Break out the celebration, KBO DFS fans got all five games last night. The slate stayed mostly dry and everything played through, despite some lingering clouds from the ugly weekend. The slate we got was a pretty wild one as well, with the Wyverns exploding for 12 runs, and some odd decisions by the Dinos throwing things off.
The Wyverns managed their big performance without slugger Jamie Romak, who got the night off, while Dong-min Han was productive in his return to this lineup. The Dinos inexplicable decision to rest Eui-ji Yang last night left a big hole in the middle of their lineup. Taking out Sung-bum Na and Yang, the two best hitters on the team, was too much for the Dinos to overcome, and they dropped a 5-1 decision to the rival Heroes. With two other games resulting in 5-0 shutouts, and the Eagles only scraping together 2-runs, points were at something of a premium, and pitching ruled the day.
Dan Straily was chalky and dominant as expected last night, putting up another monster fantasy score. David Buchanan and Odrisamer Despaigne both pitched well also, making most of the popular import starters very playable, while Geon-wook Lee held down the powerful Bears lineup for enough time to be relevant at his very low price.
KBO DFS Picks: DraftKings + FanDuel Hitters
The weather looks mostly clear tonight, so we should see another full slate. The run totals are mostly up tonight, with some bumpy pitching matchups, so there shouldn’t be such a dearth of runs and fantasy points for KBO DFS players to pick from tonight. It looks like there are a few good angles into stacks as well, so things could get interesting. Hopefully the lineups cooperate with us before lock, which reminds me, it’s always critical to check lineups prior to lock not just for who’s in and who’s out, but also for what it means to a lineup.
Writing this column 10 to 12 hours before limits some of our lineup information to best guesses, so when you see a lineup decision like Eui-ji Yang sitting out for the Dinos, you know you have to knock them down some from where we projected them with him in. This is less important for changes to slap-hitting eight hitters than it is with a critical cog like Yang, of course. When a major change happens to a top stack it’s important to consider how that would impact the rankings and what it should do to your exposures to those teams. It’s important to remember, everything we provide here from the stack tool to the projections to this column should be considered as an item in your toolbox; it’s up to you to think through variables and put things together.
The bulk of this analysis comes directly from reviewing Awesemo’s KBO DFS projections and the top stacks tool. Check out the rest of our KBO content, Awesemo’s projections, rankings, and ownership on the site for all your KBO DFS needs.
As usual, I’m going to look game by game, calling out a hitter or two from each team, and giving some top stacking options as we go. Pricing and popularity will be considered, more so as KBO DFS trends begin to emerge over the coming weeks. The numbers included with Suggested Stack are the projected lineup positions I would target for stacking that team, but do not restrict yourself exclusively to those spots. For example, if it says Wyverns 3-6 it means 3,4,5,6 in the projected lineup. If it says 1-2-3-5 it means those guys. If it means a two-man it will say so.
With lock still hours away (5:30 A.M. EST), official lineups have not been released, so be sure to double-check status before you plug players into your lineup.
Hanwha Eagles @ KT Wiz – 10.5 run total (4.36/6/41) – Suggested Stack(s): Wiz 2-5
While a 7-2 game maybe falls a bit short of the “bloodbath” I predicted here yesterday, the Eagles were never in the contest, and the Wiz rolled to an easy victory. A portion of the Wiz’ production came on a three-run home run by catcher Sung-woo Jang, while second baseman Kyung-soo Park came through with a solo shot of his own. Odrisamer Despaigne went seven strong innings, but only struck out four hitters which lowered his score slightly.
Tonight’s game is probably going to be similar, although it might be scrappier on the Eagles side until they submit. The pitching matchup is a battle of Min-soo Kim against Bum-soo Kim, pitchers who share similar career numbers. The Eagles face Min-soo here, he’s a converted reliever who has been OK since moving into the starting rotation but hasn’t been able to get out of the sixth inning. Kim puts too many men on base to sustain success, his bullpen numbers were ugly, and his career stats don’t suggest much quality for the 27-year-old. The Eagles generally bad bats are slightly in play tonight. The top of the order isn’t great but that’s where you want to be for this team that ranks in the middle of the stack tool. Yong-kyu Lee ($8/$3,800), Eun-won Jung ($8/$4,200), and Tae-kyun Kim ($7/$3,800) make a reasonable three-man directly at the top, and you can continue in a straight line with Jin-haeng Choi ($5/$3,500) and Ju-suk Ha ($9/$4,400) who were the top two in my home run model for this team.
With a higher game total and a significantly higher implied team total, the Wiz look rock solid here. They rank as the top stack on both sites. The team ownership on DraftKings looks appropriate, but they are overly popular on FanDuel. I would still want them over there, however, so it will be important to get creative when putting those stacks together. The top four hitters in this lineup are all over 25% owned, with Jae-gyun Hwang ($11/$6,000) and Han-joon Yoo ($11/$3,400) both over 30%. They’re all very good plays on paper, but with everyone on them its difficult to be sure your lineup is unique. Leadoff hitter Yong-ho Jo ($8/$3,000) is less popular at the top of this lineup and our sneaky catcher play Sung-woo Jang ($8/$3,600) is low-owned again and improves as a play the further up he hits in the batting order. “Mandatory” Mel Rojas Jr. ($17/$6,400) is now leading the KBO in the Triple Crown categories, let someone else skip over him in their Wiz stacks tonight.
Kia Tigers @ Samsung Lions – 9.0 run total (4.74/4.45) – Suggested Stack(s): Tigers 2-6
The Tigers were declawed by David Buchanan and the Samsung bullpen last night in a combined eight-hit shutout. Buchanan was strong over seven innings, giving up seven hits and striking out four without allowing a run. The Lions bats came through with enough support in a 5-0 victory that was mostly irrelevant on the offensive side for KBO DFS.
The Tigers get a better matchup in Jung-hyun Baek tonight, but their total remains under 5-runs. They rank in the top half of stacks, however, so they are in play for us again tonight. The Tigers bats up top are always the ones we want, the bottom of this lineup struggles. A straightforward three-man of Preston Tucker ($16/$6,300), Hyung-woo Choi ($13/$5,200), and Ji-wan Na ($9/$4,100) could be a workable approach to this team, the ownership on Tucker and Choi is low enough that you won’t have to worry unless you use it with the most popular of full stacks from another team. The projection on Min-sang Yoo ($7/$3,400) has come down a bit but he’s still in play here with no one really on him. I don’t know how much further down the lineup I want to go with this squad tonight though. Joo-hwan Na ($5/$2,600) is inexpensive and plays a position that makes him a reasonable fifth man in the stack with his spot in the lineup.
The Lions are underdogs tonight with Drew Gagnon on the mound. Gagnon has been sharp, he sits sixth in the KBO with a 22.9% strikeout rate and a 2.97 FIP. It’s tough to justify getting to the Lions to any significant degree here. They got Ja-wook Koo ($12/$4,400) back in the lineup last night, which is a boost but this is a tough spot. Using Koo with Tyler Saladino ($13/$4,500) and Hae-min Park ($7/$2,700) or Won-seok Lee ($8/$3,600) gives you a quality core within this lineup if you get to it. I think I would look lower, toward Dong-yeop Kim ($8/$3,000) for an additional bat here.
LG Twins @ Lotte Giants – 9.0 run total (4.54/4.65) – Suggested Stack(s): Twins 2-6
The struggling Twins got smoked by Dan Straily in a gorgeous performance over eight innings last night. KBO DFS owners were riding Straily’s arm in droves and he didn’t disappoint, posting eight innings of two-hit shutout ball, while striking out five. The Giants took the game 5-0 without much difficulty, stringing together a series of base hits to score their runs, and not giving a ton of points to KBO DFS owners as a stack.
The Twins need to get the engine going again and will look to do so as the slight underdogs in a game with a relatively low run total. The matchup against Adrian Sampson could be better, Sampson has mostly pulled himself together over his last few starts after a disastrous beginning to his KBO career. The Twins have just been struggling to get things going, Roberto Ramos ($17/$4,900) remains expensive on FanDuel but his price is back below $5,000 on DraftKings, which has some appeal. He’s only projected for 15% ownership tonight and everyone around him is lower, so stacks will be easy to build. This is a speculation play; the Twins rank in the middle of stacks and their nine percent ownership is right on target so far. If you go this route, we always want to get to Eun-sung Chae ($13/$3,000) in this lineup, his pricing remains very favorable as he’s been cold since his return. The bats above Ramos fill out the stack for me, although you can justify getting down to Kang-nam Yoo ($10/$4,600) a bit more tonight if you want to get different at your DraftKings catcher spot.
Tyler Wilson doesn’t blow anyone away, but he’s been solid through his 11 starts and deserves better than his 3-5 record. The Twins starter is actually something like a typical KBO starter rather than a foreign player, posting a middling strikeout rate and allowing a few too many baserunners. The Giants bats rank in the bottom half of stacks, however, and their total is below 5-runs here, making them more of a secondary option at best. Awesemo’s projections and my home run model liked the looks of Dae-ho Lee ($10/$3,700) and Jun-woo Jeon ($12/$3,900) and you should never skip over Ah-seop Son ($13/$3,800) in this stack. The same ninth-hitter wraparound play with Byung-hun Min ($9/$2,800) that we looked at last night is on the board again here, though with the ownership mostly under 10% I’m not sure we need that angle into the top of the lineup stack. Dixon Machado ($10/$4,100) is a better option when he hits higher in the lineup, so watch the batting order here, his position flexibility on DraftKings at both middle infield spots makes him a good pivot in a portion of your Giants stacks.
NC Dinos @ Kiwoom Heroes – 9.5 run total (4.02/5.71) – Suggested Stack(s): Heroes 1-2-3-4-6
The Dinos made a strange decision to rest Eui-ji Yang last night which, combined with Sung-bum Na’s departure to the injured list, cratered their lineup in a 5-1 loss. The Heroes had a very productive game getting home runs in the middle of the lineup and an unexpectedly good start from Jake Brigham.
This might be the worst the Dinos have looked in projections and in Vegas all season. The matchup against Eric Jokisch is a bad one and this lineup will be without Na once again. Eui-ji Yang ($15/$5,600) should be back tonight unless something is lingering with his hamstring issue, while Aaron Altherr ($15/$5,300) will remain in the heart of the order for the time being, with their manager confirming the strategy with South Korean media. The rest of the Dinos lineup doesn’t project well and they rank near the bottom of the stack tool tonight. There’s no appeal in the play despite the low team ownership. If you want to get to them just add Min-woo Park ($12/$5,100) or Hee-dong Kwon ($9/$2,800) to Altherr and Yang and hope to catch all the production if they connect. With Joksich posting a strong 2.97 FIP runs could be at a premium here, it’s not a spot I want to get to, and the entire bottom of the lineup looks bad in projections.
The Heroes, on the other hand, look fantastic here against lefty Sung-young Choi. Choi has made just two quality starts in five tries and doesn’t strike out enough hitters to worry about despite the free-swinging Heroes lineup. The Heroes big bats connected last night with Ha-seong Kim ($16/$6,100) and Byung-ho Park ($14/$4,700) homering. Both look great again tonight and anchor most of your Heroes lineups. Keon-chang Seo ($11/$4,600) is an important piece of the Heroes puzzle up top and Jung-hoo Lee ($14/$5,000) is riding a .357/.424/.613 slash with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs so far this season. That straight line stack is going to be popular on both sites, the positioning slots in very well on DraftKings, but they aren’t unplayable that way with both Seo and Lee under 10% projected ownership. I don’t love Ji-young Lee ($6/$2,600) where we have him projected to hit, despite the recent hot streak, and it makes things clunky with his popularity and positioning, you can’t play him and Dong-won Park ($9/$5,400) – who I like better – in the same lineup on that site.
SK Wyverns @ Doosan Bears – 9.0 run total (3.51/5.73) – Suggested Stack(s): Bears 1-2-3-4-6
The Wyverns blew up for 12 runs last night and they did it without Jamie Romak in the lineup. Slugger Jeong Choi pounded a home run and scored three times and the entire top half of this lineup was essentially mandatory for GPP contention. The Bears were a popular stack last night and among the top teams in the stack tool. They delivered a 7-run performance but didn’t hit the scoreboard with as many relevant fantasy points as KBO DFS owners needed.
The Wyverns should get Jamie Romak ($13/$4,300) back tonight and the return of Dong-min Han ($9/$4,300) last night makes this lineup more dangerous, but their run total is suppressed below the 4-run mark in the matchup against Raul Alcantara. The import starter ranks 11th in the KBO with a 21.9% strikeout rate and his 3.62 FIP is above average for this league. The Bears bats have helped him stitch together an 8-1 record in his 12 starts and he’s in play for the win again tonight. The Wyverns you want in your lineup include Romak and Han, along with Jeong Choi ($14/$5,500) once again. That three-man is most of what I want in this lineup, if you’d like to stretch it and go to a very low-owned unlikely to succeed full stack you can just plug Tae-in Chae ($5/$2,100) in there between the hitters we have, and then pick your poison from the rest of the lineup. None of the other options are great but there’s better correlation and more plate appearances up top.
The Bears stack ranks second on DraftKings and third on FanDuel tonight and their popularity is slightly below their chances of success. These guys are great to get to when the ownership slips, so keep an eye out for any updates that show their popularity trending downward, in that event I would increase exposures and try to get above the public. With Jae-il Oh ($15/$4,500) occupying the third spot in this lineup and playing first base as a key element in this stack, putting the whole top of this order together on DraftKings becomes a challenge quickly. The positional requirements are redundant, and the players are expensive, but when you can make a lineup work it carries a strong projection. Leadoff man Kun-woo Park ($14/$4,800) helps alleviate both of those problems as a less expensive outfield option for a team loaded with first base and second base options atop the lineup. Kyoung-min Hur ($10/$4,300) serves the same purpose, particularly if he’s hitting sixth as we have him projected. Whatever you’re doing, you want to have Jose Miguel Fernandez ($17/$6,200) as a part of it, cost is basically irrelevant.
Favorite KBO DFS Stack: KT Wiz
HR Call: Mel Rojas Jr. (KT Wiz)
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