Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Ranking starting pitchers in this slate doesn’t make sense. Instead, what you’ll find most useful is a list of pitchers that are playable today. You’ll understand this more as we talk about the position shortly.
Dan Straily (LOT) would easily be the top ranked starting pitcher in this slate given his unique combination of strong K rate (26%) and elite run prevention (2.43 ERA/3.03 FIP). Unfortunately for Straily, he draws the toughest matchup possible against a NC Dinos offense that continues to average over six runs per game. There’s plenty of downside for Straily today and the price tag on DK ($10,000) specifically has peaked. Straily is still playable but he’s by no means a must.
The only other pitcher in this slate that has produced a K rate above 20% is Jong Gi Park (DOO) (22%) and he’s done so in just 16 IP, which is a ridiculously small sample to evaluate. Still, Park is interesting enough in a small sample that you could make a strong case for him on both sites given the cheap price tags (just $21 on FD).
The rest of the position is dominated by pitchers with K rates in the 16-17% range, which means that they’ll need to run good on run prevention for the day and get a win in order to be viable. Casey Kelly (LG) leads those names as a -174 favorite (highest on the board) with a win probability of 60.5%.
Min Woo Lee’s (KIA) recent performance has been very shaky but a matchup against the league’s worst offense, the Hanwha Eagles. should provide a strong floor. You could argue that Lee is overpriced on DK ($8,300) relative to his skill level but if you believe that the matchup is enough to carry him to value, he’ll need to be under serious consideration.
Tae In Won (SAM) is another pitcher with a very weak K rate (13.9%) that’s in a strong matchup (SK Wyverns – averaging 3.6 runs per game, which ranks second worst in the league). Won is playable but it’s only because of the plus matchup.
Maybe Jae Hak Lee (NCD) could run into a great run prevention day but the seasonal outlook (5.60 ERA/29 Ks in 45 IP) looks rather gross and he’s pricey. We’d rather take our chances with the cheaper pitchers – Lee should only enter your mix if building lots of lineups for MME.
The Bears are the only team in this slate with an implied team total above six (6.5). Opposing pitcher Young Gun Jo has more walks (16.8% BB rate) than strikeouts (9.4% K rate) and he’s had major issues with the longball (1.93 HR/9) in his limited sample (18.7 IP). With Jo an unlikely candidate to pitch 5+ innings for the Kiwoom Heroes, this should turn into a bullpen game rather quickly. We’re firing Jose Fernandez (DOO), Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) and Jae Il Oh (DOO) as primary pieces in Bears’ stacks, with Joo Hwan Choi (DOO) and Kyoung Min Hur (DOO) checking in as viable secondary pieces.
The Twins and Roberto Ramos (LG) specifically get another shot at getting right as Byung Wook Jo looks to be one of if not the worst starting pitcher in this slate. Jo has only struck out 5.6% of batters through three appearances this season and he’s a righty facing a lefty-heavy lineup that includes two of the better left-handed hitters in the league, Roberto Ramos and Hyun Soo Kim (LG). Ramos has cooled down significantly for multiple weeks now but with the price tag peaking, there’s a good chance that his ownership is on the right side today. Chun Woong Lee (LG) gives you cheap access to this team out of the leadoff spot and he carries some stolen base upside (5 SBs thus far this season). The Bears will carry meaningful ownership but we don’t think that the Twins will.
Honorable Mention: NC Dinos and KIA Tigers – both teams are essentially tied for third in our rankings today. The Dinos have the bigger implied team total (5.5) and they have performed as clearly the best and most eventful offense in the KBO this season, but the matchup against Dan Straily is a concern as the latter is the best pitcher in this slate. With that being said, Vegas thinks the Dinos will get to Straily. Aaron Altherr (NCD) has been absurd at the KBO, generating 13 HRs and 8 stolen bases. Altherr has now been promoted to the fifth spot in the lineup, hitting right behind studs Sung Bum Na (NCD) and catcher Eui Ji Yang (NCD).
The Tigers’ matchup against Warwick Saupold is a better one as Saupold tends to allow lots of contact, but he typically induces a lot of ground balls and soft contact as well. Former MLBer Preston Tucker (KIA) has performed as the team’s best hitter, hitting 11 home runs and generating a .980 OPS this season.