KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 5/13/20
With this being the second week of the 2020 KBO season, we have to ask ourselves how much of what we saw last week we want to believe.
That's always pertinent when things are doled out in small samples, but it's a major key for diagnosing Wednesday's slate. Do we believe in teams that busted out the big sticks early? And can pitchers who got off to a hot start carry that over now that teams have scouting reports on them?
The answers to those questions will inform several of the biggest decisions we've got on tap. So let's dive in and figure this out.
Here's the list of starters for Wednesday's slate, sorted by the FanDuel salary of their team's starting pitching slot. The individual numbers are what the player did in the KBO in 2019, if applicable. The opposing numbers are also still from 2019 given that the samples on each team are only six or seven games. The park factors are for runs scored across a multi-year sample, according to STATIZ, with 1000 being neutral and anything higher than that favoring hitters.
|Pitcher||Salary||L/R||Opp.||ERA||WHIP||K%||BB%||HR%||Opp. R/G||Opp. K%||Park Factor|
|Mike Wright (NC)||$27||R||KT||--||--||--||--||--||4.51||17.5%||1012|
|Won-tae Choi (Kiwoom)||$25||R||LOT||3.38||1.28||15.8%||5.4%||0.8%||4.32||17.6%||979|
|Young-ha Lee (Doosan)||$24||R||@HAN||3.64||1.28||13.0%||8.8%||0.7%||4.01||19.8%||1022|
|Ricardo Pinto (SK)||$24||R||@LG||--||--||--||--||--||4.45||17.4%||959|
|Shi-hwan Jang (Hanwha)||$23||R||KIA||4.95||1.64||19.1%||10.2%||2.1%||4.2||16.7%||978|
|Min-woo Lee (Kia)||$22||R||@DOO||5.43||1.63||19.8%||9.2%||1.4%||4.22||19.9%||978|
|Jun-won Seo (Lotte)||$22||R||NC||5.47||1.60||13.5%||8.6%||2.3%||5.11||14.1%||1022|
|David Buchanan (Samsung)||$22||R||@SAM||--||--||--||--||--||5.42||16.7%||979|
|William Cuevas (KT)||$21||R||@SK||3.62||1.17||17.8%||8.3%||2.4%||4.68||15.6%||1012|
|Chan-gyu Lim (LG)||$20||R||KIW||4.97||1.47||18.4%||11.7%||2.6%||4.55||17.4%||959|
With those starters and our initial questions in mind, let's dive in and see how we should attack this slate.
The most expensive pitcher of the night is Mike Wright (NC Starting P; $27). His NC Dinos are hosting the KT Wiz, and Wright keys off the discussion around what we should believe.
Wright made his KBO debut last week, and he came in with a bang. Across five innings, Wright struck out seven Samsung Lions and allowed just one walk and two earned runs (both on solo homers). It's hard to find players with strikeout upside in the KBO, but Wright generated that in the opener.
Based on Wright's track record, we should be at least open to the idea that he'll excel in the KBO. Wright threw 58 innings in Triple-A last year, and he had a 22.3% strikeout rate and 6.8% walk rate. That's not bad, especially when you consider that foreign players tend to perform well in the KBO. Even at $27, Wright deserves to be high on our list at pitcher.
The second most expensive pitcher -- Won-tae Choi (Kiwoom Starting P; $25) -- is also intriguing, and he comes with a bit more certainty. Choi started the full season last year and had a 3.38 ERA, largely thanks to his dinger suppression as he allowed a home run to just 0.8% of the batters he faced.
Because of that resume, Choi is probably the higher-floor option between the two, and he provides slight salary relief, as well. Choi has a path to a ceiling as this is just his age-23 season, and he did manage to squeak out four strikeouts in his 2020 debut. You can truly go either way, depending on whether you want to buy into Wright's profile or not.
In case you're not super antsy to splurge at pitcher, William Cuevas (KT Starting P; $21) could be an outlet. Cuevas got roughed up in his 2020 debut, allowing six earned over five innings, but he excelled in 2019. Cuevas had a 3.62 ERA and 1.17 WHIP that year while striking out 17.8% of his opponents. He's facing Wright and NC on the road, meaning the matchup here isn't necessarily ideal, but Cuevas is a talented pitcher who comes at almost the minimum salary. Although we should favor Wright and Choi, Cuevas is a viable alternative.
Potentially the biggest plus of paying down for Cuevas is that it gives you access to stacking the Doosan Bears. In a vacuum, they are the clear top stack of the night.
Doosan is facing Jun-won Seo, who is just 19 years old and threw six shutout innings last week. Still, Seo struggled with a 5.47 ERA and 13.5% strikeout rate last year, is facing the defending champs, and is pitching in the most hitter-friendly venue on the slate. That's a lot of obstacles for a youngster to overcome.
Unfortunately, all the studs on Doosan are spendy, so if you want to get to Jose Fernandez ($16), Jae-Il Oh ($14), and Jae-Hwan Kim ($14), you probably have to spend down at pitcher. If you do that, this is easily the offense you should prioritize. If not, you'll likely need to settle for Joo-Hwan Choi ($11) and Jae-Ho Kim ($8) as secondary sticks a bit lower in the order.
The Kiwoom Heroes -- while also a high-powered offense -- are a bit easier to afford. We should at least give them a look regardless of how we fill our pitcher slot.
Kiwoom is facing David Buchanan, who is transitioning to the KBO after playing the past three seasons in Japan. Buchanan struggled there with a 4.82 ERA last year and let up five earned runs across six innings in his KBO debut. Having to go up against Kiwoom on the road is unlikely to turn that performance around.
The lower-salaried pieces of Kiwoom that you can target when spending up at pitcher are Keon-Chang Seo ($11), Dong-Won Park ($8), and Byeong-Wuk Lim ($8). All three hit sixth or higher in Tuesday's game -- with Seo batting leadoff -- and they all bring something to the table. Seo has stolen-base upside, Park has some pop, and Lim has struck the ball well to start his age-24 season. Some combination of those three may even give you enough flexibility to afford one of the three big studs in the offense.
If we want a true value stack, though, we're going to have to take some risks. For today, that means stacking the 2-5 Hanwha Eagles and hoping the offense can find some footing.
Luckily for them, they may have the best matchup available. They're facing Min-woo Lee, who had a 5.43 ERA in 2019 despite spending most of the season as a reliever. His transition to the rotation didn't get off to a blazing start last week as he allowed four earned runs across 5 2/3 innings. That might be enough to wake up Hanwha's bats.
Outside of Jared Hoying ($14), every player in this offense is $10 or less. That's the juice you need to pay up at pitcher. Sung-Yeol Lee ($9) hit cleanup yesterday and is coming off a 21-homer season, and Kwang-min Song ($10) has already hit a pair of round-trippers in the opening week. When paying up at pitcher, it may be best to start your lineup by loading in your favorite Hanwha hitters and then seeing how much salary you have left to spend elsewhere.