the favourites Doosan Bears.