Welcome back, RotoBallers! These last few months without our usual professional sports have been rough, but we can take solace in the fact that DFS contests haven't stopped and KBO has provided us with some exciting content in what has become an unusually empty summer to this point (sincere apologies to LoL, UFC, PGA, and NASCAR). That being said...MLB is coming back this week and I'll be writing some DFS content for that, so stay tuned!
My general strategy is to keep an eye on the betting lines found at Bovada and identify potential starting pitchers and hitter stacks to target from there (combined with a little statistical analysis, of course). I do lean FanDuel slightly, but I'll provide DraftKings prices and analysis as well. If you have the ability to stay up until an hour before lock, do yourself a huge favor and check out RotoWire's daily lineups to make sure you're playing guys who are actually starting. Lastly, keep an eye on MyKBOStats.com for updated weather projections.
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KBO DFS Pitchers
There's are certainly some quality options at starting pitcher on the 7/21 slate, though it's not particularly easy to decide who to land on. Jokisch and Alcantara are facing each other, Gagnon looks great despite being priced up for his matchup, and a Hanwha pitcher with a 3-5 record is in play as a pay-down or GPP option. No weather to worry about this time so let's get right into it.
Drew Gagnon - KIA Starting P ($26 Fanduel, $8900 DraftKings)
Gagnon seems like a great cash play as he checks all the boxes: he's consistent, his 24.1% K% and 3.08 FIP lead the slate, and (most importantly) he's facing Hanwha. He has a nice ceiling for tournaments, also, evidenced by his high K% and the fact that he racked up nine strikeouts against the Eagles back on 5/14. He did allow four earned runs in that start, but you won't find a better combination of strikeout-upside and win-equity in a starting pitcher on this slate.
Note: Gagnon could come in at lower-than-expected ownership on FanDuel due to the egregious mispricing on Jokisch.
Eric Jokisch - KIW Starting P ($20 FanDuel, $9800 DraftKings)
This is (yet another) situation where FanDuel's flawed pricing algorithm leaves us with one of the top KBO pitchers as the cheapest option. "The Joker" is 9-2 with a spectacular 1.62 ERA and he limits walks and home runs. The real reason he stands out as a great option, even on DraftKings at his inflated price, is that he's a left-hander facing the lefty-heavy Doosan lineup. Jokisch hasn't faced Doosan yet, but he has yet to allow more than three earned runs in a start all season (13 starts). Additionally, this game will be played at Doosan's pitcher's paradise ballpark. Doosan is obviously a top-tier offense, but they really struggle in their friendly confines with just 4.83 runs per game and 0.59 home runs per game at home.
Note: This game currently has a 7.5-run projected total. That's the lowest you'll ever see in a KBO matchup.
Beom-Su Kim - HAN Starting P ($25 FanDuel, $5700 DraftKings)
This is a DraftKings Pay-Down Special at SP2. Getting anything out of a pitcher who is priced below three KBO hitters is like striking gold in your lineup. Kim is transitioning from the bullpen and making his sixth start. His numbers are a bit skewed due to being a relief pitcher, but he has thrown enough innings that his 3.66 ERA and 21.7% K% are valid enough (though he holds a 5.31 FIP). He had one blow-up start against Lotte on 7/9, but three of his last four starts have been great - he reached nine strikeouts and seven strikeouts in two of them. Additionally, this is a positive matchup. Kia is one of the worst-hitting teams on the road at just 3.87 runs per game and 0.77 home runs per game.
Raul Alcantara - DOO Starting P ($25 FanDuel, $1000 DraftKings)
No one can deny that Alcantara has great numbers - he absolutely does. He's 9-1 with a 3.13 ERA, 3.48 FIP, and a 22.1% K%. However, Jokisch and Gagnon just seem to be in better spots on this 7/21 slate. Alcantara is facing Kiwoom, a team that seems to get some of "Michael's Secret Stuff" whenever they're hitting on the road. They rank second in road home runs per game at 1.39. If Alcantara has a weakness, it's his penchant for giving up the long-ball as he has seen seven hit the bleachers so far in 2020. He hasn't faced Kiwoom yet and he has the talent to finish as the top pitcher on the slate, but he's just not lining up as an optimal play with the other options on the board.
Note: Tyler Wilson might look intriguing against KT, but it's wise to stay away for now. Reason? He's getting crushed. He has allowed 8.25 hits and 1.3 HR while striking out just 3.25 per game over his last four starts.
KBO Top Hitter Stacks
Ideally, you'd like to target offenses in the highest run total games who are facing pitchers (and bullpens) that are likely to give up a crooked number. A player's counting stats, .ISO (isolated slugging percentage), and production against the handedness of the opposing pitcher are all keys to selecting the correct hitters. An NC/SAM game-stack look awfully interesting, KT's offense has a good chance to add to Tyler Wilson's recent string of rough outings, and SK seems to be in the mix against one of the worst starting pitchers in the KBO.
Note: I'm including the current 2020 statistics for the projected lineups in the Top Hitter Stacks from now on, sorted by the ISO column.
The Dinos should put up a big number tonight. They're facing Samsung's Jung-Hyun Baek, a lefty who's allowing 1.68 home runs per game and holds an embarrassing 60% LOB% through 10 starts. He has a respectable 4.86 ERA and pitched well in his last start, but gave up 10 earned runs and three homers in his two starts prior. He allowed four earned runs and three homers in his first start of the season, which came against NC. Look to attack that escalated home run rate with the power bats on NC and reap the rewards.
Aaron Altherr ($17, $5700) - Platoon advantage
Euiji Yang ($12, $5700) - Platoon advantage
Jin-Sung Kang ($12, $4300) - Platoon advantage
Sung-Bum Na ($16, $5600)
Hui-Dong Kwon ($11, $3400) - Platoon advantage
Sok-Min Park ($10, $4400) - Platoon advantage
Samsung doesn't have the same amount of players with eye-popping ISO's as NC does, but they have a balanced, inexpensive lineup that can produce in DFS in the right matchups. They have one on 7/21 as they'll square off against NC's southpaw Sung-Young Choi. Choi is making his seventh start of the year and even though he hasn't given up a "blow-up" type of game, he has allowed at least one homer in every start except his most recent outing against Kia. He holds a 4.93 ERA, 6.89 FIP (leads slate), and a 9.9% K% (lowest on slate). He also issues a lot of walks at a 10.6% BB%. Look for Samsung to get to Choi early and often, and expect them to pounce on NC's horrific bullpen once he's chased.
Minho Kang ($7, $3900) - Platoon advantage
Won-Seok Lee ($9, $3900) - Platoon advantage
Dong-Yub Kim ($8, $3300) - Platoon advantage
Sang-Su Kim ($10, $4500) - Platoon advantage, leadoff
Hae-Min Park ($9, $3000)
Ja-Wook Koo ($11, $4500)
KT will face LG's Tyler Wilson, a RHP, who has stats that we'd want to attack even under normal circumstances. KT is even more attractive because Wilson is in terrible form - he has allowed 26 hits, eight runs, and three homers over his last three starts. He has a high 0.9 HR/9 and a below-average 15.8% K%, which is a perfect recipe for the KT offense to shine as they hit bombs and strike out quite a bit. As you can see in the chart above, there's a pretty steep drop off in ISO after Rojas Jr. and Kang - try to fit them in if you can as they have the platoon advantage as well. Attack the power bats here with the hopes that Wilson continues his downward spiral.
Mel Rojas Jr. ($18, $6300) - Platoon advantage
Baek-Ho Kang ($14, $5400) - Platoon advantage
Kyung-Su Park ($9, $3000)
Jae-Gyun Hwang ($12, $5400) - FanDuel value
Jung-Dae Bae ($13, $3100)
Han-Joon Yoo ($9, $3000)
Yong-Ho Cho ($8, $2600)
Other stacks/hitters to consider:
- SK is never a sexy offense to roster, but Lotte's Adrian Sampson has been so bad that they have to be considered. Check out the pitcher chart at the top if you need convincing. He literally ranks dead-last in the KBO with a 6.50 ERA (among pitchers with at least 40 IP). Sampson gave up nine hits, three earned runs, and a homer against SK on 7/3, and he only managed one strikeout. A contrarian full-stack is in play, but mini-stacks and one-offs are the safer options with the Wyverns. Dong-Min Han ($8, $4100), Jeong Choi ($14, $5300), Jamie Romak ($12, $4400), and Ji-Hoon Choi ($6, $2700) are the top plays on SK.
- Targeting Lotte hitters against Ricardo Pinto on the other side of this game makes sense. Pinto has been pretty awful outside of his 0.37 HR/9 rate, evidenced by his low 11.7% K%, 10.8% BB%, and 1.71 WHIP. Weighing wRC+ over power, the top hitters to look at on Lotte (in order) are Ah-Seop Son ($15, $4200), Dae-Ho Lee ($12, $4100), Hoon Jung ($9, $3800), Jun-Woo Jeon ($13, $4300), and Dixon Machado ($11, $4300).
Good luck with your KBO DFS lineups tonight and thanks for checking out my KBO DFS lineup picks here at RotoBaller!