KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 5/15/20

Dan Straily has transitioned well to the KBO with two lights-out starts and is the top pitcher on Friday's slate. Who else should we roster in KBO DFS on FanDuel?

One of the keys to properly diagnosing daily fantasy KBO is predicting how non-South Korean players will perform. Lots of times, this involves guesswork as players who may have faltered elsewhere transition into a new league and a new context. It's tough to know how they'll measure up against a different level of competition.

The first two starts for Dan Straily (Lotte Starting P; $25) have tossed all uncertainty out the window. Dude be good.

Straily is one of the starters available on Friday's slate for the KBO as his Lotte Giants will face the Hanwha Eagles. You can bet that Straily is going to be one of the top pitchers on our list with how nasty he has been early on in his new home.

Here are the other starters at our disposal, sorted by the salary of their starting pitcher slot on FanDuel. The individual numbers are from 2019 in the KBO when applicable. The exception is Chan-heon Jung (LG Starting P; $20), whose numbers are from 2018 as he faced just 49 batters last year. The opposing numbers are also from 2019, and park factor numbers are multi-year run environments via STATIZ, with 1000 being neutral and higher numbers being better for hitters.

PitcherSalaryL/ROpp.ERAWHIPK%BB%HR%Opp. R/GOpp. K%Park Factor
Jae-Hak Lee (NC)$27R@SK3.751.3616.30%7.7%1.10%4.5517.4%1038
Dan Straily (Lotte)$25R@HAN----------4.2219.9%978
Hyun-hee Han (Kiwoom)$25R@LG3.411.2119.5%8.0%0.4%4.4517.4%959
Hui-kwan Yu (Doosan)$24L@KIA3.251.289.20%6.1%1.20%4.216.7%1003
Ki-young Im (Kia)$23RDOO5.731.7716.4%8.4%3.1%5.1114.1%1003
Ee-whan Kim (Hanwha)$22RLOT4.261.668.8%12.3%1.2%4.0119.8%978
Tae-in Won (Samsung)$22R@KT4.821.4113.8%7.9%2.4%4.5117.5%973
Seung-won Moon (SK)$21RNC3.881.1316.90%5.6%3.90%4.6815.6%1038
Hyeong-jun So (KT)$21RSAM----------4.3217.6%973
Chan-heon Jung (LG)$20RKIW4.851.5416.7%8.0%1.7%5.4216.7%959

Straily's numbers aren't on there, but trust me; they're spicy. Let's dive in and see how we should tackle this slate.


Straily has made just two starts in the KBO, so you may be hesitant to buy in, especially given the struggles he exhibited in the big leagues. But the small-sample numbers are drool-worthy.

In those two starts, Straily has gone 12 2/3 innings. Despite the KBO being a lower-strikeout league, Straily has 15 strikeouts to just 3 walks in that time while allowing 2 total earned runs. Of those 15 strikeouts, 11 came last time out against the SK Wyverns. That upside is hard to duplicate.

The matchup is also a plus for Straily. Hanwha has averaged just 3.2 runs per game early in 2020, and they had the highest strikeout rate in the league last year. It's fair to still be skeptical of Straily, but he's the top pitcher available Friday.

The lone issue with Straily is that he'll likely be a popular play due to his hot start. If you want to pivot, your best alternative seems to be Hyun-hee Han (Kiwoom Starting P; $25).

Han has uncertainty around him, too, as he moves from the bullpen to the rotation. But in the bullpen last year, he graded out well with a 3.41 ERA and 19.5% strikeout rate. His first start this year was decent as he lasted six innings and got four strikeouts while letting up three earned runs.

Han is going up against the LG Twins in the stadium that profiles as the most pitcher-friendly on the slate. He's certainly not cheap, but we can have some faith in him with his new role.

If you're looking for a cheaper option, the best is Seung-won Moon (SK Starting P; $21), though you'll have to deal with a tough matchup. He's facing the 7-1 NC Dinos, who are averaging 5.1 runs per game thus far. Moon, though, performed well as a starter last year with a 3.88 ERA and 5.6% walk rate while striking out 16.9% of his opponents. Moon had seven strikeouts in his 2020 debut, so the upside is there. It's a risky move due to the matchup and a hitter-friendly park, but some element of risk is assumed when you decide to spend down.


Because the focus of our pitching section was Straily, we'll spend most of the stacking section looking for affordable teams and hitters. It'll force us to abandon some of the top Doosan Bears options, but we'll want exposure to this team.

Doosan is going up against Ki-young Im, who had a 5.73 ERA and allowed homers to 3.1% of the batters he faced across 12 outings and 8 starts last year. Im let up four runs across 4 1/3 innings in his opener, and Doosan is a tough place to turn for a rebound.

Although the top-end studs may be out of range for our Straily lineups, we can still find juicy options in the middle tier on Doosan. The big one is Kun-Woo Park ($13). Park is Doosan's leadoff hitter and is coming off a season in which he had a .465 slugging percentage while swiping 12 bags. Joo-Hwan Choi ($11) and Jae-Ho Kim ($8) have also struck the ball well to open the year, so Doosan's in play even when you pay up.

The KT Wiz are just 1-7 this year, which may lead you to believe that they're not an offense we should look to stack. The sticks haven't been the issue, though, as KT has scored 12 runs twice and is averaging 5.4 runs per game. That's why we can go there as they face Tae-in Won, who had a 4.82 ERA and 13.8% strikeout rate as a starter last year.

For value on KT, we can check out Woo-Jun Sim ($12), Min-Hyeok Kim ($9), and Jae-Gyun Hwang ($9), all of whom have a path to upside via power or speed. But the big ticket here -- and someone we should try to prioritize -- is Baek-Ho Kang ($14).

Kang is just 20 years old but already in his third KBO season. He hit 29 homers with the juiced ball in 2018 and had a .495 slugging percentage last year after things leveled off. He has gotten off to a stellar start in 2020 with already three dingers to his name. Using the cheaper options should allow you to afford Kang even if you're using Straily as your pitcher.

Thanks to their hot start, the Lotte Giants don't have a ton of extreme value plays, but they have plenty in the mid-range. We should look to scoop that up for their matchup against Ee-whan Kim. Kim had a 4.26 ERA in 11 outings last year, but he had more walks than strikeouts, a trend that continued in his first start of 2020.

Lotte is one of the few teams where we can find a former MLB hitter at a middling salary. That's Dixon Machado ($13), who has kicked the doors down to open the season with three homers thus far. He's the main attraction here, and other hot starters like Jun-Woo Jeon ($14), Ah-Seop Son ($13), Dae-Ho Lee ($13), and Byung-Hun Min ($11) are all affordable regardless of how you play things at pitcher.