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 for big prizes. On Wednesday morning, 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 $60K Relay Throw [$20K to 1st] (Korean Baseball)
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What to know about the KBO
Chris Flexen, DOO vs. SAM, $8,600 – There are a couple different ways you could go at the top of Wednesday’s pitching slate, but give me the heavy home favorite in Flexen. Doosan’s right-hander is currently in possession of the KBO’s 10th-lowest qualified ERA (2.92); though it must be pointed out that the Flexen we’ve seen in his last three outings has been underwhelming. In fact, after striking out 9.9 opponents per nine in his first three starts, the import’s managed just eight punch outs in his most recent 17 innings. Still, its not like that upside completely disappeared and Flexen has a good matchup to try and re-find the magic.
Chan Gyu Lim, LG at HAN, $8,000 – Lim’s not the cheapest “value” pitcher I’ve ever written up, but things get pretty dicey below $8K on this slate. I mean, Byung Wook Jo ($4,000) might be a fine flyer in a GPP, yet, when that’s option No. 2, that’s not saying much about the quality of arms taking the hill on Wednesday. To Lim’s credit, he has managed an above-average 22.2% strikeout rate so far in 2020 – the eighth-highest mark in the league. His fatal flaw has been surrendering 1.31 opponent home runs per nine; however, the Eagles rank dead-last in the KBO with just 23 long balls through 37 games. Basically, this is Lim’s ideal matchup.
Kang Nam Yoo, LG at HAN, $4,000 – Yoo was apparently put on this Earth to absolutely smash left-handed pitching. Don’t believe me? Well, how does a .526 (10-for-19) batting average with a 1.158 slugging percentage within the split sound? Maybe it’s a small sample, but it’s not like Chad Bell ($6,700) has had enough success to scare me off Yoo, either. To wit, the LHP’s allowed an eye-popping 2.35 home runs per nine in his four starts in 2020.
Ji Young Lee, KIW vs. LOT, $2,600 – With Dong Won Park (knee) being forced to leave Tuesday’s contest due to injury, it’s almost a lock that Lee with be in the Heroes’ lineup on Wednesday. Considering his low price point, that alone is enough of a reason to classify Lee as viable on this slate, but his .311 average across 80 plate appearances certainly does help, too.
Jamie Romak, SK vs. KTW, $5,100 – KT’s pitching staff can make anyone viable and we saw that play out again on Tuesday evening. Romak had come into that slate with just two hits in his past 16 at-bats, yet the import was able to hit his sixth home run of the season in the Wyverns’ 6-5 loss. It was Romak’s fourth long ball dating back to the beginning of June, after the slugger only managed two in May. With a 22-year-old rookie making his first ever KBO start for the Wiz, I like Romak’s chances of another big performance.
Joo Hwan Choi, DOO vs. SAM, $2,400 – I’ll never understand why Choi continues to be so inexpensive. What does the guy have to do to earn a little respect? Across his first 138 plate appearances of 2020, the veteran owns a .220 ISO with just a 13.0% strikeout rate. He’s also recently moved up to the third spot in the Bears’ order, yet he remains the cheapest Doosan asset on Wednesday’s slate. I’m not sure how it works, but I’ll gladly take the savings.
Jose Fernandez, DOO vs. SAM, $6,200 – Fernandez had a six-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday, but in the import’s past seven contests, he’s still managed nine hits, five RBI and a pair of home runs. Simply put, he’s one of the best batters in all of Korea and he’ll get a prime matchup on Wednesday in the form of Dae Woo Kim ($5,500). The right-hander is sporting an ugly 5.99 FIP so far in 2020, a figure definitely not assisted by a microscopic 7.8% strikeout rate.
Keon Chang Seo, KIW vs. LOT, $3,900 – Seo is coming off a horrendous showing on Tuesday, where he somehow managed to strike out three times in just five plate appearances. Still, for the season as a whole, the veteran possesses an enticing .395 wOBA and a league-leading eight stolen bases. With Jun Won Seo ($6,200) owning the second-worst FIP in the KBO (5.82), I’d expect Kiwoom’s leadoff hitter to get back on track on Wednesday.
Jeong Choi, SK vs. KTW, $4,600 – You can pretty much take everything I said about Romak and apply it to his teammate Choi. The 33-year-old is warming up after a putrid start to the season, having collected nine hits in his last seven starts. That span also includes a two home run performance against the Tigers on Sunday, an example of the kind of upside Choi can provide. In the grand scheme of things, he’s reasonably priced and the matchup is good. What else could you want?
Ju Hyeon Jung, LG at HAN, $2,600 – Call it recency bias if you must, but it doesn’t take much to justify the use of an asset priced below $3K. Jung had a monster performance on Tuesday in the Twins’ 9-5 win over the Eagles, registering a triple and a home run to go along with four RBI. Yes, it’s insane to think I repeat showing is in store, yet at the very least, Jung’s playing time shouldn’t be in question with Min Sung Kim (thigh) on the IL.
Ha Seong Kim, KIW vs. LOT, $6,000 – Following an impressive 13-game hitting streak, Kim’s gone hitless in his last two starts. Still, this is a fantastic matchup for the talented 24-year-old, with the struggling Seo taking the bump for the Giants. To that point, the RHP has conceded a whopping 1.40 opponent home runs per nine so far this season – the fourth-highest qualified mark in the entire KBO. Kim should thrive.
Jae Ho Kim, DOO vs. SAM, $2,800 – Kim just gets hits. Maybe he’s primarily a singles guy, but the fact remains the same. Kim’s racked up 15 hits in his past 11 games, a stretch of success that’s led to a .360 average through his first 129 plate appearances of the season. That’s a lot of floor for an asset priced below $3K.
Mel Rojas, KTW at SK, $5,400 – I’m hesitant to say that Rojas is “cheap” on this slate, but he was priced as high $6.7K less than 10 days ago. In short, the switch-hitter has been on fire dating back to May 31, collecting eight home runs and 21 RBI in that short span of time. When it comes specifically to Wednesday’s matchup with Tae Hoon Kim ($7,200), Rojas should be champing at the bit to face another LHP. As a right-handed hitter in 2020, the import owns a .944 slugging percentage in 36 at-bats.
Eun Sung Chae, LG at HAN, $3,300 – Despite owning a batting average over .300, despite sitting second on the Twins in home runs (5) and despite hitting in the clean-up spot in recent days, Chae remains an under-priced asset. The RHB draws a prime matchup against the scuffling southpaw Bell on Wednesday and I’d suggest getting some exposure.
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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.