Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for June 17th
Most of the top pitchers on this slate feel overpriced so it could be a night to dive into the bargains at starting pitcher. Weather could potentially impact at least one of the games and every game on the slate now features a 9.5 or 10.5-run total. Let’s get to work…
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Mike Wright, NC Dinos, $10,300 DK/$29 FD – Seemingly, Wright continues to pitch on slates where he rates as the top option despite the fact his underlying numbers are ugly. Not only has Wright walked over 11.0-percent of the hitters he has faced to this point but his -1.96 ERA-FIP ranks second worst amongst all qualified pitchers as well (partially due to his absurd 85.9-percent LOB rate). Oh, by the way, his .255 BABIP against is one of the lowest in the league, so regression is almost assuredly coming for Wright sometime soon. Having said that, his 21.6-percent K rate in 2020 leads all starting pitchers on the slate and the Tigers are without cleanup man Ji Hyuk Ryu (KIA) and fellow upper half of the order mate Sun Bin Kim (KIA) for the foreseeable future. The Tigers are a tough team to strike out, even though leadoff man Ho Reyong Kim (KIA) has struck out at a massive 33.3-percent rate, and they walk at the third highest rate. In other words, the matchup is not by perfect by any means. Still, in cash games, Wright likely possesses the safest floor on the slate because of his strikeout stuff but he is someone who is clearly fadeable in tournaments if needing the salary relief. If targeting Wright, be mindful of the weather, as this appears to be the game with the greatest cause for concern.
Chris Flexen, Doosan Bears, $8,600 DK/$23 FD – After having his previous start skipped because of a hamstring issue, Chris Flexen (DOO) is fully expected to make his triumphant return to the rotation on Wednesday. Unlike Wright, Flexen’s underlying numbers have not been of such grave concern, as his 3.78 FIP ranks second best on the slate and his 0.49 HR/9 rate allowed dating back to 2018 is tied for the best as well. The Lions lineup is more dangerous these days as it was to begin the year since Tyler Saladino (SAM) has hit a groove in the KBO and Ja Wook Koo (SAM) is back healthy in the lineup as well. Opposing hitters have posted just a 0.090 ISO versus Flexen so the hits that have come against him have mostly been of the singles variety. Naturally, after having taken a start off, there is some concern as to how long he is able to last in the game, but he comes at a significant discount to the likes of Wright and Won Tae Choi (KIW). Flexen’s FIP is nearly a full run lower than Choi’s and Wright’s this year and his matchup on paper is preferable to either of the other two pitchers as well.
Chan Gyu Lim, LG Twins, $8,000 DK/$24 FD – Lim rounds out one of the deepest starting rotations in baseball and has dealt with some bad luck to this point of the season. Despite striking out a slate-high 22.2-percent of the batters he has faced this year, Lim has fallen victim to a 59.5-percent LOB rate. In fact, his FIP is almost exactly a run lower than his ERA, and now he will be blessed with the opportunity to face the lowly Eagles offense. On Tuesday morning, the Eagles actually scored five runs, but they still rank dead last in virtually every offensive category (including the fact they strike out at by far the highest rate in the league). On a slate where all the aces are iffy, going cheap at SP2 is almost assuredly the proper play, and two cheap starting pitchers makes some sense if trying to differentiate in tournaments as well.
Honorable Mention: Chad Bell (HAN) has pitched extremely poorly this season but quietly struck out a season-high five batters his last time out versus the Bears. Facing a LG Twins team that may still be without Roberto Ramos (LG), and coming off a 2019 season in which he posted a 4.11 FIP and 76.0-percent LOB rate (65.7-percent this year), Bell may be primed for a bounce-back on close to zero rosters. On a slate without a true ace, now may be the correct time to take a shot on him with the Twins’ best bats (Ramos, Hyun Soo Kim (LG)) both hitting from the left side of the plate. Min Woo Lee (KIA) is also a young starting pitcher whose skill set I really like but the matchup versus the Dinos is treacherous.
On our pitching sheet towards the top of the article, Tae-hoon Kim (SK) ends up looking better than he truly is because much of his sample since 2018 includes a role out of the bullpen. During that time, Kim was missing bats at a higher rate, so those looking at this article without context may end up looking to roster him. However, his time as a starter has not been as fruitful, as he has only struck out 13.8-percent of the hitters he has faced this year and has walked 14.5-percent of them. The transition to a starting role has been a rocky road as evident by his 5.30 FIP and minuscule .213 BABIP for a pitcher with an already high ERA (4.91). With Baek Ho Kang (KTW), Han Joon Yoo (KTW) and Jae Gyun Hwang (KTW) back in the lineup, the Wiz now feature one of the deepest lineups in the entire league. Kang hits from the left side of the plate but the other top bats on the team, including Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW), will own the platoon edge versus what is looking like a subpar starter.
The Heroes let us down last night in what looked like a perfect situation but forgetting about last night is part of the formula to becoming a successful daily fantasy player in any sport. Dong Wan Park (KIW) left last night’s game with injury which means an extremely affordable Ji Young Lee (KIW) will start in his place tonight versus a 19-year old gas can. Amongst qualified starters, Seo’s ERA-FIP (-2.10) ranks worst in the league, as he has allowed a 1.50 HR/9 rate with just an 11.0-percent K rate…and he has been lucky to come away with a 3.72 ERA in the process. He owns a .280 BABIP against a 81.9-percent LOB rate which are clearly destined to regress in accordance with his FIP approaching 6.0. At the top of the Heroes lineup, ByungHo Park (KIW) is slumping badly, but he is worth starting on nights where the opposing starter will not strike him out multiple times. Jun Won Seo’s (LOT) K rate ranks fourth lowest amongst pitchers that have thrown at least 20 innings so Park will almost assuredly make contact tonight. Hye Sung Kim (KIW) has been on a tear as of late but the masses have realized considering he was over 40-percent rostered on DK last night. Without Park, this lineup is slightly less deep, but one worth targeting again versus one of most power-prone pitchers in all of the KBO.
The loss of Jae Il Oh (DOO) cannot be overstated, especially since his side injury is considered to be “serious,” but Lions starter Dae-woo Kim (SAM) is just not good. Over the course of his past 122.0 innings, Kim has been burned for a 6.10 FIP, 1.55 HR/9 rate, .371 wOBA and .215 ISO while striking out a slate-low 11.7-percent of the hitters he has faced. In 2020 alone, Kim has struck out just 7.8-percent of the batters he has faced (26.0 IP sample size), putting him in the running for worst pitcher in the entire league. What more needs to be said? Jose Fernandez (DOO) would own the highest raw projection in the DailyRoto model this evening and Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) would not be far behind. Even if not full-stacking this team, full-fading them is a scary proposition. Note: Kun Woo Park (DOO) left last night’s game as well so he too may be out on Wednesday.
Honorable Mention: SK Wyverns will face a 22-year old rookie making just his second career appearance (and first career start). In his only other appearance, he lasted two innings, faced nine total batters and threw 25-pitches. In other words, this is a likely bullpen day from the worst bullpen in the league, so the Wyverns lineup is in a solid spot to mash (despite the fact they are not overly deep).