KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 5/29/20
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 Friday 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.
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 and their relevant stats sorted by FanDuel salary. With most pitchers having at least three starts under their belt, we're switching over to their 2020 numbers moving forward, and opposing team stats are also from this season. 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.
|Pitcher||Salary||L/R||Opp.||FIP||ERA||WHIP||K%||BB%||Opp. R/G||Opp. K%||Park|
|Drew Rucinski |
|Min-woo Kim |
|Aaron Brooks |
|Raul Alcantara |
|Tae-hoon Kim |
|Eric Jokisch |
|Woo-chan Cha |
|Min Kim |
|Kyung-eun Noh |
|Dae-woo Kim |
Let's check out which pitchers and stacks stand out on tonight's slate
Narrowing down your list of viable pitchers could be a bit tricky tonight, with seven different hurlers coming in with 2020 strikeout rates above 18%. The question will largely revolve around whether you're aiming for upside over safety.
Drew Rucinski (NC Starting P; $28) is arguably the best of both worlds -- and is priced accordingly -- with solid numbers across the board and a plus matchup against the Samsung Lions. The Lions are below average in both runs per game and strikeout rate, which is pretty much where they landed as an offense in 2019. Rucinski could be pitching over his head right now in terms of strikeout rate (16.3% in 2019), but with a full KBO season now under his belt, it isn't inconceivable for him to take another step forward. The odds on FanDuel Sportsbook also strongly favor Rucinski and the NC Dinos, listing them as -260 favorites.
Min-woo Kim (Hanwha Starting P; $26) is where things start to get interesting. To put it bluntly, Min-woo has put up some pretty rotten numbers over 278.1 career KBO innings dating back to 2015, compiling a 6.47 ERA and 1.68 WHIP. He's also never been known for strikeouts, posting a 14.6% rate in 2019. And yet, here he is with a slate-high 26.0% clip against one of the league's worst offenses in the SK Wyverns. Has Min-woo figured things out, or is this just a small-sample fluke? A double-digit walk rate furthers adds to the boom-or-bust nature of using Min-woo, but the potential payoff is worth considering in tournaments.
Tae-hoon Kim (SK Starting P; $25) is another wild card, as he's posted some intriguing numbers through three starts and is on the other side that matchup between KBO bottom-feeders. Tae-hoon produced a 25.7% strikeout rate out of relief last season and early returns suggest some of those punchouts should stick as a starter. Like Min-woo, a high walk rate adds to the potential downside, but no one has scored fewer runs per game than the Hanwha Eagles.
Raul Alcantara (Doosan Starting p; $25) gets an easier draw against the Lotte Giants, but after producing a mere 13.8% strikeout rate in 2019, it's hard to trust his punchout upside.
Woo-chan Cha (LG Starting P; $22) is probably the guy to roster if you're paying down. Despite his generally pedestrian numbers thus far, he's still getting Ks and recorded a solid 4.27 FIP, 17.0% strikeout rate, and 8.1% walk rate last year. He shut down the Doosan Bears in his opening start, so don't rule out a strong outing against the Kia Tigers.
That's a lot of names to shuffle through, so it may take some additional thought to figure out your personal favorites. Rucinski is the clear top overall option, and after him I'm probably leaning towards Min-woo Kim, Tae-hoon Kim, and Aaron Brooks.
The plethora of quality arms naturally means we have fewer standout stacking options, but the trio of pitchers I haven't mentioned yet could be in for a world of hurt from the NC Dinos, Doosan Bears, and Kiwoom Heroes.
Starting with the Dinos, they not only have the luxury of playing in the Lions' hitter-friendly stadium, but they get to face Dae-woo Kim. The 31-year-old owns a career 6.00 ERA and 1.65 WHIP as primarily a relief pitcher, and he hasn't exactly been crushing it in 2020 through 11.0 innings over six appearances (one start). The top half of the Dinos' order is pretty consistent from night to night, with Aaron Altherr ($10) also showing nice upside (four home runs and four stolen bases) despite batting near the bottom lately.
Of course, the Bears don't need much of an introduction anymore, and they should be able to do some damage against the likes of Kyung-eun Noh. Although Noh managed a decent 4.08 ERA last year, he also had a 4.99 FIP that pretty much matches his career 5.16 ERA. His 2020 marks aren't anything special, and there isn't anything in his track record to suggest he can handle an offense like the Bears' lineup. Note that Jae-il Oh ($16) was activated from the injured list yesterday, adding even more potential firepower to this Doosan lineup. Double-check that he's starting, though, as he was used only as a pinch-hitter in his first game back.
Finally, the Heroes get Min Kim, who has perhaps the worst 2020 numbers on the entire board, tallying more walks than strikeouts. The 21-year-old produced a 4.91 FIP, 13.5% strikeout rate, and 9.6% walk rate in 2019, so it's possible Kim just isn't ready for the bright lights. Like the Dinos and Bears, the upper half of Kiwoom's order is pretty consistent, and catcher Dong-Won Park ($9) continues to be a strong value, already slugging five bombs and boasting a .437 wOBA and .313 ISO.