For the first time since Tuesday morning, Dan Straily (LOT) will not be covered in this article, as he finally started last night (and did not pitch well). On Saturday morning, four players with sub-4.00 FIPs since 2018 will toe the mound, and three pitchers with FIPs over 5.00 will do so as well. Early forecasts make it seem like there will be no issues tonight weather-wise so all the decisions will be talent-based (which is always nice). Let’s get to work…
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Eric Jokisch, Kiwoom Heroes, $9,400 DK/$28 FD – For the first time since May 23, Eric Jokisch (KIW) posted a K rate above 12.5-percent ins his most recent outing. In that game versus the strikeout-prone Wyverns, Jokisch struck out 22.2-percent of the hitters he faced and finished with his second highest fantasy output (26.8 DK fantasy points) of the season. Tonight, Jokisch will look to keep that streak going versus a Tigers offense that is heavily reliant on two powerful lefties: Preston Tucker (KIA) and Hyung Woo Choi (KIA). Even beyond those two, Min Sang Yoo (KIA) is a strikeout-prone lefty in the lineup, and the team often relies on their patience to rack up the baserunners. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Jokisch’s 5.0-percent BB rate over his last 236.2 IP is the second lowest of any starting pitcher on the slate, and one of the lowest tallies in the league during that span. Due to his general lack of upside, Jokisch may get over-owned in tournaments, but he is a fine cash game investment on both sites.
William Cuevas, KT Wiz, $8,000 DK/$27 FD – On a per-dollar basis, William Cuevas (KTW) is even a superior option to the likes of Jokisch as his matchup comes with a healthy amount of potential strikeout upside. No team has struck out at a higher rate than the Eagles (20.0-percent) plus they rank dead last in runs per game (R/G) and HR/9 rate. Amongst 39 qualified starting pitchers this year, Cuevas ranks almost smack dab in the middle in K rate, as he has struck out 18.2-percent of opposing hitters (which ranks 20th). Cuevas is coming off his best start of the season in which he shut down the Giants to the tune of a five baserunners (zero BBs) and five Ks in seven innings en route to 26.8 DK fantasy points. While it is tough to expect an outlier positive outing like that in any start, this is the best possible matchup for any starting pitcher on paper, and Cuevas is significantly cheaper than the aces.
Chan Heon Jung, LG Twins, $7,100 DK/$28 FD – In every start this season, Jung has held opponents to three earned runs (ERs) or fewer, so he has proven to be an excellent value all season long. His price on Saturday morning is the highest it has been all year long and yet he still only costs $7,100 on DK. Through five starts, Jung ranks ninth amongst all pitchers (min. 20 innings) in K rate (24.4-percent), but, to be fair, that is being inflated by a start in which he struck out 11 Lions. To put it differently, Jung has struck out 19.4-percent of hitters in his non-Lions starts, which is still a respectable number for a punt-priced pitcher. After Casey Kelly (LG) was hammered by the Wyverns last night, it would not be surprising to see the masses show some pause to target a pitcher against that very offense, but Kelly simply fell apart in his final inning. Thus far, the Wyverns have struck out at the second highest rate in the league and average the second fewest R/G, so it is more likely last night was an outlier as opposed to a trend (especially versus RHP). If needing the salary to spend up on offenses, feel confident in throwing Jung at SP2.
Honorable mention: Hyun Jong Yang (KIA) possesses the necessary upside in tournaments since he leads pitchers on the slate with a 20.7-percent K rate since the start of 2018.
Our top stack of the night is none other than the KT Wiz facing objectively the worst starting pitcher on the slate. Over the course of Min Woo Kim’s (HAN) last 207.2 IP, he has allowed a slate-worst 1.47 HR/9 rate, .369 wOBA, .174 ISO and 5.67 WHIP. All those numbers put him in the “pathetic” range for this league and all that goes along with below-average control (8.9-percent BB rate). Not only are the Wiz loaded with power but they are a deep lineup that features power threats all the way down the lineup (with Jae Gyun Hwang (KTW) and Sun Woo Jang (KTW) habitually hitting seventh or lower. All hitters 1-8 are in play but the cream of the crop in the lineup is clearly the Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW)/Baek Ho Kang (KTW) duo who have each produced a wOBA of at least .464 this season. Play this team in cash games and do not shy away from them in tournaments either (especially because the Bears and Dinos will likely garner attention from the public by default so the Wiz should not prove to be crazy chalky).
Okay, so it is not like the Bears are a bad play by any means, there are just some players in the lineup who are continuously mispriced by the DK algorithm. Joo Hwan Choi (DOO) has been priced below $3,000 since the beginning of the season despite the fact he owns a .280/.348/.506 slash line with eight HRs and a whopping 32 RBI to this point. Kyoung Min Hur (DOO) led off last night at $2,300 and his price jumped just $200 after being 70-plus percent rostered in high-stakes contests. Beyond those two, Jae Ho Kim (DOO) and Kun Woo Park (DOO) are two other names who are at least $1,000 underpriced, which explains why the masses habitually flock to this team. Dinos starter Sung Young Choi (NCD) is left-handed which means Park and his 40-plus percent hard hit rate versus southpaws will own the platoon advantage against him. Despite being a heavily left-handed lineup, the team has displayed the ability to hit in the split, and the Bears own the highest implied total of any team tonight. If rostering the heart of the order, do not expect that sort of stack to fly under the radar, so fantasy players will have to go out of their way to differentiate the rest of their lineup.
Once again last night, the Giants failed to provide Straily with the necessary run support, and he registered his sixth straight no-decision. Now that someone else is on the mound, maybe the offense will show up (as it had been in each of the previous four games)? Probable starter Jung Hyun Baek (SAM) is a LHP which means the entire top of the lineup, other than Ah Seop Son (LOT), will own the platoon edge against him. Baek has an extensive sample since the start of 2018 and none of it is great: 15.1-percent K rate, 1.20 HR/9 rate, 5.02 FIP, .337 wOBA and .165 ISO allowed. Behind him is the best bullpen in the league (according to ERA) so that part of the matchup is a bit scary. However, five different players in this lineup own a wOBA greater than .370 this year, and only one of them is left-handed (Son). Of the four teams featuring implied team totals of at least 5.5-runs, the Giants will almost assuredly be the least popular, and that does not seem warranted. Take advantage of the flaw in the market and the Giants a look in GPPs.
Honorable mention: Kiwoom Heroes offense is powerful enough to get it done versus any pitcher and the trio of ByungHo Park (KIW), Ha Seong Kim (KIW) and Dong Wan Park (KIW) are arguably the scariest trio in the league versus LHP.