Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for June 21st
Unlike recent slates, pitching roster percentages are destined to be scattered a bit on Sunday morning, so contrarian players should rejoice. Aces find themselves either overpriced or in questionable matchups and there are some cheap pitchers worthy of attention. On the other hand, a few gas cans are slated to pitch as well, so there is a lot going on here. Let’s get to work…
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Hyun Jong Yang, Kia Tigers, $9,700 DK/$26 FD – Another day, another Kia pitcher mentioned in content, but it should be noted the price tag on Yang is more favorable over on FD. Amongst qualified starters, Yang has posted the 14th highest K rate, but is priced like a top tier starter on DK. His opponent, the Lions, rank below the league average in runs per game (R/G), HR/9 rate and BB rate while striking out at the fifth highest rate in the KBO. Yang is coming off a double-digit strikeout game versus the Wyverns and his 1.16 WHIP overall has only been bested by six other qualified starters. Since another ace is cheaper, Yang will likely be found on a lower percentage of rosters, which makes choosing between the two a tough decision in tournaments.
Eric Jokisch, Kiwoom Heroes, $9,100 DK/$28 FD – Look, Eric Jokisch (KIW) is clearly one of the most talented pitchers in the league, but his 18.0-percent K rate is not ideal for a pitcher priced over $9,000. Even so, the opposing Wyverns are a perfect matchup for producing an outlier K performance, as they have struck out at the second highest rate in the league. As mentioned in the Yang tidbit, he is a lefty and struck out 10 Wyverns in his last outing after racking up a combined eight Ks in his two previous starts. Jokisch’s last three games have been the definition of mediocre as he has struck out just 9.2-percent of hitters during that span. In all likelihood, Jokisch did not just forget how to miss bats, so tonight is an ideal bounce-back spot for him. It will be interesting to see if the public holds strong on him after a mediocre stretch but he still probably ends up over 50-percent rostered.
Min Ho Lee, LG Twins, $7,100 DK/$27 FD – Thankfully, Min Ho Lee’s (LG) stint in the Futures League was short, as the 18-year old has earned a right to be part of the rotation. Over a five appearance (three start) sample size, Lee has produced a 1.16 ERA and 3.24 FIP while striking out 17.8-percent of opposing hitters. By comparison, Lee’s 3.24 FIP ranks eighth amongst all pitchers with at least 20 innings of sample, and, oh, by the way, he has not allowed a single homer. The matchup against the red-hot Bears is by no means ideal but it should be noted they scored five runs in the ninth last night and were actually slowed down by starter Casey Kelly (LG) prior to that (7.0 IP, three earned runs (ERs) and seven Ks). In the future, Lee is likely to go through some growing pains considering how young he is, and that is certainly possible tonight, but he is cheap enough that rostering him against a solid offense is not crazy either.
Jin Ho Kim, NC Dinos, $4,000 DK/$30 FD – First off, Jin Ho Kim (NCD) is unplayable on FD, so let’s just get that out of the way. However, on DK wher he is priced at the bare minimum versus the worst offense in the league, well, that is a different story. In his first career start, Kim struggled through some control issues (three BBs) but struck out five Heroes in just 4.1 IP. Most importantly, Kim threw 69 pitches, which is a number that theoretically should be on the rise in his second start. If this is a pitcher who legitimately will miss bats, the Eagles are a team that he should rack up the strikeouts against, as they own a league-worst 20.3-percent K rate. By comparison, the next team sits at 19.3-percent, so they are a full percentage point worse than the field. At minimum price, Kim is worth a shot, as he is listed as a heavy -210 favorite.
In a game that is tied for the highest over/under on the slate, the Dinos are listed as -210 favorites and are the clear top stack of the night. Probable starter Min Woo Kim (HAN) has yielded a slate-worst .176 ISO to opposing hitters since the start of 2018 and his .369 wOBA allowed ranks worst of all starting pitchers with over a 5.0 inning sample during that span. Amazingly, over a 203.1 IP stretch, opponents have ripped him for a 1.50 HR/9 rate, which is basically unheard of in the KBO. The Dinos are absolutely loaded with power bats including Sung Bum Na (NCD), Jin Sung Kang (NCD), Min Woo Park (NCD) and Aaron Altherr (NCD). Earlier this week, star catcher Eu Ji Yang (NCD) was placed on the injured list, so his absence hurts the depth of the stack a bit. Still, heading into this slate without any Dinos is a scary proposition, and they are stackable in both cash games and GPPs.
Giants starter Kyung Eun Noh (LOT) is one of just 14 qualified starters whose FIP exceeds 5.00 at this point in the season. Noh is a pitcher who pounds the strike zone and often pays for it via the long ball (1.38 HR/9 rate this year) which means all the usuals for the Wiz are on red alert to go deep. Baek Ho Kang (KTW) and Mel Rojas Jr. (KTW) are two of the most complete hitters in the league so Noh is going to have a tough time getting through the middle of this lineup multiple times unscathed. Leadoff man Jeong Dae Bae (KTW) remains underpriced like he has been all year long and Han Joon Yoo (KTW)/Jae Gyun Hwang (KTW) are unlikely to be as popular as the main duo in this lineup. With the Dinos garnering most of the public attention, this team has a chance to fly a bit under the radar, as most will look to pair high-end stacks with aces (and it is near impossible to fit the Dinos with Kang/Rojas/Hwang).
Leadoff hitter Ho Ryung Kim (KIA) specifically finds himself in a good spot tonight for a variety of reasons. Not only will he own the platoon advantage versus a pitcher with a .165 ISO allowed dating back to 2018 but he will not be at his normal risk to strike out multiple times. Opposing starter Jung Hyun Baek’s (SAM) 15.0-percent K over the last two years ranks second worst on the slate and Kim has K’d at a hefty 30.6-percent rate this year. At the MLB level, Preston Tucker (KIA) had struggled mightily versus LHP, but that has not been the case in the KBO: 11-38 (.306) with four HR and a whopping 14 RBI already. Due to the difference in quality of pitchers between the KBO and the MLB, the improvement is unlikely to be a fluke. Ji Wan Na (KIA) is another power bat to include in the stack whose Achilles heel is also his tendency to strike out (which should not be an issue versus Baek). Other than Tucker and Hyung Woo Choi (KIA), none of the bats in the stack are overly expensive, and can easily be paired with a duo of expensive hitters (or another expensive stack).
Honorable Mention: Kiwoom Heroes are a strikeout-prone offense so facing Ricardo Pinto (SK) and his 12.0-percent K rate may be an underrated spot for their team to blast off.