KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 6/23/20

Drew Rucinski has a high salary but also comes with a high ceiling for Tuesday's KBO DFS slate. Who else stands out on FanDuel?

Tuesday's slate for KBO DFS is one with very clear paths at both hitter and pitcher. The dilemma we'll face is whether we should take those paths or deviate in order to differentiate ourselves from the pack.

For each position, you can easily pinpoint players you will want to use because they fit the process perfectly. That's the good. The bad is that if we can identify these quality routes, others will likely be able to do the same, inflating the popularity behind those players. In DFS, there's always an incentive to be different. We just have to decide if that incentive is big enough to force us off the optimal options.

So that you can get a read on this yourself, here are the starting pitchers on the slate sorted by the FanDuel salary of their team's starting pitching slot. Opponent runs per game totals can be found at My KBO Stats while strikeout rates are at Baseball Reference. The park factor is a multi-year run factor via STATIZ with 1000 being neutral and a higher number favoring hitters.

PitcherSalaryL/ROpp.ERAWHIPK%BB%HR%Opp. R/GOpp. K%Park Factor
Drew Rucinski
Chae-heung Choi
Chris Flexen
Aaron Brooks
Yun-sik Kim
Jun-won Seo
Won-tae Choi
Odrisamer Despaigne
Tae-hoon Kim
Chad Bell

The data should make it pretty clear where our obvious paths are. So let's dig in and see how we should tackle this slate.


The three key questions to ask when you know a player will be popular are:

A) How popular will they be?

B) How likely are they to pay off?

C) Can I find that production elsewhere?

Those will be the guiding lights for us in determining which of the top-flight pitchers on this slate we should target. Thankfully, they also allow us to be mindful of popularity without using a bad pitcher tonight.

The big reason we can go the obvious route is that there isn't just one option; there are three. All of Drew Rucinski (NC Starting P; $28), Chris Flexen (Doosan Starting P; $27), and Aaron Brooks (Kia Starting P; $25) have put up filthy numbers early this year and are in at least palatable spots for the slate. When we have three options rather than one, the roster percentage for all three gets diluted. Not everybody can be popular all at once.

Among the three, Flexen seems likely to be the most popular because he has the easiest matchup. He's facing the SK Wyverns, who are ninth in the league in both runs per game and strikeout rate. Combine that with Flexen's 3.29 ERA and 20.6% strikeout rate, and his odds of being the pitcher people use most often are high.

In cash games, Flexen is probably your best option. For tournaments -- where the upsides of changing things up are higher -- we can look at Rucinski or Brooks.

Both have pros and cons to their respective matchups. Rucinski is facing a KT Wiz team that regularly posts big run totals, but they also strike out at an above-average clip. As for Brooks, the opposing Lotte Giants don't strike out as often, but they also average almost one less run per game than KT. Essentially, it's about which downside you're more willing to accept.

Because we're viewing this through a tournament-centric lens, Rucinski should probably be our top option. We're not as worried about his floor in this type of contest. We just want to sell out for a high ceiling, and Rucinski's free-swinging opponent gives him a boost there. Add in that Rucinski has the highest salary of the group, and the odds he becomes less popular than Flexen and Brooks go up.

In reality, this is a slate where you can pick your poison and go with any of these three pitchers. They all have a shot to be the highest-scoring pitcher of the night. But for cash games, Flexen seems to be the standout while Rucinski leaps off the page for tournaments. Brooks is someone worth filtering in if you're multi-entering for tournaments.


The super obvious stacking option is loading up on the Samsung Lions. Unfortunately for your Rucinski and Flexen lineups, they do provide a bunch of much-needed salary flexibility, potentially pushing us toward swallowing the chalk.

The reason Samsung is the obvious route is that they're facing Chad Bell, who has struggled across the board in 2020. Bell has issued almost as many walks as strikeouts, has allowed the highest home-run rate on the slate, and holds an 8.44 ERA. He was much better last year with an ERA of 3.50, but when the peripherals all align against him, it's clear we need to focus more on the recent form. All of those issues will be at the forefront in a game with the most hitter-friendly park factor on the slate.

Add all of that together, and you can see why we may be inclined to just suck it up and use Samsung despite the popularity. None of their hitters will run you more than $9, further increasing that desire. Tyler Saladino ($9) hit clean-up against a lefty on Sunday while Won-Seok Lee ($8) hit fifth, and both will have the platoon advantage on Tuesday. They're both top-tier options, and Ja-Wook Koo ($9) stands out as a way to be different in case others worry about the lefty-on-lefty matchup.

Outside of Samsung, the other top stacking options on the slate are the Kiwoom Heroes and Doosan Bears. Neither team is overflowing with value, so if you want to afford Rucinski or Flexen, a Samsung stack may be necessary. They will likely be popular, but in this specific instance, that seems like an ill we should be willing to accept.

As for Kiwoom, they're facing Yun-sik Kim, who is making his first start of the season. Kim is unlikely to stick in the game long as his longest outing of the season was just 38 pitches. Similar to our process in MLB, we should target teams that will get heavy exposure to middle-relief pitching, and that seems like it'll be the case for Kiwoom today.

Because Kim will likely get a quick yank, we don't need to worry too much about the fact that he's left-handed. That allows us to check out Keon-Chang Seo ($11) and Jung-Hoo Lee ($14) as lefties near the top of the order. The truly elite play here, though, is Dong-Won Park ($10), who will benefit from seeing a lefty early on and is already slashing .304/.379/.560 with 8 homers to start the season. Regardless of handedness, the hitters within this Kiwoom offense are worth your attention.

Doosan is also facing a lefty in Tae-hoon Kim, though Kim is likely to get a longer leash. That may not lead to his pitching deep into the game, though, as Kim has more walks than strikeouts through his first seven starts. Kim has done a good job of suppressing dingers, but the sheer volume of base-runners in a hitter-friendly park can get ugly in a hurry.

The downside of Doosan is that they don't have the same value as Samsung, and they're a rung above Kiwoom from that perspective, too. This might make them an offense you target only when you save salary with Brooks. But that pairing has a chance to be more unique if people gravitate toward the higher-salaried pitchers. So, it is at least worth some thought to take a slightly different roster construction, use Brooks as your pitcher, and have better access to the studs within Doosan's lineup if you get a read that Brooks will be less popular than Flexen and Rucinski.