Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for May 22nd
Vegas Odds and probables courtesy of Pinnacle:
Odrisamer Despaigne, KT Wiz, $21 FD/$8,300 DK – Despaigne has been a dominant pitcher in the KBO thus far. Through three starts, Despaigne has posted a 26.4% K rate, 2.94% BB rate and a 2.65 ERA. He’s also posted a 1.61 FIP, which points towards potentially more dominance in the future. Of course, three starts is a very small sample but given that this is Despaigne’s first season at the KBO, these hitters are going to have a tough time squaring up his pitches, which are known to have a lot of movement. Despaigne’s FD price tag makes him a true bargain and he’s the fourth most expensive pitcher on DK. Not only is Despaigne the top pitching play on this slate – you could argue he’s the top value at the position as well. Pursue him aggressively across all formats.
Hyun Jong Yang, KIA Tigers, $27 FD/$9,000 DK – Since the start of 2018, Yang has posted a 20.8% K rate in 384 innings pitched to go along with a 3.28 ERA/3.18 FIP. Yang has one of the biggest samples available in the league and while the K rate doesn’t look significant, in the KBO, a 20%+ K rate is well above league average. Additionally, Yang has been listed as a slate high -205 favorite in a matchup against the 5-10 Samsung Lions. Yang might be a bit overpriced relative to his K upside but he’s still one of the top pitching plays.
Warwick Saupold, Hanwha Eagles, $27 FD/$8,700 DK; Casey Kelly, LG Twins, $25 FD/$7,800 DK – Saupold and Kelly profile very similarly and as a result are neck and neck in our rankings. Both have posted 16% K rates and have FIPs in the 3.20s since the start of 2018. Both have difficult matchups as well – Saupold is facing the NC Dinos (currently own the top record in the KBO) while Kelly is facing a red hot KT Wiz offense. This decision might come down to strictly pricing and Kelly has the better one on both sites. Kelly is also a favorite while Saupold is an underdog. If you’re basing your decision off Vegas, Kelly wins out as well. You could add Jake Brigham (KIW) to this list of potential top 3 SPs in this slate.
Honorable mention: Young Gyu Kim (NCD) (has generated nearly a K per inning this season and he’s just $5,500 on DK, which makes him the cheapest pitcher in this slate)
The Tigers have an implied total that’s approaching 7 runs today. 7! Opposing pitcher Joo Han Kim has a very limited sample at the KBO (19 IP), but he’s been dreadful in that time, posting a 9.47 ERA, 15.4% K rate and 14.3% BB rate (yikes). Sure, the FIP (5.67) is significantly lower than his current ERA but it’s also closer to 6, which is terrible. It wouldn’t be surprising if this game turned into a bullpen game sooner rather than later. Fire up Preston Tucker (KIA), who’s generated a massive .393 ISO (5 home runs) in 64 PAs at the KBO. Tucker is a former Houston Astros’ prospect and should easily be one of the better hitters in this league. Tucker is appropriately priced now but he’s still a necessary piece of this stack. Chan Ho Park (KIA), Sun Bin Kim (KIA), Hyoung Woo Choi (KIA) and Ji Wan Na (KIA) round out the rest of the top 5 and are all viable pieces of this stack. Third base is one of the weaker positions in this league, so we’d consider using Dae In Hwang (KIA) as well. He hits towards the bottom of the lineup and his level of performance this season is completely unsustainable, but the price tag ($3,900) is solid relative to the rest of the position.
Oh look who’s back in our recommended plays – the Doosan Bears! This offense has been a building block in our analysis this season and today they own a 6.5 team total. Ben Lively is unlikely to be a bad pitcher in this league, but through 70 innings pitched, he’s allowed 0.90 HR/9. He’s also struggled with walks (6.14% BB rate). To top things off, he’s a righty facing a heavily left handed lineup. Jose Fernandez (DOO) is the most expensive hitter in this slate, which is a difficult price tag to stomach given Fernadez’s lack of HR upside. Still, he’s one of the better pure hitters in this league and is deserving of a big price tag. Our favorite Doosan Bear is Jae Hwan Kim (DOO), who missed yesterday’s game with a foot injury. The injury is reportedly a minor one, so we’re hopeful that Kim is back in the lineup today. Kim is also expensive but his power upside is very significant (44 Home runs in 2018 – 4 home runs already this season) relative to the rest of the league. IF Kim is out of the lineup, the stack appeal for this team, who’s already missing Jae Il Oh, will come down a notch. To bring down the average cost of this stack, you’ll have to roster a cheapo like Jae Wan Oh (DOO) ($2,400). Oh hit fifth in yesterday’s game and we’re expecting him to do the same today.
The Heroes are facing a pitcher in Kyung Eun Noh that has allowed a slate high 1.19 HR/9 since the start of 2018 (143.3 innings pitched). ByungHo Park’s (KIW) price tag has come down to $4,800 on DK. We touted that Jamie Romak would get on a roll soon and he has. Well, similarly, Park is too dominant to stay dormant for long and we’re calling for his resurgence to happen sooner rather than later. His .638 OPS for the season isn’t great but this is a player that has posted multiple 50+ home run seasons. We’re not worried about his lack of form of late. Keep playing him, particularly while his price tag remains down. Keon Chang Seo (KIW), the team’s leadoff hitter, is just $3,200 on DK. Jung Hoo Lee (KIW) has some gap power (coming off of a 31 doubles, 10 triples season in 2019) and hits third in the lineup. He’s affordable ($4,200) on DK as well. This is easily the most affordable stack of our top 3.