KBO Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 7/1/20

Ji-Wan Na provides salary relief on a slate where we may want to spend up at pitcher, making him a key option for KBO DFS. Who else stands out for Wednesday's slate?

Happy Chang-mo Koo Day, everybody. Get out your streamers and party hats; we're having a (socially distant) celebration.

Koo (NC Starting P; $29) is pretty much always a no-brainer for KBO DFS when he's on the slate, and today is no different. But he's not the only ace we've got at our disposal. Half of the full-time starters on the slate enter with a strikeout rate of 21.0% or higher, which is hard to find when the league-wide mark is 17.7%. Even if Koo is the top arm, you've still got other options you can at least consider.

Here are those options sorted by the FanDuel salary of their team's starting pitching slot. You can find the opposing runs per game totals at My KBO Stats with the team strikeout rates at Baseball Reference. The park factor numbers are multi-year run factors via STATIZ with 1000 being neutral and a higher number favoring hitters.

PitcherSalaryL/ROpp.ERAWHIPK%BB%HR%Opp. R/GOpp. K%Park Factor
Chang-mo Koo
Won-sam Jang
Seung-won Moon
Woo-chan Cha
Hyun-hee Han
Ki-young Im
Je-seong Bae
Shi-hwan Jang
David Buchanan
Young-ha Lee

It's a good day to be a fan of quality pitching. Let's dig into these options and see if any of them can sniff the expected production that Koo brings to the table.


Before looking at the alternatives, we should probably run through why Koo is such a desirable option. The answer there is almost everything.

Koo has been unhittable through nine starts, putting up a 1.37 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. He legitimizes that with his 29.7% strikeout rate, which is a 67.8% increase from the league average. The league-average strikeout rate for starters in Major League Baseball last year was 22.3%, and a 67.8% increase from that would be 37.4%. In other words, Koo has been equivalent to Justin Verlander or Max Scherzer, except he's doing it in his age-23 season.

Even against a Lotte Giants team that does a good job of avoiding strikeouts, Koo is well worth the salary.

The only reason you could potentially justify not using Koo is that Ki-young Im (Kia Starting P; $24) is also riding a huge season, in a good matchup, and a full $5 cheaper.

Im's scheduled start last night got rained out, which has led to an inefficient salary (he was $28 last night). But the things that made him a great play heading in are still there. He's facing the Hanwha Eagles, who are last in the league in runs per game and strikeout rate despite recent improvements. And Im himself has been dealing with a 2.91 ERA, 22.2% strikeout rate, and 4.0% walk rate.

If it weren't for the discrepancy in opposing strikeout rates, we'd just lock in Koo and build from there. But with Hanwha's strikeout rate being 3.3 percentage points higher than Lotte's, some of the gap between Koo and Im is bridged. In other words, even on a slate where Koo is available, we can still easily justify going elsewhere and riding with Im. What is clear and obvious, though, is that these are the two pitchers you want to build around tonight.


Another check in Im's favor is that the NC Dinos are in a great spot against Won-sam Jang, and you probably can't stack them if you fork over the salary for Koo. That shouldn't be our difference-maker, but it certainly matters.

Jang is making just his second start of the year and hasn't hit double-digit starts since 2016. That means his samples are small, but in each of those seasons, he has had an ERA of 5.61 or higher. It's reasonable to expect the lefty to struggle, especially against an offense as good as NC's.

If you do decide to stack NC, you might want to try to be around when lineups are released. Both Min-Woo Park ($12) and Eui-Ji Yang ($13) left last night's game due to injury, making them question marks for this one. Regardless of their health, Hee-Dong Kwon ($7) is likely to hit second and will gain the platoon advantage over Jang. If you can't be around for lock, Kwon and Aaron Altherr ($16) are decently safe bets to get the start, but Yang, specifically, is someone who would stand out if he were to be able to play.

If you're looking for additional value outside of Kwon, the Kia Tigers are a quality outlet. They're facing Shi-hwan Jang, who can get some strikeouts but struggles mightily whenever he doesn't notch that third strike. His ERA is at 6.21, thanks in large part to a 13.2% walk rate, which should allow the Tigers to rack up the baserunners here.

The main lower-salaried outlets on Kia are Ji-Wan Na ($9) and Ho-Ryeong Kim ($10), who were scheduled to hit fourth and sixth, respectively, against Jang last night before the rainout. Na has six homers for the season, and Kim has earned a larger role by slashing .289/.379/.513 and swiping three bags. Kim's two sources of upside allow us to utilize him even without an advantageous spot in the order.

Our final stacking recommendation is the Kiwoom Heroes against Young-ha Lee. Lee has done a good job of limiting damage via the long ball, but his 14.6% strikeout rate and 11.3% walk rate have led to a 6.29 ERA that is the highest on the slate. The low strikeout rate is a big plus for a Kiwoom offense that indulges in the third strike more often than it should.

As is always the case with Kiwoom, you want to start your stack with Dong-Won Park ($9). Park's salary refuses to budge even though he is slashing .299/.380/.565 with 9 homers out of the five hole. Just keep using him until they force you not to. Keon-Chang Seo ($10) is another batter whose speed gives him multiple sources of upside, and he's just a hair more costly than Park. With the salaries on Park and Seo being so reasonable, Kiwoom is a team you can stack even if you go with Koo as your pitcher.