Welcome to another brutal pitching slate. Happy May 27th.
Vegas Odds and probables courtesy of Pinnacle:
Jae Hak Lee, NC Dinos, $9,000 DK/$25 FD – Look, Jae Hak Lee (NCD) is a solid pitcher at the KBO level, having yielded just a 0.60 HR/9 rate over the course of his previous 298.1 IP. In fact, his 3.80 FIP since the start of 2018 ranks second best amongst pitchers on the slate, but he is priced as the most expensive of the bunch. Beyond the top two pitchers, the options on this slate are extremely limited, which will likely lead many rosters to the double ace constructions. Quietly, the Kiwoom Heroes have struck out at the second highest rate in the league (20.1-percent) so there is some sneaky upside against them if all goes well. The problem is their offense is both patient and potent so there is clear downside as well. If assuming this slate will just take two positive pitchers to win, Lee is a fine play in all formats, albeit slightly overpriced.
Odrisamer Despaigne, KT Wiz, $8,300 DK/$23 FD – After a few starts, Odrisamer Despaigne (KTW) looked like he may take the league by storm and strike out 30-percent of opposing hitters, but those numbers have come back to Earth his past two starts. Still, Despaigne’s 22-plus percent K rate ranks tops on the slate and the Kia Tigers offense is the definition of league average. The top trait the Tigers offense has going for them is their patience at the plate (10.0-percent BB rate) but Despaigne was walked just two of the first 95 hitters he has seen in this league. Despite being the clear ace on the slate (1.83 FIP in the KBO is two runs better than any other pitcher scheduled to pitch tonight), Despaigne is priced more like a SP2. There is no question he is a cash game lock but he will undoubtedly warrant heavy ownership in tournaments so there is certainly a case to be made for a fade-and-pray.
Chan Heon Jung, LG Twins, $6,500 DK/$27 FD – Although the two starts Chan Heon Jung (LG) has made this year have been the first two of his career, the manager let him throw a whopping 107-pitches his last time out. In other words, the team appears to be commited to Jung as a starter this season, and he is priced like an absolute scrub in one of the best possible matchups. Thus far, the Hanwha Eagles rank ninth in runs per game (R/G), last in home runs per game (HR/G), fourth in K rate and dead last in BB rate. Amongst pitchers on this slate, Jung’s K rate since the beginning of 2018 ranks fourth, but there is a nominal difference between his 17.6-percent K rate and Seung Won Moon’s (SK) 18.2-percent. Jung is the clear top value at the position and his minuscule salary allows fantasy owners to load up on bats. Note: FD priced him as the most expensive pitcher which makes him tough to roster on that site specifically.
Honorable mention: Min Jae Jang (HAN) is priced similarly to Jung and should garner lower ownership due to the more difficult matchup (versus the LG Twins)
Want to live life on the edge? Well, stacking a team that lost yet another asset yesterday in Dong Min Han (SK) is one way to do so. After the Han injury, the team is now without three of their starting hitters and they have proven to be one of the two worst offenses in the entire league to this point. Even so, sometimes bad teams produce, and it is hard to think of a more encouraging spot than versus a pitcher, Hui Kwan Yu (DOO), with a 10-percent K rate and FIP approaching 4.50 (over his last 322.1 IP). Both the top hitters on this offense, Jamie Romak (SK) and Jeong Choi (SK), hit from the right side of the plate and the DailyRoto model expects them to strike out at over a 19-percent rate in the split. However, our expectations are each will fare as an upper-echelon hitter in the split, giving Romak credit for a wOBA above .400 and Choi not far behind (.378). Finding where to go after the top two bats is a difficult proposition but each of these players is on red alert to go deep with Yu unlikely to strike either player out (he simply does not possess swing-and-miss stuff). Eui Yoon Jeong (SK) is a cheap complement if in the starting lineup and it should be noted the Doosan Bears have allowed more runs to opponents than any other team. Their bullpen is bad and this lineup will still face positive matchups after the starter leaves the ballgame. This stack is worth a shot even if only rolling out a mini-stack version of it.
Speaking of times suffering through injuries, no Baek Ho Kang (KTW) is a big deal for the Wiz, and yet the top of their lineup is still loaded with promise. For the third straight year, Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW) appears to be on pace to hit 20-plus homers and drive in over 100 runs while posting near league-best levels of slash line numbers. Beyond Rojas, Jae-gyun Hwang (KTW), Jeong-dae Bae (KTW), Yong Ho Jo (KTW) and Sung Woo Jang (KTW) are all capable hitters in their own right. With the masses gravitating towards the Dinos and Bears, there is a buying opportunity here for a Wiz offense versus the slate’s worst pitcher: Ki Young Im (KIA). Not only is he the only pitcher to have posted a FIP above 5.00 over the course of the past two seasons but his HR/9 rate allowed is also the highest on the slate. As if that were not enough, 1.66 WHIP during that span is atrocious, and his 15.2-percent K rate is third lowest on the slate as well. The Wiz rarely ever strike out which means there will be lots of contact in this one. When hitters produce contact versus Im, the ball often leaves the yard, so the hope is a multi-homer game from an offense that may get overlooked a bit.
Once again, the Doosan Bears find themselves in an elite matchup, this time against one of the most power-prone pitchers on the slate. Seung Won Moon (SK) has been crushed for a 1.42 HR/9 rate over his last 53 starts and he absolutely pounds the strike zone (just a 5.6-percent BB rate). Almost the entire Bears lineup will own the platoon advantage versus a pitcher clearly susceptible to the long ball which means huge potential upside for the likes of Jose Fernandez (DOO), Jae Hwan Kim (DOO), Joo Hwan Choi (DOO) and the others. In a game with an 11.0-run total, the Bears’ implied run total is easily the highest on the slate, which means you should not expect to get any of their top bats much below 40-percent owned.