KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 5/16/20
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 Saturday is at 1:00am 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 tonight'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|
Let's check out which hurlers and stacks stand out on tonight's slate
This is a tricky pitching slate, with no starter truly standing out above the rest like we've seen in some past slates.
Jake Brigham (Kiwoom Starting P; $25) falls under consideration, owning a solid 3.23 FIP and 19.4% strikeout rate that both rank favorably in this group. The LG Twins were below average in runs per game last season and play in the league's most pitcher-friendly venue. That said, the Twins have gotten off to a strong start offensively (7.3 runs per game), and Brigham has failed to pitch five innings in either of his 2020 starts.
Tae-hoon Kim (SK Starting P; $25) immediately pops out in the above chart for his 25.7% strikeout rate -- until you realize he only pitched out of the bullpen last year. Since debuting in 2010, Kim has only made 13 career starts, which includes his 2020 start against the Lotte Giants. The punchouts didn't really carry over in that effort, with Kim allowing three earned run over 6.0 innings with 3 strikeouts and 3 walks. It remains to be seen whether Kim can rack up the Ks as a starter, and his matchup against the NC Dinos won't be easy.
Ultimately, Hyun-jong Yang (Kia Starting P; $23) is where I'm leaning despite a difficult spot against the defending champion Doosan Bears. Yang tops the board in FIP, ERA, WHIP, and walk rate, and only Kim's strikeout rate (again, as a relief pitcher) bests his 22.3% clip. And while going up against Doosan is never fun (the Bears are favored), most of their top bats are lefties, further backing the case for Yang. After struggling in his 2020 debut, Yang had a solid showing against the Samsung Lions in his last start, so hopefully he can build on that tonight.
With an over/under of 11.5 runs on FanDuel Sportsbook, there could be fireworks between the Samsung Lions and KT Wiz tonight. Both Samsung's Song-hwan Yoon and KT's Min Kim are bottom of the barrel in strikeout rate (10.1% and 13.5%, respectively) and rank poorly in FIP, ERA, and WHIP.
At age 38, it's likely Yoon is just running out of gas, making the KT Wiz an especially enticing stack. The Wiz are averaging a rock-solid 6.1 runs per game in the early going, and Mel Rojas Jr ($15), Baek-Ho Kang ($14), and Han-Joon Yoo ($14) make up the high-end bats you want. Woo-Jun Sim ($11) and Min-Hyeok Kim ($9) have next to no power but are speedsters who each stole over 20 bags last year and should bat first and second. Jae-Gyun Hwang ($9) offers some affordable pop lower in the order (.183 ISO in 2019).
On the other side, Min Kim is just 21 years old, so there's a better chance of improvement in 2020, but his first start didn't exactly go well, allowing seven earned runs in 4.0 innings. The Lions have been a below average offense thus far (4.3 runs per game) -- much like last season -- but they've still managed to have the occasional big night, so they could excel in this spot.
Best of all, the Lions are inexpensive across the board, so you can easily load up on high order bats like Dong-Yeop Kim ($11), Won-Seok Lee ($10), Hae-Min Park ($10), and Ja-Wook Koo ($9). Koo hasn't played much this year due to injury but should be in the lineup tonight. He slugged 15 home runs and swiped 11 bags last year. Tyler Saladino was placed on the injured list this week, so be sure to keep him out of your player pool.
The SK Wyverns are one of the other teams in a stellar spot, facing left-hander Young-gyu Kim. Kim ranks dead last in nearly every category in today's pitching chart, and while the Wyverns are off to a horrendous start, they were a respectable offense in 2019.
Jeong Choi ($15), Jamie Romak ($13), and Dong-Min Han ($13) are the big boppers in this lineup, while Eui-Yoo Jeong ($9) is a solid value with double-digit home run power.