Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for May 21st
Last night turned out to be a great night for me in the daily fantasy circles as I created a KT Wiz (chalk) stack that was unique enough (thank you Drew Gagnon) to take down the $444 tournament. Here was the final result:
Let’s try and recreate the magic tonight!
Vegas Odds and probables courtesy of Pinnacle:
Seung Won Moon, SK Wyverns, $8,800/$24 FD – All you need to know about this slate from a pitching perspective is a SK Wyverns expensive starter is the cream of the crop. It is, as Davis Mattek would call it, a “tough scene” at starting pitcher so fantasy owners are going to be forced to get creative. Moon is one of the largest underdogs of the night but his strikeout stuff is unmatched amongst the scrubs scheduled to pitch. Moon has allowed a slate-worst 1.44 homers (HRs) per nine innings since the start of 2018 so paying up for him certainly is not without risk. However, the 2020 version of the Kiwoom Heroes has struck out at a 19.0-percent rate (third highest in the league) and is just seventh in the league in HR per game (HR/G). Would it surprise me if Byung-Ho Park (KIW) and Ha Seong Kim (KIW) took him deep? No, but would it shock me if he led the slate with around six strikeouts? Also, no.
Hyun Hee Han, Kiwoom Heroes, $7,700 DK/$24 FD – The safest way to play this slate is likely to just double pay down at pitcher since everyone freaking stinks. Hyun Hee Han (KIW) is amongst the most exciting names to talk about and he owns a 16.3-percent K rate over his last 238.0 innings (a span of 30 starts). Of course, the reason to love Han is the matchup, as the SK Wyverns rank dead last in runs per game and the lineup is rather brutal other than bat-flipping superstar Jamie Romak (SK). No pitcher is listed as a heavier favorite on the slate than Han, and while he is not exactly great, this is not a slate where fantasy owners should be shooting for 20-plus DK fantasy points from a pitcher. Anything close to a quality start will do and spending down at pitcher will allow a lineup to load up on bats (which is almost assuredly more important tonight).
Hyeung Jong So, KT Wiz, $7,500 DK/$25 FD – Other than the Heroes, the Wiz are the heaviest favorites of the night, and it is tough to judge Hyeung Jon So (KTW) with such a tiny sample size. Through two starts, So has posted a FIP below 3.00, but he also has struck out 8.0-percent of opposing hitters. Seemingly, So is going to be a pitcher who pounds the strike zone and relies on contact to create outs, which is similar to most pitchers in this league. His opponent, the Hanwha Eagles, appear to be the worst offense in the league, which is partially aided by injuries. Not only is top bat Jared Hoying (HAN) injured but now it looks like Eun Won Jung (HAN) may be injured (after getting hit in the head last night) and Sun Jin Oh (HAN) is expected to miss a month. Only the Wyverns have averaged fewer runs per game (R/G) than the Eagles and no team has hit fewer homers (and it is not even close). So will face a path of minimal resistance and that makes him as viable as anyone.
Honorable mentions: Jae Hak Lee (NCD) if feeling lucky enough to target a pitcher versus the Doosan Bears or Se Woong Park (LOT) if comfortable targeting a bad pitcher with mediocre K upside just to be different
While the pitching is incredibly difficult to differentiate on this slate, there is plenty of enticing hitting spots to choose from, beginning with the LG Twins versus a HR-prone right-handed pitcher (RHP). Over the course of 123 career innings, Tae In Won (SAM) has posted a measly 13.6-percent K rate and has yielded a 1.02 HR/9 rate. Amongst pitchers on the slate, he has posted the second worst FIP during his tenure in the KBO, although that is to be expected from just a 20-year old. Hitting machines Hyun Soo Kim (LG) and Roberto Ramos (LG) will own the platoon edge against Won and there is no reason to run from the some of the secondary hitters either: Eun Sung Chae (LG) and the red-hot Chun Woong Lee (LG). In a game with the highest total on the slate, expect this team to push 30-35-percent ownerhsip across the board. If playing the ownership game, there is no lack of alternatives…
The clear worst pitcher on the slate is Ki Young Im (KIA) who has allowed a whopping 27 homers over the span of his last 43 outings (161.2 inning span). Unlike other pitchers on the slate, Im’s control is not an issue, as he simply pounds the strike zone, rarely misses bats and is consequently susceptible to power. Last year, Jun-woo Jeon (LOT) was the team’s top power threat and that has continued into the 2020 season as he is curently tied for the team lead in bombs with Dixon Machado (LOT). Previously, this offense had been the laughing stock of the KBO, but they look respectable this year; they rank fifth in R/G and fourth in HR/G. Dae-ho Lee (LOT) has been incredibly quiet lately but he, Byung Hun Min (LOT) and Ah Seop Son (LOT) are the other top bats to target in this lineup. If going the cheap route, Chi Hong An (LOT) is the top punt play on the team.
Targeting bats in a game between the offensive titans in the KBO yesterday just was not happening because two aces ended up toeing the mound. Thursday morning is a completely different story as Hui Kwan Yu (DOO) owns a 4.48 FIP since the beginning of the 2018 season. During that span, he has yielded a 0.91 HR/9 rate and has only struck out 10.7-percent of the hitters he has faced. If not missing the bats of the Dinos, good luck out there, as MLB prospect Sung Bum Na (NCD), ex-MLBer Aaron Altherr (NCD) and Korean Mike Piazza Eui Ji Yang (NCD) all hit towards the top of this lineup. Since Yu is expensive (especially on DK), it is possible this stack flies under the radar, and that would be a mistake in handicapping by the industry.
Honorable mention: KT Wiz versus a pitcher with a higher career BB rate than K rate and the Kia Tigers against a power-prone, wild RHP