KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 5/14/20
South Korea's KBO League is bringing live baseball back in our lives, and that means the return of daily fantasy baseball with real cash prizes on FanDuel!
First pitch on Thursday is at 5:30am ET, and official lineups typically come out an hour before game time at the earliest.
Scoring is identical to what we see in MLB DFS, but FanDuel is condensing the number of starting spots to seven. You start one pitcher as usual, and then only need to roster two infielders, two outfielders, and two utility players to fill out the rest. Your total team salary is also $100 instead of $35,000.
We don't have 2019 KBO stats for foreign players making the jump to this league, but foreigners generally perform well overall. Last season, foreign pitchers performed nearly 22% above league average, and hitters performed about 16% better, per MyKBO Stats.
Below is an overview of Thursday's starting pitchers sorted by FanDuel salary. Last season's KBO stats are listed for each starter, along with their opponent's 2019 hitting stats. And yes, we even have multi-year park factors from the Korean website, Statiz.
Note that on FanDuel these hurlers are listed by their team names (ex: "SK Starting P"), so their team names are also included.
|Pitcher||Salary||L/R||Opp.||FIP||ERA||WHIP||K%||BB%||Opp. R/G||Opp. K%||Park|
|Chang-mo Koo (NC)||$28||L||KT||3.77||3.20||1.18||25.4%||9.1%||4.51||17.5%||1012|
|Seung-ho Lee (Kiwoom)||$26||L||SAM||4.36||4.48||1.51||15.4%||9.6%||4.32||17.6%||979|
|Chris Flexen (Doosan)||$24||R||at LOT||--||--||--||--||--||4.01||19.8%||1022|
|Min-jae Jang (Hanwha)||$23||R||KIA||3.99||5.43||1.48||19.6%||5.1%||4.20||16.7%||978|
|Jong-hoon Park (SK)||$22||R||at LG||4.56||3.88||1.50||15.6%||9.2%||4.45||17.4%||959|
|Se-woong Park (Lotte)||$22||R||DOO||3.70||4.20||1.48||16.7%||8.8%||5.11||14.1%||1022|
|Chae-heung Choi (Samsung)||$22||L||at KIW||3.96||4.81||1.53||18.6%||7.5%||5.42||16.7%||979|
|Drew Gagnon (Kia)||$22||R||at HAN||--||--||--||--||--||4.22||19.9%||978|
|Je-seong Bae (KT)||$21||R||at NC||3.92||3.76||1.43||16.1%||9.9%||4.68||15.6%||1012|
|Tyler Wilson (LG)||$20||R||SK||3.25||2.92||1.16||18.0%||5.8%||4.55||17.4%||959|
Let's check out which hurlers and stacks stand out on Thursday's slate
Chang-mo Koo (NC Starting P; $28) is the most expensive pitcher on the board, but it's a for a damn good reason -- his strikeout rate blows everyone else out of the water. The KT Wiz were just a league-average offense last year, and Koo performed well in his first 2020 start against the Samsung Lions, with eight strikeouts over six scoreless innings. He's still just 23 years old and ranks eighth on Baseball America's KBO prospect list. There's little reason to avoid using Koo in this spot tonight.
Chris Flexen (Doosan Starting P; $24) had a respectable KBO debut versus the LG Twins, punching out six over 6.0 innings while giving up three earned runs. We continue to see MLB castoffs generally perform well in the KBO, so Flexen could build on that first performance tonight against the Lotte Giants, a team that scored the fewest runs in 2019 and struck out at the second-highest clip. It's worth noting that the Giants are off to a hot start this season, so they could be a different team in 2020, but it's still too early to come to any sweeping conclusions.
Drew Gagnon (Kia Starting P; $22) and Tyler Wilson (LG Starting P; $20) are possibilities if you want to pay down. Gagnon gets a plus matchup against the Hanwha Eagles, who led the league in the strikeouts last year and were near the bottom in runs scored. Wilson actually has some of the slate's best overall numbers despite being the cheapest hurler. His matchup against the SK Wyverns is neutral at best, but a pitcher-friendly ballpark should help.
The Doosan Bears are sure looking like a team that ranked second in runs last year, racking up nine or more in five straight games.
We should continue to feel good about stacking the defending champs, and they don't have a particularly imposing matchup against Se-woong Park. The right-hander's FIP isn't bad, but he otherwise has pretty meh numbers across the board, which is saying something given that 2019 was one of his better campaigns over five KBO seasons -- he owns a career 5.30 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. Doosan will also benefit from one of the night's most hitter-friendly ballparks.
The most dangerous Bears hitters all bat left-handed, so that means the pricey trio of Jose Miguel Fernandez ($17), Jae-Hwan Kim ($16), and Jae-Il Oh ($15) should top your list as usual tonight. Joo-Hwan Chan ($11) will also have the platoon advantage and is a cheaper option as the likely number-five hitter. Choi has been an average hitter at best for most of his career, though he did have a career year in 2018 with 26 bombs. Kun-Woo Park ($13) is a good bet in any Bears stack as the leadoff man.
The NC Dinos are in a similar spot against Je-seong Bae, another low-strikeout arm in a venue that benefits hitters. Like Park, Bae's ERA and FIP aren't egregious by any means, but a 6.2% strikeout-minus-walk rate is nothing to write home about.
The Dinos ranked third in runs and second in strikeout rate last season, so the offense checks out, too. Sung-Bum Na ($12), Eui-Ji Yang ($13), and Suk-Min Park ($10) all posted an ISO over .200 and wOBA of at least .400 in 2019. Leadoff man Min-woo Park ($14) lacks power but swiped 18 bags last season. Meanwhile, Jin-Hyuk No ($9) has hit double-digit homers in back-to-back seasons and produced a solid .190 ISO in 2019. Note that Aaron Altherr ($9) has been dealing with a nagging hand injury, so you might want to be sure he's in the lineup before rostering him.
The Kiwoom Heroes continue to be a regular in the stacks section, but that's to be expected as last season's top offense. Chae-heung Choi's solid FIP and strikeout rate suggest he was a bit unlucky last year, but this isn't anything to scare us off from stacking one of the KBO's best lineups.
Byung-Ho Park ($14) and Ha-Seong Kim ($12) lead the way against the southpaw, but don't rule out including lefty stick Jung-Hoo Lee ($14), who ranks second on Baseball America's KBO prospect list (Ha-Seong ranks first). Dong Wan-Park ($8) and Taylor Motter ($7) are some cheaper righty sticks to round out of a stack.