While MLB appears to still be at least a month or two away from restarting, we don’t have to wait any longer for some professional baseball and – most importantly – baseball DFS. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) is underway and DraftKings is welcoming the KBO into the fold with contests each and every night. On Tuesday, the action gets underway at 5:30 a.m. ET.
What do we know about the league? Who should we be putting into lineups? Let’s figure out all this together, position-by-position.
Set your lineups here: KBO $150K Extra Inning [$50K to 1st] (Korean Baseball)
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What to know about the KBO
StudWon Tae Choi, KIW vs. SK, $9,500 – This is the most expensive we’ve seen Choi in his first three starts of the season, but it’s hard to argue that the right-hander won’t be worth his price tag this evening. Choi has been phenomenal through two outings, pitching to a 2.36 FIP and posting an above-average strikeout rate of 19.6%. He’s also yet to allow a home run, something that is very consistent with his statistics from 2019. In short, there’s a reason that he and Kiwoom (-186) are the biggest favorites to win on this slate according to the DraftKings Sportsbook. Look for Choi to thrive against a Wyverns’ offense that’s generated a league-worst .293 OBP in their 11 games.
ValueChan Gyu Lim, LG at SAM, $6,900 – For as much as I suspect Lim’s amazing start last week was more about matchup than actual skill, it’s not like the 27-year-old is drawing the toughest assignment again on Tuesday. In fact, you could argue the Lions are the most enticing opponent a pitcher could face in the KBO, as Samsung comes into this slate owning league lows in batting average (.228) and OPS (.646). Still, you’ve got to give the RHP a little credit. Lim struck out seven across six innings of work last Wednesday and a 7.76 K/9 from 2017 to 2019 suggests that’s not a complete aberration.
StudDong Won Park, KIW vs. SK, $4,000 – In terms of red flags for pitchers, the fact that Ricardo Pinto’s ($7,700) walk rate (13.5%) is significantly higher than his strikeout rate (7.7%) is a pretty big no-no. Honestly, with that level of control, it’s sort of a minor miracle that the import has only surrendered four earned runs through 11.1 innings. I’d expect the Heroes to score some runs and for Park and his .855 OPS to be in the middle of it all.
ValueJin Sung Kang, NCD at DOO, $2,200 – This almost feels like cheating. With Chang Min Mo nursing a shoulder injury, Kang has been given the opportunity to work his way into the Dinos’ everyday lineup. In fact, he’s played first base and right field in the past week, a span of time that’s seen the 26-year-old hit as high as fifth in the team’s batting order. Yet, he remains listed as a catcher on DraftKings, a catcher currently sporting a .667 ISO through 20 plate appearances. You have to take advantage.
StudBaek Ho Kang, KTW vs. HAN, $5,800 – Shi Hwan Jang ($6,700) isn’t a bad pitcher by any means, but he is right-handed. When facing Kang, that’s really all it takes to be in the danger zone. The 20-year-old has done ridiculous damage within the split so far in 2020, managing an eye-popping .882 slugging percentage in his 34 at-bats. None of this should be all that shocking, either. Especially considering Kang’s .422 ISO is the third-highest qualified mark in the KBO.
ValueKeon Chang Seo, KIW vs. SK, $2,500 – Seo’s bat appears to be heating up. The veteran will come into Tuesday’s meeting with the Wyverns riding a seven-game hitting streak, a wave of success punctuated by a three-hit performance against the Twins on Sunday. Add in the fact that Seo’s locked into Kiwoom’s lineup as the leadoff guy and you’ve got an asset absolutely dripping with value on this slate.
StudDixon Machado, LOT at KIA, $5,600 – Machado might only have two hits in his past four games, but his .411 wOBA remains elite amongst all middle-infielders in the KBO. The import will also draw a favorable matchup on this slate in the form of Min Woo Lee ($7,200). Lee’s struggled out of the gate, pitching to a 5.91 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. It’s not like this is out-of-the-ordinary of the right-hander, either. Across 99 innings in 2018 and 2019, Lee posted an ugly 1.77 WHIP.
ValueChi Hong An, LOT at KIA, $2,700 – We got ourselves a revenge game narrative! An was a member of the Tigers for 10 seasons prior to joining the Giants this offseason, with the veteran even hitting an impressive .325 over his most recent three campaigns. An’s bat has also been heating up specifically across his past six contests, as the 29-year-old has registered nine hits within that span of time. Additionally, it’s a stretch that’s seen An average 11.7 DKFP.
StudChan Ho Park, KIA vs. LOT, $4,800 – Park is the Tigers’ primary leadoff hitter and that plate appearance volume should come in handy against Jun Won Seo ($6,100) this evening. To be blunt, the 19-year-old right-hander has struggled immensely in his time in the KBO. In fact, Seo’s 5.47 ERA last season was the third-highest figure of the 43 pitchers who threw at least 90 innings. Park isn’t known for his power, but if he can get on base and utilize his amazing speed, he’ll have little trouble bringing back value.
ValueKyoung Min Hur, DOO vs. NCD, $2,700 – With the Bears averaging just under 7.5 runs per game, you should jump at any opportunity to put a piece of their offense into your lineup for less than $3K. Sure, Hur’s .128 ISO isn’t the most enticing thing I’ve ever seen in my life, but the 29-year-old does possess one of my favorite traits in a DFS bat: Aggression. In his 49 plate appearances this season, Hur has two strikeouts and one walk. The man puts the ball in play.
StudHa Seong Kim, KIW vs. SK, $4,700 – Kim showed some serious signs of breaking out of his funk on Sunday, collecting three hits and three RBI in a 9-4 victory over the Twins. Considering his .399 wOBA and 142 wRC+ last season, I’m inclined to believe that this is the start of a trend and not a blip on the radar. With the aforementioned recent issues that have plagued Pinto, look for Kim to build off his 19.0 DKFP performance from 48 hours ago.
ValueJae Ho Kim, DOO vs. NCD, $2,300 – Do I really need to keep explaining this? Kim is currently riding a 10-game hitting streak. That run of success has translated into a .390 batting average with an extraordinary 1.33 BB/K ratio. Does Kim have a lot of power? No. He does not. However, he remains a high-floor asset that’s significantly under-priced.
StudPreston Tucker, KIA vs. LOT, $5,900 – Without question, Tucker has been the best hitter in the KBO in 2020. He leads the league in OPS (1.421), he leads the league in ISO (.467), he leads the league in wOBA (.586) and, of course, he leads the league in wRC+ (258). With an underwhelming RHP like Seo on the mound for the Giants, the left-handed Tucker is in an enviable matchup to be sure.
ValueAh Seop Son, LOT at KIA, $3,400 – Son has been Lotte’s best hitter so far this season, posting an insane 3.33 BB/K ratio to go along with a 179 wRC+ through his first 49 plate appearances. The left-handed bat has also thrived in left-on-right matchups in 2020, managing a well above-average .600 slugging percentage within the split across 30 at-bats. Lee is one of the weakest pitchers on the slate and Son makes for a great play.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.