KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 5/22/20

Odrisamer Despaigne has performed well over his first three KBO starts. Will the LG Twins slow him down on Friday's slate?

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 Friday is at 5:30 am 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.

Some websites that can help you get started include MyKBO Stats and Baseball Reference, and FanGraphs has created player pages for KBO players, too.

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. Pitchers who were in the KBO last season have their 2019 numbers listed. Odrisamer Despaigne did not play in the KBO last year, so his 2020 stats are shown (row is italicized). Opposing team stats are also from 2020. 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 those are also included.

PitcherSalaryL/ROpp.FIPERAWHIPK%BB%Opp. R/GOpp. K%Park
Warwick Saupold (Hanwha)$27R@NC3.473.511.2716.7%6.7%6.2119.3%1012
Hyun-jong Yang (Kia)$27L@SK2.592.291.0722.3%4.5%3.7921.4%1038
Casey Kelly (LG)$25RKT3.422.551.1416.9%5.5%7.2114.9%959
Jake Brigham (Kiwoom)$24R@LOT3.232.961.2319.4%6.9%4.9218.4%1022
Joo-han Kim (SK)$24RKIA3.955.251.5817.9%12.5%5.0018.6%1038
Young-gyu Kim (NC)$23LHAN5.025.291.7015.0%10.1%3.9318.8%1012
Kyung-eun Noh (Lotte)$23RKIW4.994.081.1916.3%5.5%5.2719.1%1022
Odrisamer Despaigne (KT)$21R@LG1.992.651.0026.5%2.9%5.6417.8%959
Ben Lively (Samsung)$21RDOO3.193.951.1224.6%5.5%6.7115.0%1093
Yong-chan Lee (Doosan)$20R@SAM4.344.071.4415.7%6.9%4.2019.2%1093

Let's check out which pitchers and stacks stand out on tonight's slate


Hyun-jong Yang (Kia Starting P; $27) owns the second-best 2019 strikeout rate on the board (22.3%) and leads the way in 2019 FIP, ERA, WHIP, and walk rate. To top it all off, he's facing the SK Wyverns, who have been the league's worst offense thus far, ranking last in both runs per game and strikeout rate. Yang has had mixed results through three starts, but he's coming off a strong performance against the dangerous Doosan Bears, so we should feel confident in rolling him out tonight.

Odrisamer Despaigne (KT Starting P; $21) has enjoyed a hot start to his KBO career and sure looks like the slate's top value arm. Over three starts, he's produced a fantastic 23.5% strikeout-minus-walk rate, and he owns the KBO's 9th-best strikeout rate among pitchers with at least 10 innings. The matchup against the LG Twins doesn't look to be a walk in the park, but their home ballpark is the KBO's most pitcher-friendly.


The Kia Tigers have been a middle-of-the-road offense to begin 2020, but it's hard not to like their matchup against Joo-han Kim.

Kim only pitched 12.0 innings last year and 6.0 innings in 2018, so we don't have much going for a recent sample size, but he did compile 129 innings between 2017 and 2016 (mostly as a relief pitcher). The end result has been a 5.78 ERA and 1.57 WHIP over 148 career innings, and 2020 hasn't exactly gone swimmingly, either, as he's allowed five earned runs across just one inning in three relief appearance. This will be his first start this season and just the sixth of his career.

Preston Tucker ($16) has begun the year on a tear, and fellow lefty stick Hyung-Woo Choi ($12) is always a welcome addition to a Kia stack. Chan-Ho Park ($11) and Sun-Bin Kim ($9) have been batting first and second, granting some affordable options high in the order. Ji-Wan Na ($7) continues to be an excellent value, posting a solid .178 ISO in 2019 and already slugging three home runs.

The Kiwoom Heroes haven't been piling up the runs at the same clip as the Wiz, Bears, Dinos, or Twins, but it's probably only a matter of time before they're near the top. Kyung-eun Noh had reasonable results last year, but that 4.99 FIP falls right in line with his career ERA (5.15), and he hasn't posted a strong strikeout rate since 2013. The 36-year-old's best days are almost certainly behind him.

Any Heroes stack should start with Jung-Hoo Lee ($14) and Byung-Ho Park ($12), while we'll, unfortunately, be missing Ha-Seong Kim, who is expected to sit out this series with an ankle injury. Leadoff man Keon-Chang Seo ($11) is off to a great start, already matching last year's home run total (two) and swiping four bases. Catcher Dong-Won Park ($8) is a top value and is tied for the team-lead in dingers (three) with Jung-Hoo Lee.

Finally, the Samsung Lions face Yong-chan Lee, who's been lit up in his first two starts, coughing up 14 earned runs in 10 innings. Lee has performed decently as a starter the past two campaigns, but as today's pitcher chart demonstrates, there isn't anything particularly imposing about his stat line, either.

The Lions play in one of the league's best hitting venues, which could help give this lagging offense a boost. No batter is priced above $9, too, so you won't have trouble fitting any of the Lions' best bats like Ja-Wook Koo ($9), Dong-Yeop Kim ($9), and Won-Seok Lee ($8). Tyler Saladino ($9) has struggled in his first KBO season, but given the general success of former MLB players in the KBO, he's still worth consideration.