FanDuel is back and running which means KBO slates will be offered on both sites once again tonight…and just in time for a trio of American aces to toe the mound.
Vegas Odds and probables courtesy of Pinnacle:
Drew Rucinski, NC Dinos, $9,700 DK/$27 FD – Every single slate Drew Rucinski (NCD) pitches on is tough because he is always priced like a pure ace and does not possess the strikeout rate of similar pitchers in the tier. Dating back to the start of last year, Rucinski has struck out 17.3-percent of the hitters he has faced, which is lower than the likes of Chan Heon Jung (LG) who is priced over $3,000 cheaper. Nevertheless, Rucinski’s combination of run prevention and matchup still propels him into starting conversation in all formats. Lately, the Wyverns offense has woken up, as they have quietly scored six-plus runs in six straight games. Essentially, Rucinski is going to be popular versus a team that strikes out quite a bit, but rostering him, especially as the most expensive pitcher on the slate, does not come without concerns.
Eric Jokisch, Kiwoom Heroes, $9,500 DK/$21 FD – Look, even novices to the KBO will look at Eric Jokisch (KIW) as a talented pitcher and see he is facing a bad Hanwha Eagles offense. For those two reasons alone, Jokisch is not going to fly under the radar. However, the matchup is more enticing than just good pitcher versus bad team as the Eagles are an extremely left-handed ball club. Even against left-handed pitching (LHP), the Eagles will almost assuredly roll out six lefties in the lineup, including the 1-2-3-4 hitters in the lineup (as they did last time against a southpaw). Essentially, the Eagles are the most ill-equipped team in the league to hit in the split versus LHP, so Jokisch is a clear priority. Oh, by the way, the Eagles have lost 10 straight games so they are just mincemeat for opposing pitchers, and teams, in general.
Aaron Brooks, Kia Tigers, $8,000 DK/$27 FD – Brooks’ underlying numbers are competitive with any pitcher in the league as he sports a 2.94 FIP (same as Jokisch) and a 26:5 K:BB through five starts. The former MLB pitcher is just pounding the strike zone with his 92.5 mph fastball and mixing in his other three pitches (two of which graded as neutral pitchers in the MLB). His arsenal should continue to play well in this league and he matches up against a Giants squad that has scored the second fewest runs per game (R/G) on Thursday. Objectively, the one issue with the matchup is the fact the Giants have been a difficult team to strike out (16.9-percent K rate), but at least they are loaded with right-handed hitters (RHHs). Brooks is my preferred cash game option to Rucinski although both are clearly viable in tournaments.
Honorable Mention: Tae Hoon Kim (SK) finds himself in a tough matchup versus the NC Dinos but they strike out at around a league-average rate and their two best prospects are left-handed (Sung Bum NA (NCD) and Min Woo Park (NCD)). Consequently, a cheap left-hander with a respectable K rate dating back to 2018 (highest on the slate) is worthy of a look if trying to differentiate.
Opposing starter Min Woo Kim (HAN) has held his own in 2020 thus far, holding opponents to a .194 AVG en route to a 3.90 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. All fantasy owners need to do is look a little bit closer to realize Kim is not all of a sudden pitching like an ace. After allowing a BABIP of .325-plus in back-to-back years, opposing hitters have only posted a .211 BABIP against him in the early-going. Furthermore, when hitters have put the ball in play, the ball has still left the yard quite a bit (1.63 HR/9 rate). Sure, the K rate is up, which is an effective weapon versus the Heroes, but Kim has walked opposing hitters at a double-digit rate as well. This year alone, Kim’s FIP sits at 5.44, which is amongst the worst of all starters on the slate. Basically, the hot start is not likely to continue, and tonight is a perfect time to get ahead of the upcoming regression.
Roberto Ramos’ (LG) DK price point has finally reached $4,000 which is still laughable for arguably the top hitter in the entire league. LG is a team that most will target against RHP because then Hyun Soo Kim (LG) and Ramos will both logically find themselves with the platoon edge. Tonight, the offense faces a left-hander, and this offense is absolutely still worth targeting. Probable starter Jung Hyun Baek (SAM) has been blasted for five homers already and three have come off the bats of left-handed hitters (LHHs). In fact, lefties have hit .389 against him in the early-going, and Ramos has already launched multiple (two) homers off southpaws as well. As if that were not enough, Kim is hitting .348 in the split, and that is before even discussing the right-handers in the lineup: Eun Sung Chae (LG), veteran Keun Woo Jeong (LG), Min Sung Kim (LG), etc. Moreover, Baek’s 4.73 FIP over his past 52 starts ranks third worst on the slate, and this team is not expected to garner anywhere the ownership of the teams in the “superior” matchups. From an ownership perspective, the Twins are destined to go drastically overlooked, which makes stacking them an ultra-intriuging proposition.
Welcome to the leadoff role Ho Ryung Kim (KIA) who has registered four total hits over the course of his last two games including a triple, HR and three RBI. To put that differently, he has produced 44 fantasy points over the course of his last two starts, and is still priced affordably across the industry. His presence has helped spark this offense that has now scored 18 runs in their last two games. Kyung Eun Noh (LOT) is the scheduled starter for the Giants and he is the definition of mediocre. Dating back to 2018, Noah has allowed a 1.12 HR/9 rate, struck out just 16.1-percent of the hitters he has faced and posted a mediocre 4.27 FIP. Since his numbers do not jump off the page, it remains unlikely the masses will hop on the Tigers bandwagon, meaning Preston Tucker (KIA) and the gang could fly under the radar. Tucker is amongst the top hitters in the league, Hyung Woo Choi (KIA) has produced six career 20-plus homer, 100-plus RBI years and Ji-Wan Na (KIA) is proven power hitter as well. Facing a power-prone opponent, the Tigers possess the upside to hit multiple bombs, and most of their top players are competing with chalky players at their respective positions.
Honorable Mention: Doosan Bears are the undoubted chalk tonight facing a pitcher with a 5.04 FIP over his past 39 starts and owning a BB rate almost equivalent to his K rate. The Bears’ team total is 6.0 and they are clearly playable. However, the ownership rates on Jose Miguel Fernandez (DOO), Jae Il Oh (DOO) and Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) are always approaching 40-percent so it is tough to stack them and still find a way to be unique enough to take down tournaments.
P.S. here is a helpful chart for those trying to identify contrarian stacks: