Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for June 23rd
Exactly zero teams are listed as -200 or higher favorites. Many of the most recognizable foreign pitchers are slated to start. Weather does not appear to be a factor with no rain on the forcecast but, as always, that should be taken with a grain of salt over 12-hours before first pitch. Without further do, let’s get to work…
Vegas Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
Chris Flexen, Doosan Bears, $8,500 DK/$27 FD – On Wednesday of last week, Chris Flexen (DOO) returned after having one start skipped (with a hamstring issue) and lasted just 85-pitches. Having a start under his belt, daily fantasy competitors should feel comfortable expecting him to ramp up to around 100-pitches once again on Tuesday morning. His opponent, the Wyverns, have struck out at the second highest rate in the league (19.3-percent) and both their top hitters are right-handed/do not own the platoon edge versus Flexen. Nearly a month ago, Flexen faced this team and only managed 10.7 DK fantasy points in 6.0 innings, so those game log hunting will likely look elsewhere. Flexen may not be the most talented pitcher on the slate but Drew Rucinski (NCD) faces a loaded KT Wiz lineup that rarely strikes out when everyone is healthy (and they are currently). Consequently, Flexen is a strong SP1 option, even though he has struggled to post productive fantasy outings as of late.
Aaron Brooks, Kia Tigers, $8,400 DK/$25 FD – The most talented pitcher on the slate is Aaron Brooks (KIA), even though he is not priced as such, as his 3.01 FIP and 0.069 ISO allowed easily lead those scheduled to start. In fact, his FIP ranks fourth best amongst all qualified starters, behind only Chang Mo Koo (NCD), Dan Straily (LOT) and Drew Gagnon (KIA). The Giants recently saw Hoon Jung (LOT) return to the lineup which added another dimension to an already pesky offense. Thus far, the Giants have struck out at the second lowest rate (16.2-percent) in the league, which is obviously not ideal. However, they rank eighth in runs per game (R/G) and BB rate while posting the second lowest HR/9 rate in the KBO. Brooks is not a strikeout pitcher as-is (21.9-percent K rate) but his value in this matchup will come from his ability to limit the damage against him. Vegas lists Brooks as a heavy favorite in a game tied for the lowest total on the slate so target him as the only true appealing option of the night.
Chae Heung Choi, Samsung Lions, $7,300 DK/$27 FD – Everyone knows the Hanwha Eagles are a bad offensive ball club but for the next two weeks they are going to be even worse. This weekend, the team cut Jared Hoying (HAN) and signed ex-MLB player Brandon Barnes (HAN) to take his spot. When a player heads over to South Korea, they are forced to quarantine for 14-days, which means Barnes will not be able to join the lineup until July. The lower half of the lineup consists of players called up from the Futures League and now there are exactly zero international hitters on this team for the next few weeks. No team averages fewer R/G or home runs (HRs) per game (HR/G) than the Eagles and they strike out at the highest rate in the league. If there were ever a spot for an outlier performance from a mediocre pitcher, this would be it for Chae Heung Choi (SAM).
At this point, it is difficult to look at the 2020 sample for Chad Bell (HAN) and conclude anything other than this not being a well-tuned pitcher. Through 21.1 IP (five starts) this season, Bell has been blasted to the tune of a 6.88 FIP, 13.8-percent K rate to 12.8-percent BB rate, 1.69 HR/9 rate and 2.11 WHIP. Righties have not been the only ones doing damage as lefties have produced a .375 AVG against him in their own right. Essentially, both righties and lefties on this team are in play, beginning with Tyler Saladino (SAM). After starting the season slow, Saladino leads all qualified hitters on the team with a 145 wRC+, .413 wOBA and .222 ISO. Otherwise, Ja Wook Koo (SAM), Sang-soo Kim (SAM) and Hak-Ju Lee (SAM) are the other team leaders in wOBA amongst their everyday players, and the ones worth targeting in a Samsung-centric lineup.
Addison Russell (KIW) is not able to suit up yet as he too is presently quarantining but Ha Seong Kim (KIW) is your KBO leader in runs and the team still ranks fourth in R/G with star ByungHo Park (KIW) struggling. Park has at least looked better since returning from his four day removal from the roster as he has hit safely in back-to-back games (including a bomb). LG starter Yun Sik Kim (LG) should be expected to act as an opener as this literally will be his first career start. Recently, the Twins bullpen has begun to regress, as they moved from first in ERA to third in less than a week. Jung Ho Lee (KIW) has produced five hits over his last two games and is one of the game’s best contact hitters, Keon Chang Seo (KIW) is a former MVP, Park has hit 50 homers before and Dong Won Park (KIW) may be the best hitting catcher in the league with Eu Ji Yang (NCD) on the shelf. Bullpen days are sometimes tough to gauge, as opposing managers can play favorable matchups, but the Heroes offense is talented enough to chance in this spot.
Amongst pitchers scheduled to start tonight, Jun Won Seo’s (LOT) FIP dating back to 2018 ranks dead last, and he has yielded a .352 wOBA to opposing hitters during that span. Since Seo is right-handed, top hitters in the lineup Preston Tucker (KIA) and Hyung Woo Choi (KIA) will both own the platoon advantage against him. Seo is one of three pitchers that has allowed a HR/9 rate over 1.0 over the past two seasons so the matchup for Tucker/Choi obviously jumps off the page. Bits and pieces of this stack, including the two lefties, will garner attention from the public but the masses rarely choose to full stack this team. Leadoff man Ho Ryung Kim (KIA) strikes out at a rate over 30.0-percent but Seo almost never misses bats (13.0-percent K rate) so he specifically belongs in stacks as well. Hell, Ji Wan Na (KIA) has similar strikeout issues (20.8-percent K rate), so guys pitching to contact are in trouble versus this lineup.
Honorable Mention: NC Dinos face former MLB pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne (KTW) who has had a rough go of it as of late; he has struck out just 13.4-percent of the batters he has faced over the course of his last four starts and has allowed four-plus runs in three of those contests. Beyond Despaigne, the Wiz bullpen is putrid, but Despaigne is typically a lock for 100-plus pitches even in games where he is getting blasted.