KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 5/30/20
There is no "perfect" pitcher on Saturday's daily fantasy KBO slate.
In a perfect world, we'd get someone who had great results, a high strikeout rate, a favorable matchup, and a pitcher-friendly park all in his corner. Nobody on this slate is checking all of those boxes. You're going to have to decide which question marks you can live with and which register as deal-breakers.
The good thing is that our information is becoming more robust, better equipping us to make those decisions. Every starter on the slate has made at least three starts in 2020, and the opposing offenses have played at least 21 games. We largely know what we're working with; we just have to decide which of those keys will best position us for success.
With that in mind, here's the list of starters on the slate, sorted by the salary of their team's starting pitcher slot on FanDuel. The individual stats and team runs per game data is via My KBO Stats, and you can find the team strikeout rate numbers at Baseball-Reference. The park factor numbers are multi-year run factors via STATIZ with 1000 being neutral and a higher number favoring offense.
|Pitcher||Salary||L/R||Opp.||ERA||WHIP||K%||BB%||HR%||Opp. R/G||Opp. K%||Park Factor|
|Mike Wright |
|Chan-gyu Lim |
|William Cuevas |
|Won-tae Choi |
|Shi-hwan Jang |
|David Buchanan |
|Min-woo Lee |
|Young-ha Lee |
|Ricardo Pinto |
|Jun-won Seo |
As you can see in the table, we're going to deal with imperfections no matter where we go at pitcher. So whose flaws are we best able to accept? Let's dive into that now.
The best way to present this is to pick the top options on the slate and lay out the pros and cons of each. That should allow you to apply your individual process and what you value most in order to decide which way you want to go.
One of those top three -- and the best performer on the slate in 2020 -- is going to be Mike Wright (NC Starting P; $27). Wright has a 2.86 ERA and 21.7% strikeout rate through his first four KBO starts. His matchup with the Samsung Lions isn't all that difficult as they're more of a middling offense.
The downside of Wright is the park. Daegu Samsung Lions Park is the most hitter-friendly pad in the league, according to STATIZ, which bakes some risk into Wright's profile. The other aspects are all largely positive.
The upside on Chan-gyu Lim (LG Starting P; $25) is high. He's rocking a 28.4% strikeout rate through three starts, highest on the slate by almost seven percentage points. He also has just a 2.7% walk rate, and like Wright, Lim's opponent is roughly league-average.
Lim's issue is that we didn't see this same upside last year. He made 30 appearances (just 13 of which were starts), and he had a 4.97 ERA with an 18.4% strikeout rate. He has also had some soft matchups to open the season, and in his lone tough spot -- against the KT Wiz -- he let up four runs across six innings.
Finally, we have William Cuevas (KT Starting P; $25), who did bring the heat last year. His ERA was 3.62 that season, and he has opened up the 2020 season with a 19.8% strikeout rate. The opposing Kiwoom Heroes have the second-highest strikeout rate in the KBO to open the season, and the park skews toward favoring pitchers.
Cuevas' issues are twofold. First, his results in 2020 have been mixed with a 5.55 ERA. Second, Kiwoom can bop it despite their elevated strikeout rate, amping up the odds that the poor results persist.
For me, the ranking would be Cuevas, Wright, and Lim, in that order. Cuevas could simply be due for regression, and he appears to have a solid ceiling despite the scary matchup. Wright sits second because he may be good enough to overcome the park. Concerns around the legitimacy of Lim's strikeout rate are what push him lower on my list, but he's still definitely an option if you want to buy into the fast start.
However, this is one of those slates where your individual process is most important. So comb through the data, decide which strengths and weaknesses best align with your preferences, and pick the player who fits best.
Stacking also depends a bit on your process. If you refuse to stack a team without its best bats, the Doosan Bears are a tough sell. Getting to their top studs is difficult with what we're trying to spend at pitcher. But if you're willing to buy into the secondary pieces, they stand out as the top option.
Doosan is facing Jun-won Seo, who is just 19 years old. Seo had a 5.47 ERA last year and has gotten off to a rocky start in 2020, striking out just 10.6% of the batters he faced while letting up homers to 4.3% of his opponents.
If you have trepidations about the Bears' value plays, Joo-Hwan Choi ($11) can help ease those fears. Choi hit third last night against a righty and has flashed some big pop so far in 2020. Soo-Bin Jung ($7) isn't as powerful but is likely to hit at the top of the order as an extreme value. Using those two may even allow you to splurge for Jose Fernandez ($18), Jae-Hwan Kim ($17), or Jae-Il Oh ($16), though Oh has been out of the starting lineup the past two nights. It's at least worthwhile to give Doosan a look given the matchup.
Elsewhere, the LG Twins seem to be in a good spot against Min-woo Lee. Lee has a 3.80 ERA this year, but his 15.2% strikeout rate and 9.1% walk rate hint that could regress. Lee had a 5.43 ERA last year.
As with Doosan, we can get a cheaper stick with pop in the middle of LG's order. That's Eun-Sung Chae ($11), who hit third against a righty last night and has three homers so far in 2020. Chun-Woong Lee ($10) hit atop the order in that game and can generate upside with his legs. Combining those two should give you the flexibility to afford former big-leaguer Hyun Soo Kim ($14), who has a .602 slugging percentage through 91 plate appearances.
If you need additional value, why not target a team on a six-game losing streak that ranks dead last in strikeout rate and runs per game? I'm sure that pitch was convincing. But the Hanwha Eagles are facing Ricardo Pinto -- who has as many walks as strikeouts through his first four starts -- and playing in a hitter-friendly park. We at least know the offense can't get any worse than it has been. So why not?
Because they've been so stanky, no Hanwha hitters will cost you more than $10. That includes Eun-Won Jung ($8), who has been hitting leadoff and is slashing a palatable .288/.365/.409. Moon-Ho Kim ($7) did not start last night with a lefty on the mound, but if he gets back in there against a righty, he'd be another competent hitter who could help you get to the studs on Doosan and LG.