Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for July 8th
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Dan Straily, Lotte Giants, $29 FD/$10,100 DK – Straily is very clearly the top pitcher on the board today. What makes Straily stand out among the rest of his peers is his K rate, which sits at 26.2% on the season. For comparison’s sake, the next highest K rate in this slate belong to Jong Gi Park, who’s posted a 20.5% K rate in a tiny sample (19 IP). Straily’s run prevention (2.53 ERA/3.11 FIP) has been exceptional as well, which is no surprise given his ability to miss bats at such a high level in this league. On top of all of this, Straily gets the best matchup possible as the Hanwha Eagles are averaging a league worse 3.5 runs per game. Vegas is all over Straily (-172 favorite, 60% odds to win) and the Giants in this one. Straily’s price tag is full around the industry but his ownership might get out of control regardless.
The rest of the position is in flux today. Jae Hak Lee (NCD) is having a nightmare of a season thus far, posting a 5.72 ERA and 33 Ks in 50 IP. Lee does have the benefit of pitching for the best team in the league and he’s the highest favorite (-194) on the board today, but that’s not enough to fall in love with his DK price tag ($8,700). The $21 price tag on FD is way more reasonable. You’re going to need a good BABIP outing and a win in order for Lee to be valuable.
Jong Gi Park (DOO) has an intriguing DK price tag ($7,200) but his workload is a concern. Through three starts this season, Park hasn’t exceeded 85 pitches and he’s coming off an outing in which he only threw 73 pitches. The price tag and ability to miss some bats keeps him in play but his Fantasy Points ceiling is probably capped in the low 20s.
Odrisamer Despaigne (KTW) has rebounded in a big way of late (12 Ks in 13 IP, coming off a 1 ER outing) and his price tags are mostly favorable around the industry. He’s a fine tournament play.
Casey Kelly (LG) doesn’t have the strikeouts, matchup or price tags to make him playable in this slate. The same could be said about Warwick Saupold (HAN) though his ability to keep the ball in the ground and generate soft contact has often resulted in strong run prevention. Of the two, we’d likely side with Saupold but it’s largely because he’s $1,000 cheaper than Kelly on DK. Saupold is largely unplayable on FD where you’re asked to pay $26.
The Dinos are back at the top of our stack rankings, which is likely the least surprising development today. For starters, the Dinos are averaging 6.5 runs per game this season and they lead the league in home runs (79) by a wide margin. Their implied total has been set at 6 for today. Opposing pitcher Geon Wook Lee is severely over-matched here. His walk rate (14%) is nearly the same as his strikeout rate (17.9%) and his FIP (4.74) is significantly higher than his ERA (3.19). Aaron Altherr (NCD) is having an absurd start to his KBO career, slugging 14 home runs and stealing 10 bases in just 200 PAs. Sung Bum Na (NCD) doesn’t have the stolen base upside but he does lead the team in home runs (15). The Dinos also have the best hitting catcher in the league, Eui Ji Yang (NCD). Their first baseman, Jin Sung Kang (NCD), has generated a 1.026 OPS in 177 PAs. All of the plays above are primary plays and will carry ownership though Straily being so expensive might help keep the ownership at bay.
We’re ranking the KT Wiz ahead of the Doosan Bears today despite the former’s implied team total (5.5) being a bit lighter. The biggest reason for this is that the KT Wiz generates more events. On the season, they’ve hit 65 home runs and are tied for the second highest amount of stolen bases (38). Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW) is the best hitter on this team. He’s hit 19 home runs and has posted an impressive 1.129 OPS. Baek Ho Kang (KTW) is the second best hitter and has to be treated as a primary play in or outside of this stack. Jeong Dae Bae (KTW) is the leadoff hitter for this team and his recent performance has been outstanding, posting multiple 20+ Fantasy performances of late. Of course, that doesn’t help us in predicting future performance but leading off for one of the best offenses in the league certainly helps. Bae’s price tags are affordable as well. Jae Gyun Hwang (KTW) has performed as the league’s best hitting third baseman and deserves to be viewed as a primary play in this stack.
While the Bears don’t pack in as many events as the Dinos or the KT Wiz, they remain one of the league’s top offenses, averaging 6.2 runs per game. Jose Fernandez (DOO) is one of the league’s best hitters (1.022 OPS this season) while Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) and Jae Il Oh (DOO) are strong sources of power. Kyoung Min Hur (DOO) provides strong value at third base as he’s been able to provide some power (4 home runs) and speed (5 stolen bases). Hur is just $10 on FD and $3,500 on DK. Opposing pitcher Casey Kelly is by no means a bad pitcher, but his 16.9 K rate isn’t consistent with that of a great pitcher at this level. The Bears’ implied team total is the same as the Dinos but it’s possible that they check in with lower ownership as the Dinos are the more eventful team and have the better pitching matchup.
Honorable mention: Kiwoom Heroes, Lotte Giants (most expensive hitter on DK is $4,600; they fit perfectly with Dan Straily).