Quick get well soon to our pals over at MyKBO who are having some technical troubles today, we would have all been completely lost for KBO DFS stats at the outset of all of this without their tremendous site. With the scoreboard, box scores and inning recaps unavailable we’re going to gloss over a bit of the intro and weekend recap for today.
(update: they came back to life during the course of writing this column!)
I did pull together our usual Monday league leaders board from the helpful pages that Fangraphs has added for the KBO, which I find to be the easiest way to track down a player with a naming difference from site to site.
KBO doesn’t play on Mondays, which makes this a prime opportunity to run down some of our early individual league leaders (note: 165 PA cutoff):
Hits/AB – Avg: Mel Rojas Jr. (80/214 .374), Jose Miguel Fernandez (80/216 .370), Jin-sung Kang (58/159 .365), Jung-hoo Lee (76/209 .364), Ah-seop Son (70/196 .357)
On-Base %: Jose Miguel Fernandez (.433), Sang-soo Kim (.429), Mel Rojas Jr. (.426), Ah-seop Son, Hui-dong Kwon (.425), Jung-hoo Lee (.424)
Slugging %: Mel Rojas Jr. (.720), Baek-ho Kang (.632), Jin-sung Kang (.623), Aaron Altherr (.615), Sung-bum Na (.614)
HR: Mel Rojas Jr. (19), Sung-bum Na (15), Aaron Altherr, Byung-ho Park, Roberto Ramos (14), Preston Tucker, Baek-ho Kang, Jae-hwan Kim, Jeong Choi (11)
RBI: Jae-hwan Kim (49), Aaron Altherr, Mel Rojas Jr. (48), Sung-bum Na (47), Preston Tucker, Hyun-soo Kim (41)
SB: Woo-jun Sim, Jeon-chang Seo (12), Aaron Altherr (10), Ji-hwan Oh, Ha-seong Kim, Yong-kyu Lee (9)
KBO DFS Picks: DraftKings + FanDuel Hitters
The weather tonight looks mostly non-threatening so we should be fine heading up to lock in a dozen hours or so. There are a few high-quality pitching options to choose from when making your KBO DFS picks and we have several juicy looking totals on the slate so there should be bats available up and down the price spectrum tonight.
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. I’m also going to start trying to include positions more, hopefully it helps speed up the process of finding guys as you build lineups.
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.
KT Wiz @ Kia Tigers – 9.5 run total (4.43/5.29) – Suggested Stack(s): Tigers 1–5
This battle between two of the league’s mid-ranked teams comes in with one of the lowest totals on the slate and the Tigers favored but not by enough to make the line truly attention getting. The matchup between two starters who have been pitching well this season has oddsmakers thinking there won’t be much scoring, but the implied total for the Tigers and a look into the KT pitching has me thinking there will be opportunity for Tigers bats.
(Total sidebar, we really need a ban on ads that activate Alexa, Siri, Google, etc smart home devices. It’s obnoxious and deliberate and happening more frequently, like just now, I’m talking to you, Sirius radio.)
The Wiz rank near the bottom of stacks tonight with a tough matchup against Ki-young Im. The pricing on these bats typically keeps their popularity down and tonight looks to be more of the same. They present an ownership opportunity on DraftKings, but less so on FanDuel, and the probability of being the top stack is essentially the same as it is for the fifth ranked team. These guys are in play for me to some extent. The new batting order we touched on the other day seems to be locked in so we can look from one through seven here with some confidence. Yong-ho Joe ($8/$2,700) has been relatively solid out of the leadoff spot for this team and the hitters immediately behind him in the lineup are more than capable of driving him in. If you’re not stacking a straight line through Jae-gyun Hwang ($11/$5,000) and Mel Rojas Jr. ($17/$6,300) you can move into interesting catcher Sung-woo Jang ($8/$3,200) and outfielder Jeong-de Bae ($10/$3,100) later in the order, but the quality is with the sluggers up top.
Je-seong Bae has made something of himself over his 21 starts in 2019 and 10 starts so far in 2020 after working his way up to the big club following a late 9th round draft selection in 2015. The hurler has only struck out 13.2% of hitters this season while walking over 10%, resulting in a lopsided 5.14 FIP to 3.66 earned run average. This suggests there is opportunity for the Tigers bats. The team’s total is under 5.5 runs but this is a spot that could easily see the Tigers explode, and at worst does not seem like a spot they will be dramatically held in check. If they can get into the atrocious KT bullpen early so much the better. The Tigers lost their usual leadoff hitter and we’re taking a stab that Chan-ho Park ($9/$3,600) and his wheels might get a shot at the top of the lineup tonight. Park’s issue is getting on base, the guy can fly when he does and is always a threat to swipe a bag. If he doesn’t move up in the lineup, he’ll likely stay in his usual nine spot so the play is close to the same in the stack, just minus a plate appearance opportunity. Preston Tucker ($17/$5,800) is still pricey on both sites but he isn’t prohibitively popular. I would stay mostly inside the top six with this one, a three-man could be in order anywhere in that. If you were inclined to go an additional spot in the order for second baseman Joo-hwan Na ($5/$2,500) he is a cheap and low-owned way to fill out positional requirements on DraftKings that I can’t argue with for that purpose.
LG Twins @ Doosan Bears – 11.0 run total (6.33/4.93) – Suggested Stack(s): Bears 2-3-4
Another week another showdown between top teams jockeying for position on the high-end of the KBO standings. KBO DFS owners know both of these teams well at this point and the healthy game total reflects the numerous available options.
The Twins have the night’s highest implied team total at 6.33, nearly a full three runs higher than the Wyverns at the bottom of the pool. The Twins offense is generally popular when they get a big total like this and today is no exception. On DraftKings they actually look to be pulling too much popularity so far, making them a tough team to use for reliably unique lineups for GPP play, make sure to differentiate some spots in your stack or use them along with an offbeat second team or pitching combination to make it work. Leadoff hitter Chun-woong Lee ($8/$3,000) has been getting on base at a .357 clip so far this season which is down from his career mark. He finished up last week on a bit of a run in this department and continues to look good as a cheap tablesetter for the rest of this offense. Roberto Ramos ($17/$5,000) is in his customary spot as the most popular player on this team on both sites, but other options like Eun-sung Chae ($13/$3,000) and Kang-nam Yoo ($10/$4,400) look very playable as part of a stack on FanDuel. On DraftKings you need to mine some of the dregs with players like Ju-hyeon Jung ($9/$2,200) as a tough differentiator to swallow.
The Bears get a tougher matchup with Woo-chan Cha taking the mound for their opponents tonight. The implied total below five is a rarity for the Bears, this team is capable of getting to even a quality starter like Cha, and they rank third on FanDuel and fourth on DraftKings in the stack tool. With reduced popularity from the matchup and total this could be a slightly sneaky spot. With Jose Miguel Fernandez ($17/$5,900) among league leaders in most major categories he’s always in play when you can get him at such low exposures. The power bats that connect to him directly in Jae-il Oh ($15/$4,200) and Jae-hwan Kim ($17/$5,500) are also under-owned, making for an expensive but killer three-man and a nice core to your Bears builds on both sites.
Lotte Giants @ Hanwha Eagles – 10.5 run total (6.04/4.70) – Suggested Stack(s): Giants 1-5
Two of the league’s three worst teams are playing in this one, though there is a gulf of talent between the tenth ranked Eagles and eighth place Giants. The Eagles are a minor league team masquerading as a big-league club but the Giants have numerous high quality options in their lineup on any given night, as KBO DFS owners are well aware.
The Giants will be facing Eagles starter Shi-hwan Jang who has been electric his last two times out. This is still a guy who I don’t trust, but I’ll certainly have him in a few lineups tonight. I expect to be pounding the Giants stack on the other side a lot harder. The run total in excess of six tells us everything we need to know about the spot for Giants bats tonight. KBO DFS owners seem to have noticed, but this is a spot I want to get to even with popularity. Just make sure to include some of the less popular bats like Hoon Jung ($9/$3,700), Dae-ho Lee ($10/$3,900), and Dixon Machado ($10/$4,600) in your lineup along with the other guys up top. Don’t forget Chi-hong An ($9/$3,300) if he’s hitting later in the lineup and target him if he’s hitting higher than the seventh spot in which we currently have him projected.
The Eagles manage to climb out of the cellar on the stack tool for a day, although that’s only because the also terrible Wyverns are facing the league’s best pitcher. This is never a team I want to get to in anything more than a few lineups, tonight is no exception with a total well under five. The bats to look at if you’re going this way include Tae-kyun Kim ($7/$3,500) who has an admittedly appealing mark in my home run model tonight and projects as the best hitter in this lineup. You can air either of the first two hitters with Kim and three-hitter Jin-haeng Choi ($5/$3,300) easily enough here. I don’t think I like stretching it out with all four of them plus catcher Jae-hoon Choi ($7/$3,100) on DraftKings, his quality and the spot don’t justify the 15% ownership we’re currently projecting for him. Stick with three-man builds here.
NC Dinos @ SK Wyverns – 9.0 run total (5.53/3.70) – Suggested Stack(s): Dinos 3-7
One quick look through the league leaders at the opening of the column should be informative about the Dinos’ quality. The Wyverns, on the other hand, are one of the league’s worst teams. With Chang-mo Koo, the KBO’s best starter, foreign or domestic, on the mound, oddsmakers are giving the Wyverns a very limited chance in this one.
The Dinos bats are drawing a decent implied team total despite the low game total here. They have the night’s third highest implied team total in a game that has the night’s lowest combined total. That makes this a potentially sneaky spot that I absolutely am going to get a ton of. Awesemo’s projections and the stack tool agree, ranking the Dinos as the number one stack but showing them going well under-owned on both sites. Don’t fall into that trap, get these guys in your lineups. The matchup against serviceable but ultimately mediocre KBO veteran Seung-won Moon doesn’t inspire much fear here. The three big bats in the middle of the lineup now make their own fantastic stack Sung-bum Na ($18/$6,100), Eui-Ji Yang ($13/$6,400) and Aaron Altherr ($16/$5,600) have been the driving force behind the Dinos production this season and they aren’t as popular as they should be when taken as a whole. Stretching out to a full stack with Myung-gi Lee ($9/$3,300) up top or Suk-min Park ($10/$4,900) and Jin-sung Kang ($15/$4,700) later in this lineup gives you plenty of options to mix and match. I’m going to have combinations of everyone in this lineup on DraftKings tonight.
The Wyverns are going to get dusted like Chang-mo Koo is Thanos snapping his fingers in the Marvel Universe. This team just doesn’t have the quality in their lineup to project for anything but defeat against a starter of his abilities. However, baseball. With that in mind, if you want to play the variance your bats are Jamie Romak ($15/$5,100) and Jeong Choi ($13/$4,500) with whichever other Wyverns bat you think might make contact tonight. I’m skeptical. If forced, my choice there would be Tae-in Chae ($5/$2,200) simply based on price and correlation, although he occupies a position, first base, at which I would much rather have anyone else in the league.
Samsung Lions @ Kiwoom Heroes – 10.0 run total (4.96/5.26) – Suggested Stack(s): Lions 1-2-3-4-6
The Lions have earned the begrudging respect of KBO DFS owners and some of their opponents, although maybe it’s just me that was slow to come around on them. This team has been scrappy and playing well in recent weeks, but they get a test here against the second place Heroes.
The Lions have surprised recently, and Vegas has this game showing not much separation between them and the favored Heroes in the implied run department. The Lions land in the middle of the stacks tool on both sites. Without overwhelming popularity and with very favorable pricing they are firmly in play here. The Heroes starter has been pitching out of the bullpen so far this season. He went 3.1 innings and threw 50 pitches in relief his last time out and is on standard starter rest so I would expect a ceiling of five innings here before he yields to the bullpen, making the Lions even more appealing. Ja-wook Koo ($10/$4,600) was this team’s standout in my home run model today and he looks good in Awesemo’s projections once again. The team’s leadoff hitter Sang-su Kim ($8/$4,800) and Hae-min Park ($7/$2,800) offer a quality entry point to the stack and Dong-yeop Kim ($8/$3,100) continues to loom with threatening power in an RBI spot later in the batting order. Even Min-ho Kang ($7/$3,600) could be in play, although he’s another catcher on DraftKings that might be more popular than his quality. I can see pivoting that spot to a lower-owned higher-end catcher in your other stack in a move that helps upgrade your projection while making your lineup more unique.
The Heroes side offers a few bats for us to like as well. The 5.26 implied team total is around the middle of the slate’s offering on the night, but as we’ve seen this is a team with plenty of power and the ability to break out. The real issue for them will be the matchup against starter David Buchanan whose only recent blip came against the lowly Eagles. The first four hitters in the Heroes lineup offer a ton of quality as a straight-line stack, Keon-chang Seo ($10/$4,600) is probably the best leadoff hitter in the KBO and is followed by several mashers in the order. After that group I still like catcher Dong-won Park ($9/$5,500) when he’s not too popular and tonight is looking like one of those nights with Park pulling just 5% ownership even on DraftKings where we need catchers. I would avoid the bottom of this lineup, Joon-tae Park doesn’t offer much in terms of projection and might create a bump in an otherwise quality build.
Favorite KBO DFS Stack: NC Dinos
HR Call: Eui-ji Yang (Dinos)
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