Vegas Odds and probables courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
There are exactly 0 pitchers in this slate that have posted a K rate of 20%. The biggest favorite, Hui Kwan Yu (DOO), is a -320 favorite in a perfect matchup against the worst offense in the league (Hanwha Eagles; averaging under 3.5 runs per game this season). Unfortunately, Yu has posted a 10% K rate since 2018. Yu is also coming off a 0 K, 7IP performance in which he didn’t allow a single run, got the win and still couldn’t generate 10+ DK points. Yu can’t be our top pitcher but given how ugly pitching is in this slate, he’ll have to be considered.
The closest thing we have to a “top” pitcher in this slate is likely Odrisamer Despaigne (KTW). Despaigne has posted a 19% K rate through seven starts and he’s done a phenomenal job at limiting power (.094 ISO against). There’s also a significant gap between Despaigne’s ERA (4.29) and FIP (3.26) that should work in his favor moving forward. The challenge with Despaigne is evaluating a small sample (seven starts) and recent performance (-13.8, 5.3 DK points over his last two starts), which hasn’t been in his favor.
The other challenger for top pitcher in this slate is Woo Chan Cha (LG). The positive for Cha is that he’s posted a 20.8% K rate this season. The clear negative for Cha is that his 3.97 ERA is unsustainable, as he’s posted an 81% strand rate and a 4.73 FIP this season. Regardless of whether you believe what Cha is doing is sustainable or not, he will need to be considered across all formats on both sites.
Maybe we should be looking at Ki Young Im (KIA) as the top play on the board. Im has posted an impressive 28 Ks and just 4 BBs to go along with a 3.34 ERA. The track record for Im hasn’t been favorable in recent years, as he had generated a 15.6% K rate and an ERA/FIP of 5+. It does look like Im has turned a corner but if this hold, it would be a significant leap over what he’s done throughout his career. His level of performance deserves to be questioned a bit but he’s just $7,700 on DK. Im is one of our favorite pitchers on the board today.
Jae Hak Lee (NCD) and Seung Won Moon (SK) are expensive on DK but given the questionable state of the position today, they can be considered as well. Our recommendation is to pay down at starting pitcher today but Moon does generate Ks (33 Ks in 32 IP this season), which makes him an enticing tournament option regardless of price.
David Buchanan (SAM) has strong recent performance on his side but that recent performance comes with a decent amount of BABIP luck, not big strikeouts. All things considered, including a very difficult matchup against the KT WIZ, Buchanan is a fine play on DK but we remain skeptical. Paying top dollar for him on FD, where he’s priced as the most expensive pitcher on the slate, is nonsensical.
The Bears are facing rookie pitcher Seung Ju Han, who’s in an impossible position right from the get go. The Hanwha Eagles are beyond awful, falling to a 7-27 record, and Han is a RHP that gets to face a lefty-heavy lineup. Jose Fernandez (DOO), Joo Hwan Choi, Jae Il Oh (DOO) and Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) are the top lefties in this lineup and they hit 2-3-4-5 in the batting order. Kim’s recent performance is very shaky and he’s still expensive, which could drive down ownership a decent bit. Fernandez has been on a roll seemingly all season, hitting .406, but he’s not going to be one of the better power hitters in the league despite hitting 6 home runs already. The Bears are the only team in this slate with an implied total of 6.5 and should be viewed as the top stack of the day.
The Dinos make a real push for top overall stack in this slate, as they face a weak starting pitcher (Hyun Hee Han) and have been by far the top team and offense (averaging a nice 6.9 runs per game) in the KBO this season. Sung Bum Na (NCD) is the Dinos’ top bat, especially when it comes to power (10 home runs). Aaron Altherr (NCD) has hit 8 home runs and stolen five bases this season. Eui Ji Yang (NCD) is having a bit of a “down” season and he’s hitting .311 with 6 home runs. Jin Sung Kang (NCD) has been on a roll all season, posting an impressive 1.295 OPS. Kang remains underpriced on DK ($4,100) relative to his level of performance this season). It seems like you can’t click on a bad Dinos’ player. The one drawback here is that you’re very unlikely to get favorable ownership on most (if not all) of their best players.
We’re going to side with the KT Wiz over the LG Twins for the third best stack in this slate despite both teams having the same implied total (5.5). The reason for this is simple and very obvious – the Wiz are significantly more loaded on offense and if they meet their total, it’ll be with power. This lineup didn’t need any additional reinforcements, and it just got a big one with the return of Baek Ho Kang (KTW), one of the league’s best power hitters. Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW) has been on fire all season (10 home runs, 1.131 OPS). IF Yong Ho Jo (KTW) remains in the leadoff spot, $2,900 on DK and $8 on FD are too cheap of price tags for him. Speaking of cheap, Jeong Dae Bae (KTW) is $2,900 on DK as well and he’s been hitting second in this offense. David Buchanan and his recent performance will be put to the test on this one and Vegas thinks the KT Wiz will have the upper hand here (5.5 implied total).
Honorable mention: KIA Tigers