Vegas Odds and probables courtesy of Pinnacle:
Warwick Saupold, Hanwha Eagles, $27 FD/$9,700 DK – Saupold is the rightful top play of this slate though you could make a strong argument that he’s overpriced relative to his strikeout upside. ZiPS projects Saupold to generate a 7.2 K/9. In his first full season at the KBO (2019), Saupold pitched 192 innings and generated 135 strikeouts – good for a 6.40 K/9. There was very little separation between his ERA (3.47) and FIP (3.51) in that full season. ZiPS projects Saupold for a 3.90 ERA this season. And that’s where Saupold separates himself from the pack. He’s a -130 favorite (second highest in this slate) today in a game with a total of 9.
Jake Brigham, Kiwoom Heroes, $25 FD/$8,500 DK – There’s a decent chance that the best pitching play in this slate comes from this game between the Kiwoom Heroes and LG Twins. ZiPS is projecting a 3.31 ERA (third best projection in the KBO) and 7.6 K/9 for Brigham this season. Brigham has posted a 7.9 and 7.3 K/9 at the KBO over the last two seasons respectively. He’s the third highest favorite (-122) on the board today in a game with a slate low 8.5 total. Brigham’s ceiling is likely in the high 20s DraftKings points but that’s the story for every pitcher in this slate. Even Warwick Saupold, who ran incredibly hot in his first start of the season, generated 31 DK points and he needed a complete game shutout to do it. 30+ pitcher points in this league are going to be very rare. Brigham is a solid choice across all formats.
Casey Kelly, LG Twins, $20 FD/$8,000 DK – Kelly profiles similarly to Jake Brigham from a run prevention perspective. 2019 was Kelly’s first stint at the KBO, and he pitched 180 innings while generating a 2.55 ERA/3.42 FIP. ZiPS is projecting a 3.47 ERA for Kelly – not that different from Brigham’s 3.47 projection. Where Brigham separates himself is in the strikeout department, where Kelly projects for a K/9 below 7. Last season, Kelly’s K/9 was just 6.29. He’ll need to rely heavily on the run prevention side for his value, which dings him a bit. Still, Kelly is pitching in the game with the lowest total in this slate (8.5) and most of the other arms in this slate aren’t as reliable as him.
Honorable mention: Yong Chan Lee (DOO), Hyun Jong Yang (KIA)
The Doosan Bears finally have some competition for top stack of the night as KT Wiz are in an optimal run scoring environment. Opposing pitcher Seong Hwan Yoon is a RHP that allows loads of contact. Yoon is coming off an age 37 season in which he posted a 4 K/9. 4! His ERA has also deteriorated over the last two seasons (6.98, 4.77 respectively). There’s a direct correlation here between his strikeouts deteriorating and his run prevention getting worse as he ages. Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW) and Baek Ho Kang (KTW) are the main power sources on this team. Meanwhile, Woo Jun Sim (KTW) is a leadoff shortstop with a $2,500 price tag on DraftKings. Leading off for a team with a team total that’s approaching 6 runs, Sim is quite an obvious value in this slate.
And then there’s the Bears, the chalkiest team in the KBO. The Bears’ lineup is just unfair relative to the rest of the league. They can outpower you with Jae Il Oh (DOO) and Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) or they can flat out out-hit you with Jose Miguel Fernandez (DOO). These are all LHBs though, and opposing pitcher Hyun Jong Yang is a talented LHP that’s posted a 3.76 ERA for his career. It looks like this will finally be a slate where the Bears’ ownership doesn’t get out of hand. Act accordingly in GPPs.
The Lions are typically an offense that doesn’t crack our recommendations. For starters, they project to be one of the worst offenses in the league once again. They’re not as talented as the Bears or the other higher end offenses. However, they own a team total of 5+ runs in this slate as they take on youngster Kim Min. Min’s first full season at the KBO was the 2019 season, in which he posted a 4.96 ERA and 91 strikeouts in nearly 151 innings. The Lions have some power towards the top of their lineup with hitters like Won Seok Lee (SAM) and Ja Wook Koo (SAM). Both of these hitters have hit double digit home runs over the last few seasons and Koo has stolen at least 10 bases in his first five seasons at the KBO. Outside of the KT Wiz, we’re expecting ownership to be pretty spread out in this slate.