With one game being a notable exception, things went mostly to plan with last night’s KBO DFS slate. The outlier game was the one that saw the Eagles and Wiz essentially switch roles in a 7-3 Eagles victory. The Hanwha team is a laughable collection of hitters but every now and then even they will string together hits at the right time and put up a performance like this. The Wiz bats were a huge disappointment to a lot of KBO DFS players as the heavy chalk and probably the best spot of the night on paper.
The Twins managed to break through and possibly kick-start their season with a 9-run outburst against the Giants, while the Heroes and Bears both lived up to expectations with seven runs each. The slate saw some home runs from popular bats and there were several angles to get to the top of GPP standings. The pitching side of things fell mostly along expected lines, although any hope of value in the Wiz pitcher was out the window early.
KBO DFS Picks: DraftKings + FanDuel Hitters
Totals are up across the board tonight as we get into some of the later pitchers in these rotations. Where high-end starters are going we have mostly lopsided implied totals, so things are falling along somewhat obvious lines tonight. Looking at stacks and ownership it’s going to be important to consider your builds carefully and work in some differentiation. With a stratified selection of hitters like the KBO offers us on a daily basis and only five games on every slate, making unique lineups becomes a big challenge in large field tournaments, getting to the top bats from less popular lineups isn’t always enough, sometimes you have to get aggressive about it.
Speaking of getting aggressive, Chris Flexen’s price on FanDuel is an absurd $20. I’m sure Josh will hit it in Spotight Pitchers like he did with Raul Alcantara last night, but that’s a broken price and you shouldn’t be shy about taking advantage. Ownership in the 30% range so far doesn’t even look too bad. And now, back to hitters…
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 – 10.0 run total (3.88/6.40) – Suggested Stack(s): Wiz 3-4-5-6-8
The Eagles answered the week’s first contest by putting up a 7-run night of their own, beating the disappointing Wiz by four. The Wiz just never got the big hit in a game rife with opportunity. They’ll have another chance to put up a big spot for KBO DFS owners tonight with one of the highest implied totals on the slate though, and this looks like a great spot again.
The Eagles played an interesting game against an ultimately mediocre pitcher, but there’s nothing to get excited about in this lineup. They look mostly the same every day and that look can rarely ever be categorized as “good.” The Eagles bats that profile well in both my home run model and Awesemo’s projections remain Tae-kyun Kim ($7/$3,800), Eun-won Jung ($8/$4,200), and Jin-haeng Choi ($5/$3,500). William Cuevas, the Wiz starter, hasn’t been great but he should easily handle his business here. Yong-kyu Lee ($8/$3,800) leading off gets on base at a .372 clip so far this season but doesn’t do much else well, he could be a playable table-setter with the bats behind him.
The Wiz have a huge 6.4-run implied total but it’s just one of four that come in over six tonight, and it’s not the highest by nearly a full run. The Wiz look great overall and I was hoping that some of that other quality draws some of the attention of KBO DFS owners so we could hammer this spot again, but it doesn’t look meant to be as they’re over-popular on both sites again. They rank fourth on the stack tool on both sites, but the spread between first and fourth is a basically flat three or four percentage points on both sites tonight with the distribution of team totals and opportunity. The Wiz are a strong option, don’t let the 1-4 day that Mel Rojas Jr. ($17/$6,400) had dissuade you from going right back to paying up for him tonight, he might be the best bat in the KBO in 2020. The only thing to worry about with Rojas is his FanDuel popularity. Once things get to the 40% range on any hitter you can consider a fade or just getting under the field by half and buying up more of the slack in other parts of the lineup. Han-joon Yoo ($11/$3,400) is quality value play again on both sites, while Baek-ho Kang ($16/$5,900) provides some pricey power in an RBI spot in the lineup. Stacking those three with Jeong-dae Bae ($10/$3,500) and catcher Sung-woo Jang ($8/$3,600) is an approach I’ve mentioned here when the ownership looks favorable. Jang is only projecting for 11% on DraftKings, making him a quality play where you need a catcher.
Kia Tigers @ Samsung Lions – 10.5 run total (6.03/4.70) – Suggested Stack(s): Tigers 2-6
This was a wild one, with the Lions riding a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning despite another brilliant performance from Tigers ace Drew Gagnon. Gagnon struck out nine while allowing just two earned runs, delivering for the KBO DFS owners who looked in his direction. The Tigers bats tied it with one in the eighth then roared to win it with three in the ninth on a game-winning bomb by Hyung-woo Choi.
Taking on Yoon-dong Heo is doing nice things for the Tigers implied team total here and they look like a great pick once again. The team ranks in the middle of the stacks tool and, similarly to the Wiz, they’re significantly closer to first place than they are to last, putting them in play. The total is another of the spots over six runs. The Tigers will be popular but not terribly so. You can get to the top of this lineup for chalky builds and with some increased expectation even guys at the bottom come up to playable levels in Awesemo’s projections. Chan-ho Park ($9/$4,000) is still in the wrong spot for him in this lineup if he’s batting seventh, but he’s been producing a bit. The bat isn’t real and we’d rather have him in the nine spot or even atop the order, but as a differentiation point at the bottom of a stack he’s not an anchor tonight. Joo-wan Na ($5/$2,600) is a guy that comes up a lot in optimizers when this team is in play. He’s fine, but not someone I’ll ever go out of my way to get to. The 36-year-old has had some good years in the KBO, but he’s three seasons removed from relevance at this point and carrying a .250/.268/.425 slash through his first 126 plate appearances. He’s a guy I want to help make things different in spots, but he’s not someone that should be leading your Tigers exposures. If you’ve read this column at all you already know how I feel about the other Na ($9/$4,100), who is always in play and looks like a quality option in projections and in my home run model tonight.
The Lions were kept largely in check by Drew Gagnon, with the only two-run blemish coming on a homer from Won-seok Lee. The matchup for the Lions should be more favorable tonight with the wildly mediocre Hyun-jun Yang on the hill for the Tigers. With a low total for this slate I’m not sure that the matchup is translating to Vegas however and the stack ranking and projections are leaning toward a no on this option as well. Tyler Saladino ($13/$4,500) stood out for this team in my home run model and you can easily stick him together with Ja-wook Koo ($12/$4,400) and Won-seok Lee ($8/$3,600) in this lineup. Keep an eye on the batting order for a guy like Young-jin Choi ($7/$2,600) or Hae-min Park ($7/$2,700) to pop up as the Lions move pieces around. Whoever ends up in the five-spot in the lineup deserves attention when you get to Lions builds. Dong-yeop Kim hasn’t been in the lineup the last two nights, but if he’s starting and lands in a quality lineup spot, he’s in play.
LG Twins @ Lotte Giants – 10.5 run total (6.13/4.62) – Suggested Stack(s): Twins 2-6
The Twins finally came through with a good performance and will look to repeat that tonight. With most of the damage coming in a 6-run fifth inning, the Twins rolled to an easy 9-3 victory in a game that included a three-run home run by Hyun-soo Kim and a solid night from most of the important hitters in the lineup. Giants starter Adrian Sampson reverted to his ugly form from earlier in the season, giving up eight earned in just 4.1 innings.
The Twins look fantastic tonight and are another of the four teams carrying an implied total above 6-runs. I’m sure he’s a very nice guy and maybe a hell of a leader in the clubhouse or something but Won-sam Jang leaves a lot to be desired as a starting pitcher. This is a smash spot for the Twins, and they should deliver against a gas can like Jang. They rank second on both sites as a stack and are drawing only a little bit too much attention right now, though it’s not enough to scare us off. Eun-sung Chae ($13/$3,000) missed last night but should be back in the lineup. I’m surprised to see him drawing the attention he deserves at that price, given his cold bat of late, good for the public. I wouldn’t reduce his exposure based on any recent performance and if people change their minds and get less of him, I’ll gladly get over. Kang-nam Yoo ($10/$4,600) is an interesting case between sites. He’ll be popular on DraftKings given his position, even hitting late in the lineup, and he projects well. On FanDuel you could argue that he’s going under-owned and is someone you should target for the bottom of mid-lineup constructions here. Roberto Ramos ($17/$4,900) under $5,000 on DraftKings and not the most popular bat on this team is something you should always jump on.
The Giants get Chan-heon Jung tonight. Jung has pitched very well in seven starts this season, after spending the bulk of his career in the bullpen. The total well below five for the Giants has them pushed down the stack rankings and there’s not a ton to see here tonight. The lineup should fall in similarly to what we’ve seen from this team of late, putting Dixon Machado ($10/$4,100) in play to a degree. The power marks for Jun-woo Jeon ($12/$3,900) are always strong and his price carries some good value if you’re looking this way. These bats won’t be very popular, so there’s nothing really wrong with building around the heart of the lineup here. Attach some of our favorites like Dae-ho Lee ($10/$3,700) and hope for a few base hits and a long ball to make your night. I flat-out avoid Joon-tae Kim ($5/$2,400) as a catching option most nights, he simply doesn’t offer much but pure baseball variance with his bat as a career .226/.335/.291 hitter.
NC Dinos @ Kiwoom Heroes – 10.0 run total (5.76/4.47) – Suggested Stack(s):
The Dinos made another bizarre decision with their lineup, hitting Jin-sung Kang ninth last night. In his first full season Kang is having a killer year through 200 plate appearances and seems like an ideal candidate to slide into the two spot in the order while Sung-bum Na is out. Instead the Dinos went with Sung-wook Kim who is not a good hitter. They ultimate lost a 7-4 contest when the Heroes came to life with six late runs against the bullpen.
The Dinos have a quality implied team total tonight, but this lineup has been all over the place. There’s a ton of quality however, so watch what they do and respond accordingly. We’re always looking for those correlated bats near the top of the order as an incredibly broad generalization, so if someone lands there who looks like an oddball, there could be value in jamming him in, but you don’t want to go haywire because the KBO has been freely playing terrible hitters in what American baseball considers important spots in the lineup. The Dinos will hopefully approach what we have projected tonight. If Jin-sung Kang ($15/$3,900) hits ninth again feel free to fire him up as a wrap-around option. Min-woo Park ($12/$5,100) plays an important position for KBO DFS and carries a solid projection. He was raking before his injury and was rounding back into form before an 0-9 stretch the last two days. Hee-dong Kwon ($9/$2,800) has done well with the opportunity he’s been given, but there are several better options to hit third in this lineup as well. If he’s there you can feel free to play him in Dinos stacks, if he drops to something like eighth in this order, I like him significantly less. Jin-hyuk No ($9/$3,900) is a quality option at either middle-infield spot on DraftKings daily, fire him up. The Dinos rank third on both sites and are the least popular of the top four teams.
With Drew Rucinski on the hill we get a bit of a role reversal from last night’s matchup that saw the Dinos total suppressed by Heroes starter Eric Jokisch, it’s a shame those two didn’t align for a pitching duel. Vegas likes Rucinski to succeed here and the Heroes fall to nearly the bottom of the stack tool. Byung-ho Park ($14/$4,700) will be 12% owned on FanDuel and that’s the only spot where a Heroes hitter is projecting for more than 10% ownership. If you wanted to get to some of the quality on this team when they’re unpopular this might be your night. Keon-chang Seo ($11/$4,600), Ha-seong Kim ($16/$6,100), and Jung-hoon Lee ($14/$5,000) are all in play, and the Heroes reunited the Parks in their lineup last night, with Dong-won ($9/$5,400) sliding back into the fifth spot in the lineup. If you wanted to use that as a straight-line build it’s very playable and fills out positions in an interesting way for further construction on DraftKings. Hye-Sung Kim ($9/$3,800) is Awesemo’s highest projected hitter from later in this lineup if you need another middle-infield option.
SK Wyverns @ Doosan Bears – 10.5 run total (3.63/7.21) – Suggested Stack(s): Bears 1-2-3-4-6
The Bears mostly came through last night, although not in a major way for KBO DFS scores, despite the 7-2 victory over the second worst team in the KBO. The Wyverns were basically dead in the water, helping Raul Alcantara pay off his absurd $20 price on FanDuel.
The matchup for the Wyverns tonight is even worse, with Chris Flexen on the hill. Flexen is also mis-priced on the blue site and I’m not entirely sure what they’re up to over there. Maybe the intern in charge of pricing went on vacation. The Wyverns rested Jamie Romak the last two nights for what initially seemed like performance related issues but have now been revealed to be lingering elbow pains. We have him at about 70-30 to sit again tonight, but be sure to check back, he’s an important bat when he’s in this lineup if you like to roll the three-legged dragon dice. The rest of the order is diminished but Jeong Choi ($14/$5,500) is a threat to go deep most nights. Tae-in Chae ($5/$2,100) doesn’t look good in projections here, but it’s all relative and his spot in the cleanup role is what you want if you play this stack. I’m not sure there’s value in going beyond Dong-min Han ($9/$4,300) here, however. The Wyverns rank last on the stack tool for a reason tonight.
And the Bears rank first because their implied team total is one of the highest that we’ve had all season at 7.21 runs. That’s a massive game from Vegas and there’s a lot to love about the Bears lineup. We like getting to these guys most nights, but the projections are pumped way up and the ownership isn’t chasing them to an extreme given their heavy price tags. If you can find ways to make it work this is a team to dedicate a significant share of your builds to tonight, although getting above the public on the key bats is expensive. The 10% ownership on Jose Miguel Fernandez ($17/$6,200) is just silly on a night like this. He should easily be twice that, I don’t care what the price is. The rest of the bats at the top will be more popular but there’s a ton of quality. Leadoff man Kun-woo Park ($14/$4,800) is riding a nine-game hitting streak, has homer in three of his last 10 games, and is at .319/.393/.484 on the year. The career .330/.393/.505 hitter deserves the big 30% ownership share he’s getting on FanDuel, he’s a bit more playable on DraftKings at just 21%. Jae-il Oh ($15/$4,500) and Jae-hwan Kim ($17/$5,800) are both under-exposed here as well. There are quality bats throughout this lineup, but most of the public ownership is bouncing between the toppings, rather than focusing on the meat. If you can make a stack with the top of this lineup work on either site that’s your best approach. Just be careful not to sacrifice too much in salary that you can’t afford quality with your second team or pitching. There’s a difference between a smart play that requires a follow-up sharp salary play and just punting the rest of the lineup. Catcher Se-hyuk Park ($7/$4,000) is too unpopular on DraftKings where we need catchers. Plugging in the guy from the best stack of the night at under 10% ownership always makes sense to me, when it’s a reasonably well projected KBO-hitter of a catcher, so much the better.
Favorite KBO DFS Stack: Doosan Bears
HR Call: Tyler Saladino (Samsung Lions)
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