KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 5/19/20
Depending on your level of faith in small samples, Tuesday's KBO DFS slate could be a spicy one at pitcher.
In addition to fast starts for KBO newcomers Mike Wright (NC Starting P; $27) and David Buchanan (Samsung Starting P; $22), we've also got Won-tae Choi (Kiwoom Starting P; $25) and William Cuevas (KT Starting P; $24), who impressed as starters last year and have top-flight matchups. All we can ask for is options at pitcher, and we've got 'em here.
So that you can get a full rundown of said pitchers for yourself, here's the list of Tuesday's starters, sorted by the FanDuel salary of their team's starting pitching slot. For each pitcher who was in the KBO last year, their individual numbers are from the 2019 campaign. For Wright, Buchanan, and Ricardo Pinto (SK Starting P; $22), the numbers are from two starts apiece in 2020, which is why their rows are italicized. Opposing team numbers are also now from 2020, and the park factor numbers are multi-year run factors via STATIZ, with 1000 being neutral and a larger number being more favorable for hitters.
|Pitcher||Salary||L/R||Opp.||ERA||WHIP||K%||BB%||HR%||Opp. R/G||Opp. K%||Park Factor|
|Mike Wright (NC)||$27||R||@DOO||2.45||1.09||24.4%||6.7%||4.4%||7.45||14.1%||959|
|Chan-gyu Lim (LG)||$25||R||@SAM||4.97||1.47||18.4%||11.7%||2.6%||4.50||19.2%||1093|
|Won-tae Choi (Kiwoom)||$25||R||SK||3.38||1.28||15.8%||5.4%||0.8%||3.09||21.0%||979|
|William Cuevas (KT)||$24||R||HAN||3.62||1.17||17.8%||8.3%||2.4%||3.17||18.9%||973|
|Jun-won Seo (Lotte)||$24||R||@KIA||5.47||1.60||13.5%||8.6%||2.3%||4.50||18.9%||1003|
|Shi-hwan Jang (Hanwha)||$23||R||@KT||4.95||1.64||19.1%||10.2%||2.1%||6.91||14.9%||973|
|David Buchanan (Samsung)||$22||R||LG||3.46||0.77||19.6%||3.9%||2.0%||6.00||18.6%||1093|
|Min-woo Lee (Kia)||$22||R||LOT||5.43||1.63||19.8%||9.2%||1.4%||6.00||16.4%||1003|
|Ricardo Pinto (SK)||$22||R||@KIW||3.18||1.50||7.7%||13.5%||0.0%||4.67||19.3%||979|
|Young-ha Lee (Doosan)||$21||R||NC||3.64||1.28||13.0%||8.8%||0.7%||6.27||18.4%||959|
Clearly, we can tackle this slate a couple of different ways. With that in mind, which of the tasty pitchers should sit atop our list, and which stacks should we use alongside them? Let's check it out.
The four pitchers who will be on top of our list are the four we discussed at the top: Wright, Buchanan, Choi, and Cuevas. All four are good options. But it'd clearly be a cop-out to leave it at that, so let's kick it up a notch and rank 'em.
If the slate were thinner at pitcher, we would want to hop on Wright, even as the most expensive hurler on the board. He has been lights out through two KBO starts. We might be wise to avoid him here, though.
Wright is facing the defending champion Doosan Bears, who are averaging 7.45 runs per game early this year. They also have the lowest strikeout rate in the KBO, which helps lower the appeal in Wright's 24.4% strikeout rate. Using someone as expensive as Wright in arguably the worst matchup possible is unappealing on such a good pitching slate, so we can push him down our list.
Buchanan also has a tough matchup, and he's in a bad park to boot. The opposing LG Twins have averaged 6.00 runs per game through the first two weeks, tied for fourth in the league.
However, LG has struck out 18.6% of the time, much higher than Doosan's mark. Buchanan has also fared well in tough matchups already with a 3.46 ERA across starts versus the Kiwoom Heroes and NC Dinos. Buchanan has kept the basepaths clean with a 3.9% walk rate and 19.6% strikeout rate. As a result, Buchanan tops Wright on the list, and his $22 salary doesn't hurt.
That leaves our two returners in the plus matchups: Choi and Cuevas. Their two teams are the heaviest favorites on the slate, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, and both are at home. As a result, we're going to slot both in ahead of Buchanan.
Our top option of the night is Choi. He's facing the SK Wyverns, who are last in the KBO thus far in both runs per game (3.09) and strikeout rate (21.0%). Choi wasn't a high-strikeout pitcher last year, but he did have a 3.38 ERA, 5.4% walk rate, and 0.8% home-run rate. That gives him a high floor.
He has also flashed additional upside this year with a 19.6% strikeout rate through two starts, and the matchup presents the possibility that number could go up. With both safety and a path to a ceiling game, Choi deserves to sit atop our list.
Cuevas is a respectable runner-up, though. He had a 3.62 ERA last year with a 17.8% strikeout rate, and the opposing Hanwha Eagles are ahead of only SK in runs per game (3.17). The big reason to give Choi the edge is that Cuevas has gotten off to a rough start in 2020 with seven earned runs allowed in two starts.
Truly, you can rank these four in any order you'd like. Being the top-scoring pitcher on the slate is within the realistic range of outcomes for all four of them. But here, we'll stack them as Choi, Cuevas, Buchanan, and Wright.
Because our pitchers are all at different salary points, we have freedom in our stacks to go either cheap or pricey. That means we can check out the surging Lotte Giants against Min-woo Lee.
Lee is transitioning into being a full-time starter this year, and it comes on the heels of a rough 2019. Despite making 26 of his 32 appearances out of the bullpen, Lee had a 5.43 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. His first two starts of 2020 haven't gone as planned, either, with 7 earned runs crossing the plate in 10 2/3 innings.
Lotte is a team you can stack regardless of where you go at pitcher. A big key in that is Byung-Hun Min ($11) at the top of the order. Min was impressive in a small sample last year with a .382 on-base percentage, and he has brought the pop early in 2020 with seven extra-base hits across 50 plate appearances. Chi-Hong An ($10) is another player with a path to upside who can help save salary. The hope is that using those players will give you the flexibility to pay up for studs like Jun-Woo Jeon ($14), Dae-Ho Lee ($13), Ah-Seop Son ($13), or the pitcher of your choice.
The other side of that game is also pretty interesting for stacking. The Kia Tigers are facing Jun-won Seo, who had a 5.47 ERA and 13.5% strikeout rate across 33 appearances and 16 starts last year. Seo has more walks than strikeouts through his two starts in 2020, so we could see a high-scoring affair here.
Outside of Preston Tucker ($14), everybody in this offense costs just $12 or less. The problem is that Tucker is a must with how nasty he has been to start the year, so you're going to have to take some risks in order to ensure he fits into your lineup. One option is Ji-Wan Na ($7).
Na doesn't start every game, so he's a better selection for those of you who will still be awake when lineups are released. Still, he did hit fifth against a righty on Sunday, and he's the only player other than Tucker with multiple dingers for the season. It's also his birthday on Tuesday, if such narratives float your boat. Chan-ho Park ($11) and Sun-Bin Kim ($10) are the optimal routes for those of you who won't be around to ensure Na is playing, but all things considered, Na is worth a long look to help us afford Tucker.
The final team worth considering for stacks is the KT Wiz. They're facing Shi-hwan Jang, who has gotten off to a strong start this year, but the larger sample says we can stack against him.
Jang has opened the year with 13 strikeouts across 12 innings in his first two starts, and that should turn some heads. However, one of those stats (six innings and six strikeouts) came against SK, and as mentioned before, they haven't hit worth a lick thus far. The other was against Kia, and although Jang had seven strikeouts there, he also walked six batters. This is the same high-variance style that Jang pitched with last year when he had a 4.95 ERA and slate-worst 1.64 WHIP.
Which bats you target on KT depends on what you do elsewhere. If you've got the money for studs, Mel Rojas ($15) and Baek-Ho Kang ($14) are both well worth the salary (just be sure to avoid Han-Joon Yoo ($14), who is out due to injury). On the value side, you can turn to Woo-Jun Sim ($11) or Min-Hyeok Kim ($9), and the Yoo injury could push Yong-Ho Jo ($6) into the starting lineup again. This salary variety also allows KT to be a good place to turn if you need one-offs to round out a lineup.