Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for May 19th
Vegas Odds and probables courtesy of Pinnacle:
Won-tae Choi, Kiwoom Heroes, $9,500 DK/$25 FD – Unsurprisingly, the most expensive pitcher on the slate is of interest tonight, especially against a SK Wyverns team that has struck out at a league-worst 21.0-percent rate. Furthermore, the Wyverns have averaged the fewest runs per game to this point and walked at the third lowest rate (7.3-percent) as well. Choi is coming off a bounce-back performance his last time out (7.1 IP, six Ks, zero BBs, two earned runs (ERs) 22.1 DK fantasy points) after a mediocre start to the year (5.0 IP, nine baseunners, two ERs and 8.7 DK fantasy points). Over the course of the past two seasons, Choi has posted the second best ERA of any pitcher on the slate and by far the lowest BB rate. Simply put: Choi is easily the safest pitcher of the night.
William Cuevas, KT Wiz, $7,500 DK/$24 FD – Coming off a dominant 2019 season in which William Cuevas (KTW) produced a 3.62 ERA, 1.17 WHIP (best of any pitcher on slate), 7.5 H/9 rate (also best of any pitcher on slate) and over 2:1 K/BB ratio, the performance early on has been a bit disappointing. To be fair, Cuevas was rocked in the opener versus the Lotte Giants and settled down in his second start versus a tough NC Dinos squad: 6.0 innings, six baserunners, one run (on a solo homer) and 14.7 DK fantasy points. The matchup gets much easier this go-around as he will take on a Hanwha Eagles team that has hit just four homers in 12 games and averages a measly 3.17 runs per game (R/G). Cuevas is not a giant strikeout threat but, for this price point, he simply does not have to be.
Chan Gyu Lim, LG Twins, $6,900 DK/$25 FD – Strangely, the pitcher best positioned for K upside tonight is one who has approached a 5.50 ERA over the course of the last two seasons: Chan Gyu Lim (LG). In his first start of the year, he silenced a bad Wyverns lineup to the tune of 6.0 IP, five hits, zero BBs, one ER and seven Ks-to-zero BBs. Sure, the matchup was ripe, but the same can be argued for tonight as well against a Samsung Tigers team that has struck out at the third highest rate, averaged the fourth fewest runs per game and hit the second fewest homers per game as well. Tyler Saladino (SAM) returned over the weekend, and his return to the starting lineup would strengthen the overall lineup a bit, but Lim is priced like a scrub. His 18.3-percent K rate in 2019 was amongst the best of starting pitchers on the slate so his K potential alone warrants the price tag.
Honorable Mention: Mike Wright (for those who have the guts to go against Doosan)
Opposing starter Jun Won Seo (LOT) struck out just 60 batters in 97 innings last year while yielding a 5.47 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. His struggles continue last game as the Doosan Bears lit him up for five ERs and nine baserunners in just five innings. Like some Kias (the cars), this lineup comes fully-loaded with names like Preston Tucker (KIA), stolen base threat Chan Ho Park (KIA) and Hyoung-woo Choi (KIA). This is an especially scary proposition for Seo because he does not miss bats and struggles with control (8.6-percent BB rate last two seasons) against a Kia team with one of the most frightening power threats in the league (Tucker) on a team that has shown to be quite patient (9.9-percent). Their lineup is not quite as loaded as some of the top teams but Sun Bin Kim (KIA) and Yong Hwan Baek (KIA) are amongst the other names to consider adding to a stack.
The top bats on the LG Twins are both left-handed (Hyun Soo Kim (LG) and Robert Ramos (LG)) so they are absolutely playable anytime they face a right-hander. It just so happens David Buchanan (SAM) will to the mound against them tonight and his struggles, both in the Minors and abroad, have been well-documented in DailyRoto breakdowns. In case this is your first time reading, Buchanan spent the last three years in the Japanese League prior to joining the KBO and his ERA rose every single year during his stay there. Additionally, he struck out no more than 5.2 batters per nine innings in any of his seasons in the Japanese League to go along with WHIPs of at least 1.50 every season. Buchanan threw a gem his last time out but was crushed by the Dinos (five ER) in his season opener. Buchanan’s numbers right now look better than they almost assuredly will finish and now is the time to pounce on his perceived “upside” after an eight K performance. Guys like Chun Woong Lee (LG) and Eun Sung Chae (LG) have also been productive this year and would be worth adding to any LG-centric lineups.
Finally, we come to the presumed chalk, as the Giants are favored in the game with the highest total on the slate. Min Woo Lee (KIA) certainly looks like the worst pitcher on the slate when taking into consideration his 6.13 ERA and 1.78 WHIP over his previous 99 innings heading into this season. In two starts, he has managed just a 7:4 K/BB ratio and has allowed three-plus ERs in each start. The Giants offense has proven to be potent as they are averaging 6.0 R/G and have struck out at a 16.4-percent rate (third lowest in the league). Expect Jun Woo Jeon (LOT) to be amongst the most highly-owned players on the slate and names like Dixon Machado (LOT) and Byung Hun Min (LOT) to be owned as well. Since first base is so loaded in fantasy, it is possible, even on this team, ex-Seattle Mariner Dae Ho Lee (LOT) still comes with reasonably muted ownership.
Honorable Mention: KT Wiz versus a pitcher who has struggled but also features K potential and Kiwoom Heroes against a potentially fraudulent Ricardo Pinto