KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 6/20/20
In general, the KBO is a lower-strikeout league than MLB. Finding high-strikeout pitchers for daily fantasy is tough, robbing us of a key pillar in our general process.
Saturday's slate is especially difficult.
Among Saturday's starters, only one has a strikeout rate higher than 17.1% for the season. And 17.1% isn't even that high of a number with the league-wide strikeout rate at 17.7%. That means we've got limited choices, and the good ones that do emerge must be cherished.
Here's a look at the starters for the slate, sorted by the FanDuel salary of their team's starting pitching slot. The opposing runs per game totals can be found at My KBO Stats with the strikeout rate numbers at Baseball Reference. The park factors are multi-year run factors via STATIZ with 1000 being neutral and a higher number favoring hitters.
|Pitcher||Salary||L/R||Opp.||ERA||WHIP||K%||BB%||HR%||Opp. R/G||Opp. K%||Park Factor|
We must protect Ki-young Im (Kia Starting P; $27) at all costs. Let's break down Im's outlook and figure out how we should handle this slate as a whole.
Im's dominance is definitely a new thing. Last year, he had a 5.73 ERA and 16.4% strikeout rate in the KBO, so he was far from a force. But this year has been a different story. Im has at least four strikeouts in every start, putting his full-season mark at 22.1%. That's a full five percentage points clear of any other pitcher on the slate.
The matchup for Im isn't bad at all. The Samsung Lions are seventh in runs per game and sixth in strikeout rate. Given the gap between Im and the field in the most important category, he's easily the top pitching option at our disposal.
After Im, it gets super murky. Geon-wook Lee (SK Starting P; $23) is interesting against a high-strikeout Kiwoom Heroes offense, but he hasn't thrown more than 88 pitches in any start this year. Young-gun Jo (Kiwoom Starting P; $21) has similar concerns with his pitch count maxing out at 76. In reality, there's nothing here that's truly desirable.
As a result, we may just want to sell out for a plus matchup and use Jae-hak Lee (NC Starting P; $27) against the Hanwha Eagles. The Hanwha appeal is obvious. But Lee isn't terrible himself as he had a 3.75 ERA last year along with a 16.3% strikeout rate. His ceiling gets a boost thanks to Hanwha's 19.9% strikeout rate, which is why we can at least consider Lee. But overall, this is a slate that begins and ends with shoving Im into your lineup.
Because Im's salary is $27, we have to be mindful in looking for value within our stacks. That's why the Lotte Giants stand out as the top option of the night.
Lotte is facing 18-year-old Hyeong-jun So. As you would expect for a youngster in an upper league, So has struggled this year with a 6.34 ERA and just an 8.9% strikeout rate. Lotte has done a good job of avoiding strikeouts this year, meaning they should at least give themselves chances for points with balls in play.
Thankfully, Lotte gives us a gift in the value department in Hoon Jung ($9). Jung recently returned from the injured list and hit second last night. He has struck the ball well in a small sample and has four extra-base hits in 44 plate appearances. Jung paired with Dae-Ho Lee ($10) and Dixon Machado ($10) can go a long way toward helping us squeeze in Im.
The KT Wiz as a team aren't a low-dollar option, but they do have individuals who fit in that department. We may want to give them a sniff against Adrian Sampson.
Sampson missed the opening part of the year to be with his ailing father, and -- very much understandably -- has struggled since joining Lotte. He has let up at least six runs in two of four starts, and he hasn't gotten many strikeouts. The hope should be that Sampson is able to turn things around soon. For now, it does put KT in a spot to excel on Saturday.
The value outlets within this offense are Jeong-Dae Bae ($9) and Jae-Gyun Hwang ($8). Bae hits leadoff and has slashed .352/.410/.521 through 158 plate appearances, and Hwang figures to have plenty of chances to drive in runs behind the lineup's big sluggers. The hope here is that using them will allow you to spend up for either Mel Rojas ($16) or newly healthy Baek-Ho Kang ($16), but Bae and Hwang have standalone value, as well.
If you find yourself with extra salary to burn, that's when you can turn to the LG Twins. They're facing Jong-gi Park, who was recently called up from the Doosan Bears' futures roster. Before this stint, Park was last in the KBO in 2015, and he may be a pitcher the LG offense can handle.
The reason LG is an outlet mainly when we have salary on the table is that slugger Roberto Ramos ($17) just returned from injury on Thursday. That means Ramos is an option, but his presence also elevates the expected volume for everybody in the lineup.
If you do need extra value, six-hole hitter Kang-Nam Yoo ($10) projects to have runners on base with Ramos in the mix, and he has shown the ability to drive them in with a .316/.381/.465 slash. Hyun Soo Kim ($15) and Eun-Sung Chae ($13) are off to hot starts, too, meaning LG has options at hitter in each salary tier.