Vegas Odds and probables courtesy of Pinnacle:
Casey Kelly, LG Twins, $24 FD/$8,800 DK – Kelly is the top pitcher in this slate and he’s coming off a -5.4 DraftKings performance. If you’re looking for a pitcher that checks all the boxes in this slate, you’re not going to find one. Kelly checks enough boxes. For starters, Vegas is behind him in a big way, as he’s a slate high -240 favorite in a game with a 9.5 total (second lowest game total in this slate). His 20.5% K rate is likely unsustainable given his career record and the 180 IP last season in which he could only tally up a 16.9% K rate at the KBO. On the other hand, his 6.12 ERA is highly unsustainable as well, especially if you’re a believer in FIP (3.47). Kelly is priced right around where he should be on DK but on FD he’s tied for being the eight highest priced pitcher, which is too cheap of a price tag. We’re pursuing him across all formats on both sites.
The discussion for second and third best pitchers in this slate is muddied to say the least. Warwick Saupold (HAN) and Adrian Sampson (LOT) are pitching in a game that features the lowest total (9) of any game in this slate. Both pitchers struggle to miss bats and Sampson hasn’t been any good at the KBO through two starts, so there are some clear risks here despite the low total. Still, they’ll need to be considered given how ugly the position is today. Keep in mind that the Hanwha Eagles just saw their manager resign over the weekend and they have a major roster overhaul as they called up nearly 10 players from the minors. It’s as good of a spot as it gets for Sampson.
Hyun Jong Yang (KIA) is likely one of the better pitching talents in this slate but he’s severely overpriced on DK ($10,100) and the matchup against KT Wiz is a challenging one. He’s a fine play but paying beyond top dollar here is difficult when the strikeout upside isn’t significant.
Tae In Won (SAM) doesn’t miss bats (15.8% K rate this season; 13.8% K rate last season) and his run prevention is due for regression (2.45 ERA/4.40 FIP). The Kiwoom Heroes aren’t an easy matchup, either. What we like about Won is that he’s $7,100 on DK and the hope is that recent performance (0 earned runs through two starts; 9 Ks) can carry him in a difficult matchup.
This pitching slate is ugly enough that you should probably consider punting the SP2 slot on DK with Young Gun Jo (KIW). Jo is a slight favorite (-131) and he’s just $5,400 on DK. The underlying numbers are pretty gross for Jo but the price tag alone puts him in play.
The Dinos have officially three-peated in our content, as they’ve now ranked first in our stack rankings for the third consecutive slate. This time around, the Dinos’ implied total is ~7 as they take on a Doosan Bears’ rookie, Jo Je Yeong. Here are the Dinos’ offensive output over the last five games: 8, 10, 13, 14, 8. Through 29 games this season, the Dinos averaged 7.13 runs per game. They’re playing chess while the rest of the league is playing checkers. Sung Bum Na (NCD) is the first name you want to click on in this stack, as he leads the team in home runs (10). Eui Ji Yang (NCD) is very expensive and hasn’t lived up to this price tag this season but he remains worthy of consideration given how ugly the catcher position is on a daily basis. Jin Sung Kang (NCD) has posted an absurd 1.357 OPS and 7 home runs through nearly 80 ABs this season. He remains underpriced on DK ($3,600). Aaron Altherr (NCD) is one of the best sources of power in the KBO (8 home runs) but he hits towards the bottom of the lineup, which shows just how stacked this lineup is. Expect the Dinos to be plenty popular today.
The Dinos and Bears going #1 and #2 in our analysis? You don’t say. The Bears are facing Sung Young Choi, a LHP that’s posted a 4.80 ERA/5.00 FIP over the last 153.7 IP. As is usually the case with these KBO pitchers, Choi doesn’t miss bats (17.6% K rate). The one saving grace for Choi is that the Bears’ lineup is very left-handed, specifically their best hitters, Jose Fernandez (DOO), Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) and Jae Il Oh (DOO). How this affects the ownership of this stack remains to be seen but our guess is that they’ll very likely be lower owned than the NC Dinos today. The Bears own an implied total ~6 today.
The Tigers are the other team in this slate with an implied total that’s at or approaching 6 runs. Opposing pitcher Hyeong Jun So has posted an 8% K rate through 28 IP this season, which is by far the lowest K rate of any pitcher in this slate. In other words, So allows the most contact of any pitcher in action. That bodes well for Preston Tucker (KIA), who leads the team in home runs (8). Hyung Woo Choi (KIA) is second on the team in home runs (5) and he’s generated 30+ home runs in 4 seasons at the KBO. We’ll see if the red hot Ho Ryung Kim (KIA) can crack the lineup for the series opener as he was pulled last Friday due to a bruised right thumb. Kim had been leading off of late and he’s just $3,400 on DK.
Honorable mention: LG Twins (Roberto Ramos is still priced under $5,000 on DK), Lotte Giants