The best pitcher in the league is under threat of weather. Every single game features a 9.5-run implied total. Should be an eventful night in the KBO so let’s get to work…
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Chang Mo Koo, NC Dinos, $9,400 DK/$30 FD – The top starting pitcher in the KBO will toe the mound tonight and, for some reason, he is still priced below $10,000 on DK. Look, Koo leads the league in K rate (30.1-percent), HR/9 rate allowed (0.19), FIP (2.35) and WHIP (0.69), and most of those categories are not even close between him and the next guy. Koo is starting to look like the next Hyun-Jin Ryu (TOR) in the sense that he is a dominant lefty who appears destined for the MLB at some point. His opponent, the Kia Tigers, are missing cleanup hitter Ji Hyuk Ryu (KIA) and their lineup has some features that highlight the favorability of the matchup for Koo. Tigers leadoff hitter Ho Ryeong Kim (KIA) has struck out at the ninth highest rate (28.1-percent) amongst players with at least 50 plate appearances thus far. Furthermore, Preston Tucker (KIA) managed just a .196 wOBA versus left-handed pitching (LHP) during his tenure as a pro, and is hitting over 100 percentage points lower against the handedness this year as well. The Tigers other top hitter, Hyung Woo Choi (KIA), is a lefty and has also struggled in the split (.235 AVG). Put this altogether and Koo remains underpriced versus a competitive offense as he clearly should be priced close to $11,000 by now in virtually every matchup. Note: weather may be an issue in this game so be prepared to pivot if this game does not play.
Tyler Wilson, LG Twins, $8,200 DK/$26 FD – Death, taxes and a talented starting pitcher matched up against the Eagles being featured in content are the three surest things in life. Through 63 career KBO starts, Tyler Wilson (LG) has only walked 5.7-percent of the hitters he has faced while hodling them to a .278 wOBA, slate-best 0.086 ISO and 0.48 HR/9 rate. During that span, Wilson has flirted with a 20.0-percent K rate, and now will face an Eagles squad that has averaged the fewest runs per game (R/G) and struck out at a higher rate than any other team. Hell, Chan Gyu Lim (LG) put in work versus the Eagles last night, registering eight Ks and over 25 DK fantasy points, and he probably barely makes the Twins’ postseason rotation. Wilson, on the other hand, is one of the team’s front-end starters so his upside is massive in a game versus the league’s worst offensive team.
Dan Straily, Lotte Giants, $7,600 DK/$28 FD – Amongst the cheaper pitchers, guys like Hui Kwan Yu (DOO) feature superior matchups, but Straily, talent-wise, has made a case for himself as one of the the best three starting pitchers in the entire league. Of course, the same can be said for Drew Gagnon (KIA) who is only slightly more expensive, but he faces the stone worst matchup versus the NC Dinos. While Straily’s matchup versus the Heroes is not perfect by any means, ByungHo Park (KIW) was removed from the roster, which means the lineup now features one less elite power threat. Quietly, the Heroes have struck out at the third highest rate in the league, so there is some upside to this matchup if Straily has his best stuff. In the MLB, Straily was a power-prone gas can, but KBO hitters have only managed a .266 wOBA and 0.088 ISO against him, so this league is completely different. If needing the salary relief to spend up on bats, Straily is the affordable arm worth targeting.
Honorable Mention: Odrisamer Despaigne (KTW) faces a strikeout-prone Wyverns squad but has been dreadful over the course of his past three starts (18 ERs in 15 innings)
First of all, Roberto Ramos (LG) is expected back for the Twins tonight, which is a gigantic development considering he leads the league in home runs (HRs) and ranks second in wOBA/wRC+. Secondly, probable starter Shi Hwan Jang (HAN) has walked opposing hitters at a massive 11.0-percent rate, so a normally impatient Twins team (8.3-percent BB rate) should be able to rack up baserunners at a higher rate than normal. Unfortunately, for ownership purposes, the Twins are listed as the heaviest favorite on the slate by far (-320), in a game with the highest total of the night, so they likely end up chalky. Still, Ramos, Hyun Soo Kim (LG) and Eun-sung Chae (LG) are strong options to anchor any lineup with the likes of Ji Hwan Oh (LG) and Chun Woong Lee (LG) likely coming in at a lower roster percentage than the main trio.
Baek Ho Kang (KTW) did not start last night due to a hamstring issue but he came off the bench and launched a bomb off Wyverns reliever Young-il Jung (SK). For that reason, it seems like a safe assumption that he will be back in the Wiz lineup tonight just in time for a matchup versus Jong Hoon Park (SK). In 2020, Park has looked like an improved pitcher, as the righty submariner has produced a respectable 25.4-percent K rate and 4.03 FIP through 40.0 innings. However, when the Wiz team is fully healthy, they rarely strike out, as fiv e players on the roster with at least 50 plate appearances have struck out at a rate below 16.0-percent (including Han Joon Yoo (KTW) and the aforementioned Kang who both just returned from injury). Speed upside is also part of the package versus Park who is slow to the plate and five players on the Wiz have stolen multiple bases. Yong Ho Jo (KTW), Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW) and Kang will all own the platoon advantage against a pitcher who should hold his own against righties over the longhaul plus Park has still been susceptible to the long ball (0.90 HR/9 rate). Following a double-digit hit performance from the Wiz last night, they once again rate as one of the top stacks on Thursday.
A banged up Bears lineup flopped in a premiere setup last night versus one of the clear worst starting pitchers in the league. Other than two solo homers, the Bears were not able to get any offense going, but they at least get a shot at redemption tonight versus another gas can. Probable starter Yoon Dong Heo (SAM) has started two games for the Lions and has posted a 1:5 K/BB ratio in those two games. While the sample size is minuscule, the 6.45 FIP in those two games tells the story, as he has struck out just 2.1-percent of batters and walked 10.6-percent of batters in the two start stretch. At some point, those numbers will translate to a pitcher getting blasted, and the middle of the Bears lineup is at least still potent. Jose Fernandez (DOO) is one of the top hitters in the league, Joo Hwan Choi (DOO) is cheap as hell for a three-hitter and Jae Hwan Kim’s (DOO) public percentage has dropped virtually every slate due to a recent slump. Kim has still hit eight homers and his Achilles heel has been his tendency to strike out (29.4-percent K rate). Since the opposing pitcher has struck out literally two-percent of hitters, Kim’s weakness is not really concern in this matchup specifically.
Honorable Mention: Lotte Giants are close to a pick’em versus the Heroes but Seung Ho Lee (KIW) is not great; his .148 ISO allowed since 2018 is worst of any pitcher on the slate as-is his 1.03 HR/9 rate. This team has been rolling and the power bats are especially viable.