Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Eric Jokisch, Kiwoom Heroes, $9,500 DK – The only -200-plus favorite tonight is none other than Eric Jokisch (KIW) versus a Lions offense that ranks below the league-average in virtually every offensive category. Their best bat, Ja Wook Koo (SAM), hits from the left side of the plate which is bad news considering Jokisch has held left-handed hitters (LHHs) to a .172 AVG with just two extra base-hits (XBHs) this year. Over the course of Jokisch’s last three starts, he has allowed just one earned run (ER) to go along with a dominant 0.57 WHIP during that span. What more needs to be said here? Start Jokisch with confidence in all formats if the salary fits.
Adrian Sampson, Lotte Giants, $7,700 DK – After getting dominated by Dan Staily (LOT) last night, the Eagles will be tasked with trying to figure out another ex-MLB pitcher: Adrian Sampson (LOT). Unlike Straily, Sampson has not blown away this competition with his swing-and-miss ability, but he has pounded the strike zone and enjoyed the occasional outlier strikeout performance. On Thursday, Sampson will have another chance at an outlier strikeout performance versus an offense that has struck out at the highest rate in the league (19.3-percent). Additionally, the Eagles rank dead last in runs per game (R/G), HR/9 rate and BB rate so obviously the matchup does not get much better. Half the Eagles roster recently was called up from the Futures League and have an extremely slim chance to compete with a former Major Leaguer.
Bum Soo Kim, Hanwha Eagles, $5,500 DK – If determined to save salary at the starting pitcher position, Bum Soo Kim (HAN) is by no means a terrible option, as his upside vastly exceeds his price point. Thus far, the Giants have fared better in the split against right-handed pitching (RHP) as guys like Jun Woo Jeon (LOT) and Dixon Machado (LOT) have both hit under the mendoza line in the split. Even guys like Ah Seop Son (LOT) and Hoon Jung (LOT) have barely flashed any power potential in the split so deploying southpaws against this Giants offense is a sneaky +EV strategy. Only one starting pitcher on the slate has struck out batters at a higher rate than Kim although those rostering him will have to overcome his control issues (13.3-percent BB rate). If nothing else, the Giants are a patient offense, so this is a high risk/high reward spot to take a chance on Kim.
Honorable Mention: Drew Gagnon (KIA) and Raul Alcantara (DOO) are two of the more talented pitchers in the league but find themselves in difficult matchups. Gagnon, since he is cheaper, is the preferable of the two as his 23.4-percent KBO K rate leads all pitchers on the slate.
Amongst starting pitchers on the slate, no one has yielded a higher ISO to opponents dating back to 2018 than Jung Hyun Baek (SAM). Choi is one of four pitchers slated to pitch tonight that has allowed a HR/9 rate over 1.00 and one of just two to sport a FIP over 5.10. There is certainly no lack of power in a Heroes lineup that includes pro prospect Ha Seong Kim (KIW), ex-pro ByungHo Park (KIW), powerful catcher Dong Won Park (KIW) and that is before even covering the lefties. If Baek were to get blasted, ex-KBO MVP Keon Chang Seo (KIW) would likely see matchups with the platoon edge later in the game and the same goes for contact-specialist extraordinaire Jung Hoo Lee (KIW). This lineup is loaded even before Addison Russell (KIW) is thrown into the mix (ETA: two weeks) and the Heroes are amongst the highest priority stacks of the night.
Look, KT Wiz starter Byung Wook Jo (KTW) has struck out just 5.6-percent of the batters he has faced so it is no wonder he has yielded one of the highest wOBAs of the slate. Pitching to contact often leads to opponents barreling him up so Preston Tucker (KIA) and Hyung Woo Choi (KIA) specifically should be licking their chops. Outfielder Ho Ryung Kim (KIA) has struck out at a 29.9-percent rate but swings and misses are not of much concern versus Jo specifically. Beyond Jo sits one of the worst bullpens in the entirer league so tonight likely ends up Tigers chalk night with the field seeing the brutal numbers Jo has posted to this point in his career.
Ricardo Pinto (SK) throws quite hard but it does not matter when the fastballs are straight and the control is iffy at best. Through 11 KBO starts, Pinto has nearly walked as many batters (33) as he has struck out (37), and his K rate ranks lowest on the slate of any pitcher not named Jo. Pitching to contact versus the Dinos is a scary proposition as they lead the league in both R/G and HR/9 rate and feature such power threats as Sung Bum Na (NCD), Aaron Altherr (NCD) and Eu Ji Yang (NCD). Their 6.0-run implied tops the slate and it is unclear if they will end up as the stone chalk versus a pitcher who is not generally thought of as the logical guy to target against on any given slate.
Honorable mention: SK Wyverns, LG Twins