Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for July 4th
Tonight features the first -500 favorite of the season which is crazy because the best pitcher in the league was not even listed as that heavy of a favorite when he squared off against the Eagles. Other than the massive favorite, the heaviest other favorite on the slate is -166, which should lead to heavy chalk this evening. Contrarian players should be jumping for joy on this slate because there could be up to a handful of 50-plus percent rostered hitters.
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Drew Rucinski, NC Dinos, $9,700 DK/$29 FD – On this slate, Drew Rucinski (NCD) is one of a few aces, but his matchup does not jump off the page. Thus far, the Tigers rank seventh in runs per game (R/G), fifth in HR/9 rate, sixth in K rate and second in BB rate, so they are average in every aspect other than their patience. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Rucinski has only walked opposing hitters at a 6.4-percent rate, so their patience should not come into play much in this matchup. Over the course of his last three starts, Rucinski has struck out 24.7-percent of the opposing hitters he has faced, including a 6.0 inning, 8 K, 18.7 DK fantasy point performance (without a win) versus the Tigers on Jun. 16. Roster percentage on this slate will likely not condense around anyone other than Chris Flexen (DOO) so there is a potential for Rucinski to fly a bit under the radar (at least comparatively to normal).
Chris Flexen, Doosan Bears, $8,300 DK/$27 FD – Look, whenever a player is listed as a -500 favorite, the masses are likely going to notice. Flexen will square off against an Eagles offense missing a foreign player (since Brandon Barnes (HAN) is still quarantining) and they already ranked dead last in R/G, HR/9 rate, K rate and BB rate. What else needs to be said here? Flexen ranks 11th in the league in K rate, and this is a true upside spot, so his floor and ceiling are at least on par with any other pitcher on the slate.
Chan Gyu Lim, LG Twins, $8,200 DK/$28 FD – Amongst all qualified pitchers this season, Chan Gyu Lim (LG) ranks fourth in K rate, behind only Chang Mo Koo (NCD), Dan Straily (LOT) and Shi Hwan Jang (HAN). Similarly to previous years, Lim has been susceptible to the long ball, but he has cut down on the BB rate and his Ks have obviously sky-rocketed this year. His opponent, the Samsung Lions, rank as a league-average offense essentially across the board but are coming off a nine-run, outlier performance last night. The Lions strike out at a rate above the league-average, and Lim misses bats at a higher rate than Tyler Wilson (LG), last night’s starter, so he has a shot to succeed where Wilson faltered. Lim’s pricing has reached “fair” levels and yet he is still a solid option in all formats.
Honorable Mention: Jun Won Seo (LOT)
Probable starter Min Woo Kim (HAN) has been extremely susceptible to power dating back to 2018. During that span, Kim has been blasted for a slate-worst 1.44 HR/9 rate and .170 ISO. Most of the Bears lineup will own the platoon edge versus Kim including the likes of Jose Fernandez (DOO), Jae Il Oh (DOO), Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) and Joo Hwan Choi (DOO). No team has struck out at a lower rate this year than the Bears (14.9-percent) and missing bats has been the one thing Kim has had going for him this year (23.9-percent K rate). Basically, he Bears should act as his kryptonite, as he allows long balls by the bunches when not missing bats,
Through four starts, Yoon Dong Heo (SAM) has walked just about double the number of hitters (13) as he has struck out (seven)…and none of his other numbers are pretty either. In 20.0 innings, Heo has yielded a 6.91 FIP, .385 wOBA and .149 ISO to go along with a 1.35 HR/9 rate allowed (which would rank worst on most other slates). Those just looking at Heo’s 3.60 ERA will not get the full picture as he stands out as the clear worst starting pitcher on the slate (all things considered). Roberto Ramos (LG), Hyun Soo Kim (LG) and Ji Hwan Oh (LG) all hit from the left side of the plate, which is not an ideal setup versus a lefty, but Oh homered against a lefty just last night (and Ramos has already hit two homers off LHP as well). Kang Nam Yoo (LG) is the safest play on the team as he has thrived in the split versus southpaws: .500 AVG, four homers, 14 RBI and just four Ks in 32 at-bats (ABs). If the masses gravitate to the Bears, the Twins constitute both a solid complement and intriguing pivot (if fading the stone chalk).
The Giants are a contact-driven (16.3-percent K rate) offense set to square off against a starting pitcher, Joo Han Kim (SK), that rarely ever misses bats (12.0-percent). Along with Heo, Kim is the other outlier pitcher on the slate in terms of wOBA allowed (.382), which bodes well for a the middle of the Giants lineup. Last game, Dae Ho Lee’s (LOT) recent eight-game hitting streak finally came to an end, but Ah Seop Son’s (LOT) five game hitting streak was extended. On paper, the Giants are also a patient offense, and Kim’s 13.4-percent BB rate ranks second worst amongst all pitchers on the slate. In his previous start, Kim threw a season-high 85-pitches (including a 1:2 K/BB ratio), so he is well on the way to being stretched out like a true starter. The longer he remains in the game, the better the prospects for the Giants lineup, and it seems like Kim could push for 100-pitches tonight. Do not overlook this offense.
Honorable mention: SK Wyverns