Foreign aces galore can be found on this slate so there is an opportunity to be different at pitcher if comfortable targeting arms against some of the top offenses in the league. In large-field tournaments, deploying a pitching duo that is not an ace/scrub duo will likely be different, but there is a cheap pitcher on DK specifically that is tough to get away from.
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Drew Rucinski, NC Dinos, $9,800 DK/$27 FD – Since KBO teams’ schedules are synched up, Drew Rucinski (NCD) and Eric Jokisch (KIW) always seem to be pitching on the same slate. Tonight, fantasy owners will once again have to make the decision at SP1 between the two on DK, unless, of course, rostering cheap bats and playing both. Rucinski’s matchup is not quite as juicy on paper in the sense that the Tigers average more runs per game (R/G) and home runs (HR) per game (HR/G) than the Giants while striking out at a lower rate (just 16.2-percent) as well. However, the Tigers just lost Jin Hyuk Ryu (KIA) to injury and they had acquired him to fill the void for injured infielder Sun Bin Kim (KIA). Chan Ho Park (KIA) has been playing everyday and registered exactly one hit last week in 17 ABs (so their lineup is not quite as deep at the moment). Rucinski’s FIP (3.71) sits almost 1.5 points higher than his ERA (2.23) but his 22.8-percent K rate ranks sixth best amongst qualified starters. Logic suggests a cheaper Jokisch in a slightly superior matchup will be the higher-owned of the two but it is unlikely to be enough of a difference to matter. Choosing correctly between these two will make or break the slate and Jokisch is the much heavier favorite (-270 compared to -150).
Eric Jokisch, Kiwoom Heroes, $9,700 DK/$25 FD – The logical alternative to Rucinski is Jokisch and his impressive 2.81 FIP this season (third best amongst qualified starters). Jokisch relies heavily on ground ball outs and less leavily on strikeouts (20.1-percent K rate) than Rucinski. Thus far, the Giants rank eighth in R/G, sixth in BB rate, seventh in K rate and second to last in HR/9. In a 37 start sample size, Jokisch’s .274 wOBA allowed tops all starting pitchers on this slate, and his 3.19 FIP is second behind only Aaron Brooks (KIA). Other than Ah Seop Son (LOT), the top of the Giants lineup is loaded with right-handed hitters (RHHs), including the likes of Jun Woo Jeon (LOT), Dae Ho Lee (LOT), Byung Hun Min (LOT) and Dixon Machado (LOT). When Jokisch faced this team about three weeks ago, he only struck out four in six innings, but held them to eight baserunners and two earned runs (ERs). A similar outcome is certainly possible this go-around and he is the closest thing to a top pitcher in a positive matchup that this slate has to offer.
Chan Heon Jung, LG Twins, $6,500 DK/$28 FD – If attempting to stack expensive squads, fading one of Rucinski/Jokisch and pivoting to Chan Heon Jung (LG) is the logical play. Not only is Jung the lucky pitcher tasked with facing the lowly Eagles tonight but he also has struck out a whopping 27.2-percent of the opposing hitters he has faced. By comparison, Chang Mo Koo (NCD) and Drew Gagnon (KIA) are the only pitchers (min. 20 IP) sporting a higher K rate to this point, so Jung looks drastically underpriced comparatively to his skill set. On the downside, the Eagles are technically the league’s hottest team, having won two straight following their 18-game losing streak. Still, the team ranks dead last in R/G, HR/9 rate and BB rate while striking out at the highest rate in the league, so Jung is a glaring value on DK (and borderline lock-worthy).
Although the Heroes are not participating in one of the two on the slate with a 10.5-plus run over/under, they are listed as -270 home favorites versus one of the most power-prone pitchers slated to start. Dating back Kyung Eun Noh’s (LOT) last 165.1 IP, which includes 25 starts in the sample, he has yielded a massive 1.20 HR/9 rate and .164 ISO. Noh pounds the strike zone and does not strike out hitters at a high rate (15.8-percent) which is good news for a strikeout-prone Heroes offense. Noh is not a pure knuckleballer, but does mix one in, but that has not helped much in the power-limiting department (1.09 HR/9 rate). Noh dominated his last time out, but that was against a bad Eagles offense, so do not read too much into it. Doosan is the expected chalk stack but the Heroes will likely feature a few popular pieces (Ha Seong Kim (KIW) for one) in their own right. The overall stack percentage should be lower and their upside is on par with anyone else’s on tonight’s slate.
Surprisingly, the Wyverns find themselves favored in a game tied for the highest total of the night, and Min Soo Kim’s (KTW) results to this point have been strange to say the least. Kim’s 9.98 ERA is nearly five runs higher than his FIP (5.27) because he has been burned for a ridiculous .491 BABIP. In his fourth appearance, and second start of the year, Kim threw a season-high 85-pitches his last time out. Clearly, the team is trying to groom him as a starter, despite the fact he has lasted more than 3.1 IP in just one outing (his last one). If Kim’s extended sample is any indicator, he is not a great pitcher, owning a 4.84 FIP and slate-worst .355 wOBA allowed since the beginning of 2018. Jeong Choi (SK) is one of the team’s top two sluggers and is coming off a game where he launched multiple homers so he likely should be popular. Otherwise, the team should come at a reasonable ownership, and, beyond the starter Kim, the bullpen is the worst in the league.
Once again, the masses will likely flock to the Doosan Bears, as they are a loaded offense matched up against the slate’s worst pitcher. Unfortunately for them, Jung Hyun Baek (SAM) is a southpaw, which means most of the lineup will not own the platoon advantage against him. Kun Woo Park (DOO) is the outlier and may prove to be the single highest-owned player of the night. Most of the team has hit over .300 versus LHP this year, so there is still potential, but Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) is the only one who has hit multiple homers in the split (mind you, they are all small samples). Jae Il Oh (DOO) is injured once again as it is a reported “serious” side issue. Essentially, fantasy owners can expect this team to be without one of their star bats for quite a while, which takes away from their depth. Jae Ho Kim (DOO) is the other righty if looking for platoon edges but, in general, this is clearly one of the strongest stack options of the night.
Honorable Mention: KT Wiz versus Ricardo Pinto (SK) and his slate-low 13.3-percent K rate and slate-high 10.1-percent BB rate