Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Drew Rucinski, NC Dinos, $29 FD/$9,400 DK – Rucinski represents our top ranked pitcher in this slate. While Rucinski’s run prevention has remained largely the same (3.05 ERA/3.92 FIP in 2019; 2.30 ERA/3.84 FIP – a bit luckier this season but he should regress), the biggest gain is also his biggest question mark and that’s his K rate. Thus far this season, Rucinski has generated a 22.7% K rate while last season he posted a 16.3% K rate. That’s a very significant increase in K rate and as a result we remain somewhat skeptical. Still, even if he’s able to hold on to a K rate north of 20%, that’ll be significant for his Fantasy value moving forward. Rucinski and the Dinos are -178 favorites today against the LG Twins, an offense that’s going to feature 5-6 left-handers. Rucinski did have big splits at the MLB level (.372 wOBA against LHBs, .330 wOBA against RHBs) and that’s not great news given the matchup, but we’re hoping that his growth in K rate is real and can nullify any potential issues on the run prevention side. His price tags are full around the industry but he’s still deserving of consideration across all formats.
Chris Flexen, Doosan Bears, $25 FD/8,400 DK – Flexen should be viewed as one of the best values at the position today. Flexen’s ERA (4.18) has been shakier than Rucinski’s but it does look like he’s gotten a bit unlucky (3.53 FIP) and his K rate (21.2%) has been strong when compared to his peers at this level. DFSers might be tempted to look away from Flexen given his latest outing against the Hanwha Eagles in which he allowed six earned runs. While that’s certainly not great especially when you consider the opponent, Flexen’s K rate and price tag are too good to simply pass up just because of one bad outing.
The third best play at pitcher in this slate will come from the next bucket of pitchers. Chan Gyu Lim (LG) is very clearly one of the more talented pitchers in action, generating 54 Ks in 54 IP this season, but the matchup against the NC DInos takes him away from serious consideration. He deserves a look in MME given the K upside but the matchup makes this a very risky proposition.
William Cuevas (KTW) is having a brutal year on the run prevention side (5.02 ERA) but his K rate (17%) has remained consistent from year-to-year. It’s a decent enough K rate when you consider that Cuevas is also a slate high -194 favorite in a matchup against the middling Samsung Lions. All things considered, Cuevas’ price tag on DK ($7,500) is particularly attractive.
Min Woo Kim (HAN) plays for the league’s worst team but he’s a slight favorite (-136) in a matchup against the league’s second worst team (SK Wyverns – averaging 3.6 runs per game). Kim has posted an impressive 54 Ks in 50 IP this season. That sort of K rate isn’t consistent with the larger sample we have for Kim, but the matchup, recent performance and price tags are all attractive. As a result, Kim makes a serious push for being a top 3 pitcher in this slate.
The Bears are facing a mediocre pitcher in Jun Won Seo. The latter doesn’t miss bats (12.9% K rate) and has had issues with the long ball (1.13 HR/9 allowed over the last 151.7 IP). Seo is also a RHP, which is exactly what you’d want for this Bears’ lineup as Jose Fernandez (DOO), Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) and Jae Il Oh (DOO) are very clearly the best hitters on this team but they’re also LHBs. The Bears have the highest implied team total in this slate, set at 6 runs.
The KT Wiz have hit the second most home runs (66) in the league and they’ve also stolen the third most bases (40). This is a very eventful offense that is led by Mel Rojas Jr (KTW), a switch hitting machine that has generated 19 home runs and a massive 1.131 OPS in 244 PAs this season. Baek Ho Kang (KTW) is the second best hitter on this team but he’s a LHB and he’s expensive, which could result in a meaningful ownership discount. Jae Gyun Hwang (KTW) is overpriced relative to his level of production but the level of hitting talent at 3B in this league is significantly worse than what you’re accustomed to seeing at the MLB. Hwang is the second best RHB in this offense and deserves to be used in KT Wiz stacks despite the huge DK price tag. Jeong Dae Bae (KTW) remains a strong value in this matchup, specifically if he returns to the leadoff spot.
The Dinos have an interesting matchup against Chan Gyu Lim in that he’s been missing plenty of bats this season (54 Ks in 54 IP) but the long term form is more questionable (19% K rate) and he struggles with home runs (1.21 HR/9 allowed in 289.7 IP). The typical names are who you want to stack against Lim – Aaron Altherr (NCD), Sung Bum Na (NCD), Eui Ji Yang (NCD) and Jin Sung Kang (NCD). Hee Dong Kwon (NCD) has been hitting second of late and he’s quietly enjoyed a great season (9 home runs, .993 OPS) that doesn’t get talked about because this lineup runs so deep. Kwon is also cheap on both sites ($9 on FD, $3,000 on DK) and deserves to be considered a primary play as well.
Honorable mention: Hanwha Eagles (the Eagles are cheap and they’re going to be very low owned; they’re beyond awful offensively but their matchup today is as good as it gets and Vegas has responded with a 5.5 implied team total, which makes them somewhat interesting in MME only)
UPDATE: Weather could play a factor in this slate as it looks like every game but one (KIW vs. KIA) has at least a 10-20% chance of rain.