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Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for June 25th

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Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for June 25th
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Welcome to the June 24th slate all over again, other than Samsung/Hanwha, because four of the five games last night were rained out. Most of the same pitchers are scheduled to pitch tonight other than Je Seong Bae (KTW) who will now pitch for the Wiz instead of Min Soo Kim (KTW). Whereas DK will only be offering a four-game slate tonight, FD’s offering will include the 5:30am ET tilt between the Lions and Eagles. Let’s get to work…

Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:

Pitching

Note: today’s pitching sheet does not include David Buchanan (SAM) or Bum-soo Kim (HAN) as they will only be rosterable on the FD slate

Dan Straily, Lotte Giants, $23 FD/$9,500 DK – Straily is the deserving top pitching play in this slate. Straily now has nine starts to his name at the KBO, and he’s posted a gaudy 28.4% K rate. For comparison sake, the next highest K rate in this slate belongs to Tyler Wilson (19.5% K rate dating back to the start of the 2018 season). On top of the strikeouts, Straily’s run prevention has been elite as well, posting a 2.10 ERA/2.74 FIP. The KIA Tigers represent an average matchup (averaging five runs per game through 42 games this season) for Straily, who’s easily been one of the best handful pitchers in the KBO this season. The $23 price tag on FD is especially egregious but he is the clear top pitching play of the night in all formats.

The conversation for second and third best pitchers in this slate is a bit more congested. Mike Wright (NCD) probably deserves to be included in the top three, especially considering his Vegas odds (63.0% implied odds to win is the highest on this slate). However, our confidence in Wright is starting to wane a bit. For starters, his ERA (3.80) is simply inflated and we think he’s closer to his FIP (4.85) considering that his K rate is sitting at 19.5%. The matchup against the KT Wiz has some downside to it as well as they’ve performed better than league average in runs per game and home runs (HR). 

Tyler Wilson (LG) profiles very similarly to Mike Wright. We have a bigger sample for Wilson (402.3 IP),  who’s posted a 19.4% K rate and a 3.13 ERA/3.48 FIP. All things considered, Wilson is likely a slightly better pitcher than Wright but he’s $1,000 than the latter on DK and is just $25 on FD. The matchup against the Kiwoom Heroes isn’t risk-free but Wilson deserves to be considered regardless. 

If looking to go the cheap route, Jong Hoon Park (SK) is a pitcher with some K upside typically but the Bears strike out at the lowest rate in the league. Left-handed bats have produced just two extra-base hits (XBH) against him this season and both have been homers. Most of the Bears lineup is of the left-handed variety, and while his current stats are unlikely to hold over the longhaul, his uptick in K rate (25.3-percent) and minuscule hard hit rate allowed (14.0-percent) are tough to overlook. He is the most difficult pitcher of the evening to handicap and has a wide variety of potential outcomes.

Honorable Mention: Je Seong Bae (KTW) if feeling lucky enough to target a basement starting pitcher versus the Dinos. Over a two-plus year period, Bae has held opponents below a .100 ISO and 0.55 HR/9 rate, so maybe he can be effective enough to warrant consideration in this spot?

Stacks

Lotte Giants

Min Woo Lee (KIA) began the season hot but has fallen off a cliff over the course of his last three starts. During that span, Lee has allowed 25 baserunners and 15 earned runs (ERs) with just a 10.0-percent K rate in 15.0 innings. Not only will this stack not prove to be overly popular but this offense has been surging lately (scoring eight-plus runs in two of their last four games and racking up at least eight hits in each one of those games). Leadoff man Ah Seop Son (LOT) will own the platoon edge against Lee and he leads the Giants in wOBA (.412), wRC+ (.145) and OBP (.475). In fact, his 1.79 BB/K ratio leads all qualified hitters in the KBO. Behind him, Hoon Jung (LOT), Jun Woon Jeon (LOT) and Dae-Ho Lee (LOT) all sit above 115 in wRC+ and each has posted a wOBA of at least .368 as well. Straily has received the least run support of any pitcher in the league but that trend has got to end soon (especially since Jung’s return to the lineup seems to have woken this offense up). Those not paying attention to Lee’s recent tanking may miss this stack in a game with the lowest total of the slate but they are a sneaky attractive target.

Doosan Bears

For as much chatter as the Dinos have generated this season, and all of it is deserved, we think the Bears could be a bit undervalued given the way they’ve performed offensively. They’ve averaged 6.2 runs per game, which isn’t very different than the Dinos’ 6.6  runs per game. The challenge from a Fantasy perspective is that the Bears don’t hit for as much power as the Dinos and they don’t steal as many bases either. On the season, the Bears have hit 43 home runs stolen 17 bases, which pale in comparison to the Dinos’ 60 home runs and 17 stolen bases. For today, the Bears have a similar implied total (5.5) to the Dinos (6.0). Opposing starter Jong Hoon Park (SK) is a right-handed submariner with exactly zero MLB direct comparisons since there are no submarine style starters in the league. All the submariner relievers in recent memory have posted superior numbers against those without the platoon edge against them. Logically, that makes sense, as the pitcher is able to hide the ball for longer against them and sliders/breaking balls move away from them (instead of towards them). Righties have only hit .236 against Park this year but lefties have struck out at a higher rate and have only produced two XBH against him (both homers as noted in the pitching section). The Bears are a lineup loaded with left-handed hitters (LHHs) so something has got to give here. An injury to Jae Il Oh (DOO) has opened up a bigger window of opportunity for Joo Hwan Choi (DOO) and the latter has delivered with eight home runs and 13 doubles thus far this season. There’s no reason for Choi to be priced at $2,300 on DK – he should be considered one of the better value targets regardless of position in this slate. Jose Fernandez (DOO) and Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) are the top bats in this offense but they’ve been priced as such. All things considered, we view the Bears as one of the better stacks on this slate, but best-left for tournaments given Park’s 2020 sample.

LG Twins

The Twins have one of the better pitching matchups in this slate, as they take on Seung Ho Lee. Lee has only struck out 15.7% of batters over the last 208.2 IP. This LHP is in trouble, particularly when facing Roberto Ramos (LG),  who’s performed as one of the league’s best hitters thus far. Ramos has generated 13 home runs and a 1.130 OPS in his first stint at the KBO. He has slowed down some after an ankle injury took him out for a few games, but if the early numbers are any indication, he’s bound to rebound in a big way soon. The silver lining for Lee is that this Twins’ lineup is very left-handed, but his inability to miss bats should get him in trouble regardless of handedness. Hyun Soo Kim (LG) is another talented LHB that should be targeted despite the L/L matchup. Kang Nam Yoo (LG) has been one of the league’s best hitters against LHP thus far: .545 AVG, three HRs and 11 RBI. Perhaps the fact that this Twins’ lineup features so many LHBs dilutes their roster percentage today. If that’s the case, they’ll end up having plenty of value in GPPs. 

Honorable mention: NC Dinos will take on Je Seong Bae (KTW) whose underlying numbers suggest regression in the near future (5.10 FIP this year) but has been one of the best starters in the Wiz rotation for a few years now. Obviously, the Wiz bullpen is the worst in the league, but we expect the Dinos to be by far the most popular team of the evening. The SK Wyverns middle of the lineup is also extremely enticing versus Hui Kwan Yu (DOO) and his 10.4-percent K rate since the start of 2018. The lineup is severely lacking depth but Jamie Romak (SK) and Jeong Choi (SK) are two of the best individual plays on the entire slate.

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