Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for July 16th
Every single game on the slate features a 10.5-run total so this may be one of the least chalkiest slates in quite some time. Let’s dig in…
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Hyun Jong Yang, Kia Tigers, $9,300 DK/$25 FD – Top bats in the Lions lineup Tyler Saladino (SAM) and Ja Wook Koo (SAM) each prefer the split against RHP and the Lions have been rolling out lineups with five lefties included. That should be music to the ears of those looking to target Hyun Jong Yang (KIA) even though his splits do not perfectly align with that setup this year. Lefties have hit .297 against Yang to this point with seven extra-base hits (XBH) but over time those splits should be expected to even out. Dating back to 2018, Yang has walked opposing hitters at a slate-low 5.27-percent and his 3.67 FIP and .300 wOBA allowed are amongst the best as well. The Tigers are only the fourth heaviest favorite of the slate and Yang is still a strong target in all formats (especially because the other two starters in this article are massive favorites and will be obvious targets for most).
Chris Flexen, Doosan Bears, $8,900 DK/$20 FD – Okay, so the FD price specifically is way too cheap for Chris Flexen (DOO). In a tough matchup his last time out, Flexen shut down the Giants to the tune of a four baserunners, six strikeouts and one earned run (ER) in seven innings. When things go right for Flexen, he possesses tournament-winning upside, as he has bested 25 DK fantasy points in two of his last four starts. The problem has been his inconsistency and he is facing the Wyverns at a tough time because one of their top bats, Dong Min Han (SK), has just returned to the lineup. The Wyverns are still by no means a top offense in the league but they are better than their 3.74 runs per game (R/G) and fourth worst HR/9 rate suggest. Still, the team strikes out at the second highest rate of the league, so Flexen’s ceiling is as high as anyone’s on the slate. When he faced this team prior to Han’s return, he struck out eight batters in six innings en route to 25.3 DK fantasy points. A similar performance is well within the range of potential outcomes.
William Cuevas, KT Wiz, $7,900 DK/$24 FD – A few weeks after posting a quality start against the Eagles, William Cuevas (KTW) will get a shot at an encore showing tonight. Only two pitchers on this ace-loaded slate have held opponents to a lower wOBA over the course of the past two seasons and Cuevas’ numbers are simply solid across the board. Brandon Barnes (HAN) is getting close to joining the Eagles offense, as his 14-day quarantine has ended, but he is expected to join the Futures League first. In other words, he will not be in the Eagles lineup tonight, so the offense is still the same old squad that ranks dead last in just about every category. As a -330 favorite, Cuevas is an easy man to slot in at SP2 in cash games, and do not sleep on him in tournaments either (although over 50-percent of the field will likely be on him).
Honorable mention: Yoon Dong Heo (SAM) is the only cheap starting pitcher with any semblance of upside and only because he is the preferable handedness to face the Tigers.
After letting the masses down last evening, the Wiz are primed for a bounceback on Thursday morning versus Min Woo Kim (HAN). Amongst all qualified starters in the league, Kim’s 1.46 HR/9 rate ranks fourth worst behind only Jung-hyun Baek (SAM), Se-woong Park (LOT) and Jun-won Seo (LOT). Kim possesses the ability to miss bats (23.0-percent K rate) but also walks opponents at near a double-digit rate and features a FIP over 5.00 (5.03). The Wiz do strike out at a hefty rate (18.7-percent), so Kim may rack up strikeouts along the way, but this is one of the most loaded teams in the power department. Facing a pitcher that serves up the long ball at an extremely high rate, guys like Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW), Baek Ho Kang (KTW) and Jae Gyun Hwang (KTW) are on red-alert to go deep. Since Hwang is so expensive across the industry, he should find himself on the fewest rosters of the trio, and is a strong tournament target (as Hwang has already stolen four bases this season as well).
Targeting the Bears stack against lefties can be a tricky proposition because a majority of the Bears offense hits from the left side of the plate. Hell, Jose Fernandez (DOO), Jae Il Oh (DOO), Jae Hwan Kim (DOO), Joo Hwan Choi (DOO), Jae Won Oh (DOO) and Se Hyuk Park (DOO) are all left-handed hitters (LHHs) and may very well all make the lineup tonight. Of the bunch, Kim, Choi and Park are the three with the best numbers in the split, but obviously the top of the order will be in play if Seung Geon Baek’s (SK) stint is a short one (as right-handed relievers will likely horizon). Kun Woo Park (DOO) and Kyoung Min Hur (DOO) are the most comfortable targets versus lefties but the masses likely understand that to be the case as well. Regardless, the team is facing a pitcher with an insane 6.43 FIP, .384 wOBA and 1.59 HR/9 rate allowed over his last 18 appearances. Baek has topped out at 67-pitches this year, so he is unlikely to throw much more than three innings, which leaves the Bears with up to six innings to excel against a bullpen with a 5.42 ERA. Yeah, this is easily one of the top stacks of the slate no matter how you slice it.
Looking at the body of work for Chan Heon Jung (LG) this year, it appears within the range of outcomes that he has been a product of his matchups. Thus far, Jung has started seven games and five of those have come against the combination of the Lions, Eagles and Wyverns. In those five starts, Jung has produced a 25.5-percent K rate, 4.5-percent BB rate and 1.82 ERA. However, in his other two games against the Heroes and Bears, Jung struck out just 18.2-percent of batters, walked 6.8-percent and his ERA has ballooned to 5.40. Once again, Jung will face a difficult matchup tonight versus a Giants offense that has excelled against RHP and strikes out at the second lowest rate in the league. If Jung is unable to miss bats, that is when he susceptible to a meltdown, so fantasy owners should jump at the prospects to lock in this stack on a day where the masses are avoiding.
Honorable mention: LG Twins face a great matchup on paper versus a pitcher that owns a slate-worst .189 ISO allowed dating back to 2018 but virtually all the top bats in the Twins lineup are of the left-handed variety. Kang Nam Yoo (LG) stands out as the clear best play from the team and can deployed as an elite one-off in any lineup.