Through two days of the KBO, we have seen 22 home runs, but only a .228 batting average for all teams. That means they’re swinging for the fences despite the downgraded baseball that’s theoretically supposed to limit the power game.
But we’ve also seen some trends already, so let’s take a look at some fantasy options for the May 7th games on the schedule.
Pitcher: Won Tae Choi, Kiwoom Heroes ($8,000)
It’s very possible the Kia Tigers are just very bad at baseball, and the problems that had them bring in Matt Williams as manager and overhauling the front office can’t solve what’s wrong for the most popular team in South Korea. Take out Choi Hyung-woo and Choi Won-joon, and nobody for Kia can hit. So fade them with a competent pitcher that was 11-5 with a 3.38 ERA last season, very good by KBO standards. Choi gave up 5 HR’s in 157 innings last year, which means he’s likely to keep the Tigers in the yard.
Catcher: Eui-Ji Yang, NC Dinos ($5,000)
The rake machine went 0-3 yesterday with a walk and a run scored. He also gets to tee off on Samsung Lions David Buchanan, who went from MLB to Japan, where he was 20-30 with an ERA over 4.00 the last three seasons. Samsung’s rotation isn’t great, and they might get shelled today.
First Base: Chang-Min Mo, NC Dinos ($4,800)
Same logic here: Mo went yard on opening day in a 3-4 effort, but was shutout yesterday. Everyone eats the Lions, so take advantage.
Second Base: Dixon Machado, Lotte Giants ($4,700)
Machado went 2-4 with a home run and four RBI’s opening day, then got a hit, a walk, and stole a base yesterday. The former Detroit Tiger won’t be hitting out of the seven-hole for long.
Shortstop: Ha-Seong Kim, Kiwoom Heroes ($4,800)
More KIA feasting, and he’s 3-7 with a HR and a stolen base in the first two games. Has at least 19 in each of the last five seasons in the KBO, and his early OPS of 1.159 could very well increase today.
Third Base: Suk-Min Park, NC Dinos ($4,700)
Only 2-7 so far, but it’s a double and a home run. The knock on Park is his focus, but he hit 19 HR’s last year with a .396 OBP. Also very much known for having fun out there.
Outfield: Aaron Altherr, NC Dinos ($5,900)
Has hit the ball hard about every at bat this season. Went yard yesterday and it was an absolute bomb. He should mash against Samsung and Buchanan today.
Outfield: Jung-Hoo Lee, Kiwoom Heroes ($4,700)
3-6 with two walks early, and at just 21 years old in his fourth season of KBO baseball, might be ready to make the leap as a player. Had 36 stolen bases with an .845 OPS last year, and those numbers should increase this season. Plus he gets to drill Kia Tigers pitching today.
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