Happy fourth of July! Once the Independence Day ends, it will be time for some Korean baseball, and the July 5th slate is headlined by a game with an 11.5-run total.
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Aaron Brooks, Kia Tigers, $9,000 DK/$27 FD – Naturally, a matchup versus the best offense in the league is not ideal, but Aaron Brooks (KIA) also happens to be one of the best pitchers in the league. The former MLB pitcher has held opposing hitters to an impressive .269 wOBA, .057 ISO, 0.30 HR/9 rate and 2.88 FIP. The quality of hitters in this league are nowhere near the likes of the MLB which is why Brooks is worth taking a chance on versus almost any opponent…especially at a reasonable price point. Brooks’ 23.1-percent K rate ranks eighth highest amongst qualified starters and only five hitters have posted a lower BB rate. With early season wonder Jin Sung Kang (NCD) struggling, the Dinos are not an invinceable offense, and something truly has to give tonight. Brooks is not the safest of pitching plays tonight but rostering him equates to betting on the top talent.
Jong Hoon Park, SK Wyverns, $8,300 DK/$24 FD – After an epic failure of a start on Jun. 25, Jong Hoon Park (SK) rebounded in his last start to the tune of eight Ks in 4.2 innings versus the Lions. Control issues are one of Park’s few imperfections and his 9.4-percent BB rate ranks ninth worst amongst qualified starters (which is obviously not ideal). The reason to roster Park in any matchup is to chase the strikeout upside of a pitcher that has struck out 23.9-percent of opposing hitters this year alone. Park is tougher on right-handed hitters (RHHs) and the Giants are loaded with them: Jun Woo Jeon (LOT), Dae Ho Lee (LOT), Dixon Machado (LOT) and Hoon Jung (LOT) just to name a few. Whenever Park is matched up against a heavily right-handed offense, the upside potential is within reach, which is why Park is worth another shot on Sunday morning.
Chan Heon Jung, LG Twins, $7,500 DK/$29 FD – Just seven pitchers (min. 30 IP) have posted a higher K rate than Jung this year and he is priced like a scrub on DK specifically. On FD, he is priced as the most expensive starter on the slate, so there is a clear difference of opinion between the two sites. The Lions are nothing more than a league-average offense across the board and Jung’s FIP ranks top 10 in the entire league (amongst pitchers with at least 30 innings). At this cost, Jung is the sure-thing SP2 in cash games, and a viable play in all formats.
Honorable Mention: Hui Kwan Yu (DOO) versus the lowly Eagles (who blew up Chris Flexen (DOO) last night) and an overpriced Mike Wright (NCD) versus an average Tigers lineup (which should help differentiate lineups in tournaments)
In a game with a slate-high 11.5-run total, the Heroes are slightly favored, and it is strange because, on paper, they are not facing the worst pitcher on the slate. Since the start of the 2018 season, Min Soo Kim (KTW) has yielded a 1.01 HR/9 rate, .345 wOBA and .133 ISO en route to a 4.66 FIP. By comparison, four other pitchers on the slate own worse FIPs during that span, so it is a bit strange to see the odds-makers so bullish on this spot. Of course, the likely reason is the loaded nature of the Heroes lineup, that features such names as Ha Seong Kim (KIW), Jung Hoo Lee (KIW), Dong Won Park (KIW), ByungHo Park (KIW) and Keon Chang Seo (KIW). Behind the starter Kim sits one of the worst bullpens in the entire league, so this is a fine spot, but expect this offense to be the stone chalk.
Looking to differentiate tonight? Well, look no further than the Wyverns against a pitcher that has been consistently blasted over the course of the past three seasons. Since the start of the 2018 season, Se Woong Park (LOT) has been burned for a slate-worst 5.21 FIP, .380 wOBA, .176 ISO and 1.22 HR/9 rate. Sans Dong Min Han (SK) and Chang Pyung Kim (SK) in the Wyverns lineup, they are a bit thin, but the middle of the lineup can certainly still inflict damage. Both Jamie Romak (SK) and Jeong Choi (SK) have produced double-digit homers already plus Ji Hoon Choi (SK) and Kang Man Kim (SK) have contributed sporadically in their own ways. With the team only sporting a 4.0-run implied total, the masses are unlikely to gravitate towards this team, despite the fact they face the worst pitcher. Tournament players habitually find themselves searching for ideal, contrarian spots and this is the personification of one of those scenarios.
Facing a lefty is never the perfect setup for the Bears, as they are an extremely left-handed lineup, but Chad Bell (HAN) has been an abomination in 2020. Through 32.0 innings this year, Bell owns an ugly 7.88 ERA, 5.95 FIP, 1.41 HR/9 rate, 16.7-percent K rate, 11.5-percent BB rate and .311 AVG allowed. To be fair, Bell’s BABIP allowed this year is over 60 percentage points higher than last year, so there likely has been some bad fortune involved, but he has made it through one start this year in which he has not allowed at least one hit per inning. Kun Woo Park (DOO) will almost assuredly lead off, and he owns the platoon advantage, and he is the sure thing in the stack. Beyong him, Joo Hwan Choi (DOO) has displayed the ability to hit in the split, and Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) has flashed power versus both sides of the plate.
Honorable mention: KT Wiz will take on a subpar lefty in Seung Ho Lee (KIW) and the righties are all in play: Jeong Dae Bae (KTW), Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW), Jae Gyun Hwang (KTW), Han Joon Yoo (KTW) and Sun Woo Jang (KTW) are enough to constitute a full stack.