There are a legit handful of aces to choose from tonight. That makes deciding on what pitchers to use a difficult task and offense is similarly tricky with three games featuring exactly a 10.5-run over/under. Let’s get to work!
Vegas Odds and probables courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Chang Mo Koo, NC Dinos, $9,600 DK/$30 FD – The only thing holding Chang Mo Koo (NCD) back from being a lock-button candidate once again is the relatively difficult matchup versus the Heroes. However, most of the Heroes lineup has fared better against RHP, beginning with ByungHo Park (KIW). Dating back to his days in the MLB, he posted superior wOBA numbers in the split against RHP, and he has simply strugged against both sides of the plate this year (including the fact he has struck out in 41-perent of at-bats (ABs) verus southpaws). Side note: Park has managed just one extra-base hit (XBH) that was not a home run (HR) this season (and it came against a lefty). Dong Wan Park (KIW) has only hit .250 against left-handed pitching (LHP) this year (compared to almost .400 versus righties) and that is before even discussing the lefties (who all feature worse wOBA projections against LHP than RHP in the DailyRoto model). All of this is a long-winded way of saying the Heroes are not unbeatable and their one glaring offensive weakness is their tendency to strike out at a high rate (18.7-percent). Only the Lions and Eagles have struck out at a higher rate and the Heroes K rate is virtually identical to the Lions. If Koo has his best stuff, he should be able to miss bats in this matchup, and he possesses the necessary upside to post a tournament-winning performance. However, he is not my cash game choice on FD, as there is an even safer option on this slate…
Drew Gagnon, Kia Tigers, $7,400 DK/$27 FD – Those who have read this article before know I have become the world’s foremost Drew Gagnon (KIA) truthers and the train keeps on rolling tonight. On a per-dollar basis, Gagnon is easily the top per-dollar option at the position regardless of site due to his combination of skills and matchup. Amongs all pitchers on the slate, which includes the consensus top pitcher in the league, Gagnon owns the best FIP since the start of 2018. To be fair, Koo has edged out Gagnon in FIP this year alone, but Gagnon is second in the entire league in the category…and he is significantly cheaper across the industry. The Wyverns have scored the second fewest runs per game (R/G), hit the third fewest HRs per game (HR/G) and are basically tied with two other teams for second highest K rate (behind the Eagles). Gagnon would be worth targeting if he were the most expensive pitcher on the slate so he is certainly worth rostering at his $7,400 price point on DK/$27 price point on FD.
Tyler Wilson, LG Twins, $8,400 DK/$25 FD, Dan Straily, Lotte Giants, $7,600 DK/$26 FD and Odrisamer Despaigne, KT Wiz, $8,300 DK/$27 FD constitute the next tier at the starting pitcher position with minimal differentiation amongst the bunch. The top matchup on paper comes for Despaigne against a Lions team that has struck out at the second highest rate and has averaged the fourth fewest R/G. Wilson’s matchup is less favorable from a strikeout perspective (17.2-percent K rate for the Giants this year) but the Giants have averaged even fewer R/G than the Lions. Additional context is needed as Despaigne has struggled in back-to-back starts and it appears he is no longer catching the league by surprise. Having said that, it was encouraging to see him right the ship following an atrocious beginning to his previous start, signifying the recent rough stretch could be nothing other than a blip on the radar. For Wilson’s sake, the Giants offense has been en fuego, albeit in a series versus the lowly Eagles (and their terrible pitching staff). That leaves Straily against a tough Twins offense that features KBO HR leader Roberto Ramos (LG) and “hitting machine” Hyun Soo Kim (LG). His matchup may be the most difficult of the bunch but that could lead to him being the lowest-owned of the trio. The ownership is likely to condense around Koo and Gagnon which means this tier is firmly in play for tournaments.
Honorable Mention: Jong Hoon Park (SK) features strikeout stuff but is a submarine-style right-hander which means playing him is safer against righty-dominant lineups. The two best hitters on the Tigers hit from the left side of the plate, Preston Tucker (KIA) and Hyung Woo Choi (KIA), but at least the Tigers leadoff hitter has struck out at over a 30-percent rate. Overall, they have been one of the toughest teams to K, which leaves Park as nothing more than a pitcher worth adding to the MME mix.
With both Baek Ho Kang (KTW) and Han-joon Yoo (KTW) back in the lineup, the Wiz offensively are once again a force to be reckoned with. Joon has hit 20-plus homers multiple times, Kang and Miguel Rojas (KTW) are threats to lead the league in bombs on a yearly basis and that is before talking about Jeong Dae Bae (KTW) and Yong Ho Jo (KTW) who have been underpriced in daily fantasy all year long. In this game, lefty 19-year old Seung-min Lee (SAM) will be making his KBO debut a day after the Wiz destroyed up-and-coming starter Min-woo Lee (KIA). Prior to Kang’s injury, the Wiz were leading the league in R/G and ranked near the bottom in K rate, so it would not be surprising for that to be the case moving forward now that he is back. The youngster Lee is simply overmatched.
Seung-ho Lee (KIW) is the clear worst starting pitcher on the entire slate as he ranks dead last in nearly every category. That does not bode well for a guy tasked with slowing down one of the hottest teams and really best offenses in the entire KBO. Lee has walked opposing hitters at the highest rate, allowed the highest HR/R rate and owns the highest FIP, wOBA and ISO since the start of 2018 of any pitcher slated to start. Really, is there need for anymore analysis than that knowing how much damage the Dinos can do on any given night? Weather could be an issue here but, if the game plays, the Dinos are clearly one of the top two stacks of the night.
Weather concerns may pop up in the two other games but is not as much of a concern in the Tigers/Wyverns game. Essentially, if this slate gets shrunk in size due to rain cancellations, it remains likely the Tigers will play. Opposing starter Jong-hoon Park (SK) is a submarine-style right-hander who is completely susceptible to power and is someone who will likely give right-handed hitters (RHHs) fits over the long run (if his splits prove to look anything like other submariners in the MLB). Both of the Tigers’ top hitters are of the left-handed variety and that is before even mentioning Min Sang Yoo (KIA) or thew newly-acquired Ji Hyuk Ryu (KIA). Unfortunately, the Tigers are not an incredibly fast ball club (second fewest steals), but Ho Ryeong Kim (KIA) has stolen multiple bases out of the leadoff spot in just 10 starts. Park’s wOBA allowed since the beginning of the 2018 season is third highest amongst starting pitchers on the slate and his hot start may lead to more people looking to roster him than stack against him.
Honorable mention: The Doosan Bears are the other team favored in a game with a 10.5-run total but their offense is quite left-handed and facing a southpaw. Chad Bell (HAN) has been brutal this year but his career KBO numbers are not so bad and it is possible this team garners some significant ownership simply because they are playing the crappy Eagles.