Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for July 3rd
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Raul Alcantara, Doosan Bears, $28 FD/$8,600 DK – Alcantara deserves to be viewed as the top pitching play in this slate. For starters, Alcantara’s K rate has improved this season, going from just 13.8% last season to 19.5% this season. It’s a significant leap and one that deserves to be questioned given that last year’s sample was much bigger. However, a matchup against the league’s worst Hanwha Eagles (averaging 3.4 runs per game) makes you forget about any possible regression. Alcantara is a slate high -380 favorite, which amounts to a 75% implied odds to win. He’s a strong play across all formats but if you believe he’ll be absurdly popular in tournaments, you could get away with a fade here more times than not.
After Alcantara, it’s difficult to rank the position. It’s not for a lack of talent but rather conviction relative to these pitcher’s context. For example, Drew Gagnon (KIA) leads the slate in K rate (23.8%) but has the toughest draw of any pitcher with the NC Dinos rolling into town. Gagnon deserves a look in tournaments but the matchup alone removes him from cash game consideration entirely.
Eric Jokisch (KIW) has posted an 18.8% K rate over the last 244.7 IP. Jokisch has been more impressive on the run prevention side of things where he’s posted a 2.69 ERA/3.24 FIP. Jokisch tends to do an elite job at keeping the ball on the ground and generates soft contact, which is a big reason why his run prevention has been so stellar. The matchup against the KT Wiz isn’t a great one and he’s priced fully on both sites, which makes it a more challenging investment given his K rate expectation. He’s still viable in tournaments.
Tyler Wilson (LG) hasn’t impressed this season but he’s posted a 19.3% K rate and 3.18 ERA over the last 407 IP. Outside of this season, Wilson had been a dominant pitcher. He’ll need to return to that level to be worth his $9,500 DK price tag. His price tag is a bit better on FD ($25) but in general his stock has been going down given his performance this season. That will likely result in a favorable ownership number.
Jung Hyun Baek (SAM) is the cheapest pitcher available on DK ($6,000) and he’s struck out 30 batters in 38 IP this season. Baek’s K rate has been in the 15% range in over 300 IP, so the pace he’s at this season is likely unsustainable. Baek is a LHP and the Twins’ lineup is predominantly left handed, so the matchup isn’t as terrible as you might think.
Implied totals today are a bit more muted as there are a decent amount of solid starting pitchers in this slate. The Bears’ 5.5 implied team total (tied for highest in this slate) could reach 6 by lock. Opposing pitcher Bum Soo Kim has big issues with walks (13% BB rate) and home runs (1.30 HR/9, .171 ISO) allowed) in a decent sample (180 IP). The one clear negative is that Kim is a lefty and the Bears’ best hitters are all left-handed. Still, Jose Fernandez (DOO), Jae Hwan Kim (DOO), Jae Il Oh (DOO) and Joo Hwan Choi (DOO) will have to be considered regardless of the L/L matchup.
The Giants are easily facing one of the weaker starting pitchers in this slate in Ricardo Pinto. The latter has struck out just 13.4% of batters and has been having issues with walks (10.7% BB rate). Pinto has managed to keep the ball inside the park so far but given how mediocre his K rate has been at this level, that 0.16 HR/9 is highly unlikely to last for much longer. Hoon Jung is still priced below $4,000 on DK and $10 on FD and he’s a solid leadoff hitter. Dae Ho Lee (LOT) is the team’s best hitter and he’s just $4,000 on DK and $10 on FD. Jun Won Jeon (LOT) is an additional primary play that you should consider playing in this stack while Dixon Machado (LOT) is the best secondary piece from this team. Machado would be a primary target IF he were to hit in a better lineup spot than seventh.
Honorable mention: KIA Tigers and Kiwoom Heroes; both teams have implied team totals of 5.5 runs but the Heroes are likely a better overall target since they produce more events (57 home runs, 33 stolen bases as a team this season). The Tigers’ best hitter has been Preston Tucker (KIA), but the L/L matchup is at least a slight concern for his value today. Byung Ho Park (KIW) is coming off a two home run performance and the price tag on DK ($4,500) is favorable. Ha Seong Kim (KIW) has generated 10 home runs and 7 stolen bases for the Heroes this season, while Jung Hoo Lee (KIW) has posted a massive 1.034 OPS in 220 PAs this season.
It’s also worth mentioning that Drew Gagnon’s level of performance at the KBO this season will likely keep the NC Dinos ownership at bay today. Given how well the Dinos’ offense has performed all season and their ability to rack up events, they’re likely one of if not the best leverage stack in this slate.