Last night was aces galore in the KBO but tonight is, well, no that. Every game features an over/under of at least 9.5 runs and there are at least two starters on the slate who are more of true openers than starters. Let’s get to work…
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook (UPDATED):
Jae Hak Lee, NC Dinos, $8,900 DK/$27 FD – Tonight’s slate is not exactly loaded with strikeout machines in the pitching department so Jae Hak Lee’s (NCD) 16.7-percent K rate since the start of 2018 is about as good as it gets. Lee and the Dinos are listed as massive -280 favorites tonight in a game with the lowest total of the slate mostly because he is facing the worst offense/team in the league (Eagles). Although the Eagles won two games versus the Bears this weekend, they have lost 21 of their last 24 games, and are averaging a league-worrst 3.33 runs per game (R/G). Starters continue to post outlier strikeout performances against them because they K at by far the highest rate in the league (19.9-percent). The Eagles best hitter, Jared Hoying (HAN), sat out lastt night amidst a 3-20 (.150) stretch, and if he is struggling then the offense has virtually nothing to offer. In terms of safety, Lee is the cream of the crop.
Ki Young Im, Kia Tigers, $7,600 DK/$27 FD – Since Ki Young Im (KIA) pitches in one of the best rotations in the league, he individually gets overlooked in fantasy circles despite an amazing start to the year. Hell, only four qualified pitchers own superior FIPs to that of Im (3.19), and he has struck out 22.1-percent of the hitters he has faced (10th highest amongst qualified starters). On paper, the matchup versus the Lions looks attractive as well, as they rank in the bottom half of R/G, home runs (HRs) per game (HR/G), and BB rate while striking out at the fifth highest rate (18.1-percent). Since the return of Ja Wook Koo (SAM), the offense has become slightly more potent, but Young is still one of the top per-dollar investments on an iffy pitching slate.
Geon Wook Lee, SK Wyverns, $6,700/$23 FD – If looking to simply focus on bats, Geon Wook Lee (SK) is the primary SP2 target. Look, the Heroes offense is potent, but they have struck out at a hefty 19.3-percent rate (edging out the Wyverns for second highest in the league). Unfortunately for Lee, they are also a patient bunch, as Lee has struggled with his control (11.2-percent BB rate this year). Lee is nothing special, and hiis FIP is almost two full runs higher than his FIP, but he has the potential to at least miss bats. Due to his sporadic control, sustain Heroes rallies against him are within the range of possibilities, so Lee is clearly a pitcher to avoid in cash games. However, if trying to differentiate in GPPs, the 90th percentile outcome for Lee is attractive.
Honorable Mention: Jong Gi Park’s (DOO) sample size in the KBO is tiny but he at least has struck out 22.5-percent of the hitters he has faced. Of course, the sample is two outings, and one of those was a start versus the lowly Eagles. Still, he is priced at just the bare minimum, so rostering him opens up plenty of salary to load up on bats. Casey Kelly (LG) is the top pitching talent on the slate but facing a tough matchup versus the Bears. Lee likely garners most of the public attention in the expensive tier so Kelly is at least worth targeting in tournaments.
After blowing an eight run lead last night, which obviously was not the offense’s fault, the Lotte Giants are back in play on Saturday morning. The recent return of Hoon Jung (LOT) has been a nice addition to the depth of the Giants lineup that has realized Dixon Machado (LOT) deserves to hit towards the middle of the order as well. The middle of the order is loaded with power and opposing starter Hyeong Jun So (KTW) has been burned for a .167 ISO in his first seven starts. So is just 18-years old and has struck out a slate-low 8.8-percent of opposing hitters. Furthermore, his 5.77 FIP is highest on the slate amongst pithcers with at least 25 innings of KBO sample size, as-is his 1.41 HR/9 rate allowed. Behind him, the Wiz bullpen ranks worst in the league, so it is not difficult to understand why this Giants stack is so enticing.
Bears probable starter Jong Gi Park (DOO) is a virtual unknown as he has made just four total appearances in his career for a total of 7.0 innings (and three of those appearances came all the way back in 2015). Context clues suggest this is a subpar pitcher as he has allowed two homers, walked 16.1-percent of the hitters he has faced and only lasted 49-pitches in his season debut versus the Eagles. Lately, the Bears bullpen numbers have improved (quite drastically), as they moved from ninth to seventh in ERA (5.87) over the course of the past week .Tonight, the team will almost assuredly be forced into the bullpen early, as it is unlikely Park is asked to throw more than 70 pitches in almost any circumstance. For those reasons, a Twins lineup headlined by the likes of Roberto Ramos (LG) and Hyun Soo Kim (LG) appear primed for a successful night.
Apparently, I have become the world’s biggest KT Wiz fan, because I seem to be writing them up every slate. Even so, it is tough to look at Adrian Sampson’s (LOT) KBO sample thus far and be impressed considering opposing hitters have posted a .394 wOBA against him. Additionally, Sampson has struggled to miss bats, which is a dangerous proposition versus the team that ranks second in HR/9 rate and is headlined by the Baek Ho Kang (KTW)/Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW) duo in the middle of the lineup. Both players will own the platoon edge versus Sampson and he has been susceptible to lefty power dating back to his MLB days (1.53 HR/9 rate during his big league career). Oh, by the way, Sampson has allowed a whopping 28 hits over the course of his past three starts, so he has not exactly been folling anyone in the KBO either.
Honorable Mention: SK Wyverns versus Young Gun Jo (KIW) and his atrocious 7.07 FIP, .403 wOBA allowed and 17.0-percent BB rate in a five appearance sample size. He acts more as an opener than a true starter but has thrown 61-plus pitches in three straight “starts.” Jeong Choi (SK) specifically interests me as a one-off in all formats.