KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 5/23/20
You want aces? You got aces.
Saturday morning's KBO DFS slate has several teams spinning back to the front end of their rotations. That gives us some pitchers who have been lights out both last year and the beginning 2020.
This is a luxury because we don't have to strain to find palatable pitchers, but it also means we have some tough decisions to make. To help us make said decisions, here's a rundown of the pitchers taking the mound on Saturday.
The individual numbers are from 2019 if the player was in the KBO that year. Aaron Brooks was not, so his numbers are from the three starts he has made in 2020, thus why his numbers are italicized. The opponent numbers are for 2020 with the run totals via MyKBOStats and the strikeout marks via Baseball Reference. The park factor numbers are for aggregate runs over a multi-year sample and come via STATIZ with 1000 being neutral and a larger number favoring hitters. The pitchers in the table are sorted by their team's starting pitching slot on FanDuel.
|Pitcher||Salary||L/R||Opp.||ERA||WHIP||K%||BB%||HR%||Opp. R/G||Opp. K%||Park Factor|
|Min Kim (KT)||$27||R||@LG||4.96||1.59||13.5%||9.6%||2.4%||5.67||18.2%||959|
|Eric Jokisch (Kiwoom)||$27||L||@LOT||3.13||1.13||18.9%||5.2%||1.2%||5.20||18.3%||1022|
|Drew Rucinski (NC)||$26||R||HAN||3.05||1.18||16.3%||6.2%||1.8%||4.00||19.1%||1012|
|Aaron Brooks (Kia)||$25||R||@SK||3.00||1.28||23.0%||0.0%||0.0%||3.60||20.9%||1038|
|Raul Alcantara (Doosan)||$25||R||@SAM||4.01||1.25||13.8%||3.7%||2.1%||4.38||18.8%||1093|
|Min-woo Kim (Hanwha)||$24||R||@NC||6.75||1.62||14.6%||9.5%||1.9%||6.00||18.4%||1012|
|Woo-chan Cha (LG)||$23||L||KT||4.12||1.43||17.0%||8.1%||2.2%||6.07||15.0%||959|
|Tae-hoon Kim (SK)||$21||L||KIA||3.88||1.26||25.7%||8.8%||1.4%||4.81||18.3%||1038|
|Dae-woo Kim (Samsung)||$20||R||DOO||5.13||1.29||15.8%||6.3%||4.3%||7.07||14.3%||1093|
|In-bok Lee (Lotte)||$20||R||KIW||11.68||3.00||9.5%||10.8%||2.7%||5.38||19.6%||1022|
It's also worth noting that the slate locks at 1:00 am Eastern even though all games except for the KT Wiz versus the LG Twins start at 4:00 am. With that in mind, which players should we target? Let's check it out.
Hopefully the table showed you why we should be jazzed about the pitchers on this slate. You can go several routes. The optimal path, though, seems to be KBO newcomer Aaron Brooks (Kia Starting P; $25).
Brooks' first three starts in his new home have been electric. He is yet to walk a batter or give up a home run, all while striking out 23.0% of the batters he has faced. He did allow four earned last time out, but that was against the Doosan Bears.
The matchup is much softer this turn in the rotation. Brooks is facing the SK Wyverns, who are last in the league in both runs per game and strikeout rate. Brooks likely has both the highest floor and the highest ceiling on the slate, making him the king at a loaded position.
The two other contenders at pitcher are Eric Jokisch (Kiwoom Starting P; $27) and Drew Rucinski (NC Starting P; $26). Rucinski has the easier matchup and is at home, so he'll slot in behind Brooks on our list.
Rucinski made 30 starts in the KBO last year and performed well with a 3.05 ERA. He's facing the Hanwha Eagles, who are ahead of only SK in runs per game for the season and boast a 19.1% strikeout rate. That should give Rucinski's ceiling a nudge as his own strikeout rate last year was middling at 16.3%.
Jokisch had the higher individual upside in 2019 with an 18.9% strikeout rate across 30 starts. He has carried that fully over into 2020 as he has 14 strikeouts to just 2 walks in his 17 innings pitched. The only knock on Jokisch is that he faces the Lotte Giants, who are averaging 5.20 runs per game early on. Given the gap in their strikeout rates, Jokisch is likely the higher-upside option between the two while Rucinski has the higher median projection.
Because Brooks runs us $25, we have to be a bit frugal when looking for hitters. The Kiwoom Heroes are weirdly not that expensive, meaning we can go there without having to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
Kiwoom's matchup is against In-bok Lee, whose sample in the KBO is limited. Lee has faced just 213 batters in his career -- all of which have been in relief -- but in that time, he has posted a 10.75 ERA. This is Lee's first career start, and it positions Kiwoom for an offensive eruption.
The value on Kiwoom starts right at the top of the order. Keon-Chang Seo ($11) and Dong-Won Park ($8) occupied the top two spots in the order against a righty last night, and both have gotten off to solid starts this year. Seo has a power-speed combo while Park hit his fourth dinger of the season in that game. Using those two should allow you to snag Kiwoom's stud hitters to round out your stack while also affording Brooks as your pitcher.
The other option you have with Kiwoom is using those two value plays in order to give yourself a more expensive stack for your other four hitter slots. There's merit to that strategy due to the spot the Doosan Bears find themselves in.
Doosan is squaring off with Dae-woo Kim, who is another guy transitioning into the rotation from the bullpen. As a reliever last year, Kim had a major dinger problem, allowing a homer to 4.3% of the batters he faced. Doosan is more than willing to provide a helping hand in keeping that number elevated as they lead the league with 7.07 runs per game.
Even Doosan can help us chip away at the value directive. Joo-Hwan Choi ($11) hit third against a righty last night and is slugging .558 so far this year. Between Choi and Kiwoom's low-salaried sluggers, you may be able to leap up and snag Jose Fernandez ($17), Jae-Hwan Kim ($17), or Jae-Il Oh ($16).
The LG Twins are in the worst park for offense on the slate, which definitely lowers their appeal. The matchup with Min Kim, though, helps counteract that. Kim had a 4.96 ERA and 13.5% strikeout rate last year and has allowed 10 earned runs across 10 innings to open 2020. As long as you give preference to the Kiwoom and Doosan hitters, LG fits as a quality third stack.
Ideally, when stacking LG, you'd be able to afford Roberto Ramos ($16). Ramos already has six long balls this year, necessitating the lofty salary. But even if you can't get there, all three of Hyun-Soo Kim ($14), Eun-Sung Chae ($12), and Chun-Woong Lee ($12) have a slugging percentage of at least .444 early this year. This allows us to look LG's way for one-offs regardless of how much salary we have left on the table.