Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) Pitching Analysis and Stacks for May 8th
It’s officially the fourth day of the KBO season and with that comes some changes. For one, these teams are now playing different opponents in day four. Also, pitching staffs aren’t as deep in the KBO, so day four means we’re getting more mediocre pitching and more pitch to contact pitchers.
Jae Hak Lee, NC Dinos, $24 FD/$9,800 DK – All things considered, Lee is very likely the best pitcher on the board in this slate. From a talent perspective, Lee’s ability to generate strikeouts is likely the biggest separator between him and the other pitchers on the board. For his career, Lee has posted a 7.9 K/9. Granted, his last two seasons have looked a bit lighter on that department as he’s generated Ks/9 of just 6.9 and 6.3. On the other hand, he’s coming off his best season in the run prevention department, posting a 3.75 ERA. We don’t think that ERA is sustainable but given Lee’s track record of generating Ks at an above average level in this league, the potential for more strikeouts exists. The LG Twins are an above average offensive club but that’s not enough to persuade us away from Lee, especially when you consider that most of the pitchers in this slate are below average talents. Lee is likely overpriced on DK but the price tag on FD is beyond reasonable.
Tyler Wilson, LG Twins, $22 FD/$7,800 DK – Wilson is in the conversation for one of the best pitching talents in this slate. Unfortunately for him, that’s not saying a whole lot as most pitchers in this slate pitch to contact. Wilson’s run prevention prowess – posting remarkable ERAs of 2.92 and 3.07 in his first two seasons at the KBO, certainly makes him stand out. Before coming to the KBO, Wilson posted a 7.6 K/9 at all levels of baseball. Wilson didn’t average anywhere near a K per inning at the KBO but there were games where he did average that output. In fact, his last start to end his season last year was a 9 K in 7 IP performance. That sort of ceiling is nearly unmatched in this slate at the starting pitcher position. With that being said, we’re a bit worried about a) the matchup against NC Dinos, which isn’t a good one, and most importantly, b) the workload. Wilson hasn’t been with the team for 14 days as he was forced to be quarantined in his return to Korea. While those concerns are legitimate, you should still consider Wilson across all formats IF you believe he’ll pitch over five innings.
Chae Heung Choi, Samsung Lions, $23 FD/$5,000 DK – Choi is 25 years old and has played two KBO seasons. His first season in 2018 he pitched solely as a reliever. His second season was a mixture of both bullpen work and starting pitcher workload. He struck out 89 batters in 106 IP. The 4.81 ERA isn’t great and of the 15 starts he made last season, he only generated 6 quality starts. Choi’s talent level is questionable but his ability to miss bats at the KBO and the punt price tag on DraftKings makes him a worthwhile investment in a very ugly slate for pitching. In fact, you could argue that given his bottom of the barrel price tag, he’s the most valuable pitcher in this slate. The matchup against the Kia Tigers should help some, too. The Tigers are coming off an ugly season in which they hit for a .264 batting average as a team and hit just 76 home runs after hitting 170 home runs three straight seasons. We’re pursuing Choi across all formats.
Honorable mention: Drew Gagnon, KIA Tigers, $21 FD/$7,000 DK – One of the best matchups on the board (Samsung Lions) and he’s a former MLBer. Price tag is reasonable and doesn’t carry the same risks as Tyler Wilson.
eun-Kyung Noh is facing the SK Wyverns today and he can be looked upon as one of the worst pitchers in this slate. Noh has multiple seasons under his belt of allowing ERAs above 6.50. Most recently in 2016, Noh’s ERA skyrocketed to 6.85. He also posted a 9.03 ERA in 2014 in a year where he pitched over 100 innings. Jamie Romak (SK) and Jeong Choi (SK) are in for a treat of a matchup and if you punt SP2 on DraftKings you should be able to afford them easily. IF Soo Kwang Noh (SK) is back in the lineup and leading off, he becomes a strong source of salary relief as he’s just $3,300 on DraftKings. Noh has stolen 27 and 25 bases over the last two seasons and five plate appearances are in the range of outcomes out of the leadoff spot.
It looks like the Doosan Bears will be facing 18 year old jun Hyeong jun So, a rookie pitcher. This could very well turn into a bullpen game for the KT Wiz and most bullpens at the KBO are known for lacking talent. This is a phenomenal spot for power hitters Jae Il Oh (DOO), Jae Hwan Kim (DOO) and Kun-Woo Park (DOO). Jose Miguel Fernandez (DOO) isn’t a great power hitter but he’s one of the best pure hitters in the Bears lineup and he’s an on base machine (.409 OBP last season at the KBO).
The Kiwoom Heroes get another exciting spot against a below average pitcher. This time they’ll face jae-Min Jang, who’s sporting a 5.64 career ERA and 1.66 WHIP. Good luck containing ByungHo Park (KIW), Ha Seong Kim (KIW) and Co.
Honorable mention: Lotte Giants – the Giants have scored 7, 9 and 7 runs to start the season. They’ve been the laughing stock of the KBO for years and while three games doesn’t prove anything, the reports that they improved over the offseason looks to have some merit to them thus far. won-Seung Moon has allowed over 22 home runs in three straight seasons so the matchup seems to be ideal.