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 Tuesday 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 $100K Bat Flip [$20K to 1st] (Korean Baseball)
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What to know about the KBO
Aaron Brooks, KIA at LOT, $8,400 – As you would expect from an import pitcher, Brooks has been phenomenal in his first six weeks in Korea. In fact, coming into Tuesday’s matchup with the Giants, Brooks owns the league’s fourth-lowest FIP (3.01) and it’s third-highest K/BB ratio (5.25). The right-hander has also managed to register at least 17.0 DKFP in six of his eight outings in 2020, showcasing a level of consistency that is rare to find this year in the KBO. Expect Brooks to be able to take advantage of a Lotte lineup that’s scoring just 4.66 runs per game – the third-lowest mark among all 10 teams.
Chae Heung Choi, SAM vs. HAN, $7,300 – Choi has been struggling as of late, allowing 11 earned runs across his past 8.2 innings of work. However, the Eagles tend to be the cure for whatever happens to be ailing a starter in the KBO. Hanwha just can’t score any runs. The team comes into this slate ranking dead-last in slugging percentage (.329) and OPS (.631), while also sitting with the second-most strikeouts in the league (311). The Eagles are without Sun Jin Oh (thigh) and Ju Suk Ha (thigh), and on Sunday, they parted ways with import bat Jared Hoying, who was leading the club in home runs (4). It’s a mess.
Dong Won Park, KIW at LG, $5,300 – Park isn’t just having a great offensive season relative to his position, he’s just flat out having a great offensive season. In fact, his .256 ISO ranks him ninth among all qualified batters in the KBO. On Tuesday, Park and Kiwoom will face Yun Sik Kim ($4,800), a rookie left-hander making his first professional start in Korea. Considering the catcher has gone deep in three of his 18 at-bats within the split so far in 2020, I like his chances for a big performance.
Se Hyuk Park, DOO at SK, $3,100 – Park doesn’t possess a lot of power, but the backstop is hitting .288 with a.370 OBP in his 128 plate appearances in 2020. Park’s also been on a bit of a hot-streak as of late, racking up three extra-base hits and six RBI in his past four starts. With Tae Hoon Kim ($7,000) and his 5.28 FIP on the mound for the Wyverns, I’d anticipate Doosan to be able to score some runs on Tuesday. There’s no reason Park won’t play a part in that narrative.
Roberto Ramos, LG vs. KIW, $5,300 – Ramos is slashing .362/.435/.724 with a 193 wRC+ through his first 147 plate appearances in the KBO. Essentially, he’s had little issue acclimatizing himself to his new surroundings in Korea and there’s a case to be made that he’s currently the league’s best hitter. On Tuesday, said “best hitter” will get a left-on-right matchup against Won Tae Choi ($8,900), who has surrendered 2.19 home runs per nine across his past four starts. Seems like a nice buying window, right?
Joo Hwan Choi, DOO at SK, $2,400 – I don’t care that it’s technically a left-on-left matchup, Choi is way too inexpensive and way too hot at the dish to fade right now. The veteran is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak, a span of time that’s seen Choi rack up five multi-hit performances and average 13.4 DKFP per night. If he’s going to keep being this cheap, I’ll keep playing him.
Sang Su Kim, SAM vs. HAN, $5,100 – Generally, I’m not in the business of spending over $5K on a player with a .072 ISO, but Kim does lead the Lions in hits (45), runs (26) and stolen bases (5), which are pretty much the requirements for a good leadoff bat. Kim will also have the good fortune of a right-on-left matchup with the scuffling Chad Bell ($6,600) on Tuesday. In the import’s five outings in 2020, he’s pitched to an 8.44 ERA and a 2.11 WHIP. Yikes.
Hye Sung Kim, KIW at LG, $2,700 – Kim’s numbers tapered off a little bit last week, but the infielder is still slashing .280/.345/.456 over 139 plate appearances. Even if a 20-year-old rookie wasn’t on the mound for the Twins on Tuesday, that’s still a crazy amount of production for someone priced under $3K.
Tyler Saladino, SAM vs. HAN, $4,700 – Over Samsung’s past five games, Saladino has racked up seven hits, six runs and five RBI. The import has also knocked out a home run and stolen a base. That’s a pretty wide range of skills and it speaks to the type of ceiling that Saladino possesses while playing in the KBO. In fact, the RHB’s .413 wOBA now sits 11th in the league despite a terribly slow start to his campaign. Saladino should be able to continue this recent success versus the struggling Bell.
Kyoung Min Hur, DOO at SK, $2,200 – There’s some obvious risk here, but if Hur is in fact reinstated to the Bears’ roster prior to Tuesday’s contest, why not take a shot with the infielder at this price? Hur’s been out since June 2 due to a fractured finger in his right hand; however, prior to that injury, the 29-year-old was slashing .311/.347/.444 across 98 plate appearances. That’s a lot of ceiling this close to the minimum.
Ha Seong Kim, KIW at LG, $5,400 – You wouldn’t be wrong to like the red-hot Jeong Choi ($5,100), either; yet it’s Kim who draws the much easier matchup on Tuesday with the left-handed Yun Sik Kim making the start for the Twins. It also doesn’t hurt that the 24-year-old is coming off a weekend performance that saw him combine to score 52.0 DKFP on Saturday and Sunday. Kim’s been hitting well the past four weeks and this is a fair price.
Jae Ho Kim, DOO at SK, $2,800 – Another value bat in Doosan’s fantastic lineup. Kim’s far from the most powerful hitter in the world, but the infielder is sporting a .400 OBP with just a 10.6% strikeout rate across his first 151 plate appearances of 2020. Kim’s just the definition of a floor play. He’s a guy who constantly gets on base and benefits from the amazing batters surrounding him in the Bears’ order.
Preston Tucker, KIA at LOT, $5,700 – It’s hard to argue with Tucker’s level of production in his past 10 games, as the LHB is slashing .457/.558/.829 in his 35 at-bats within that span. It’s not like we really need to be picky with time frames, either. For the season as a whole, Tucker’s 177 wRC+ is the sixth-best figure in the KBO. Sure, Jun Won Seo has pitched well recently, yet the RHP still owns an ugly 5.61 FIP. I wouldn’t be shocked if he falls apart against the Tigers on Tuesday.
Ho Ryung Kim, KIA at LOT, $3,700 – Kim continues to thrive as the Tigers’ leadoff hitter, as the 28-year-old smacked his third home run of the season in Sunday’s loss to the Lions. That performance raised Kim’s OPS to a sterling .999 mark, which actually ranks as the 10th-highest figure among the 94 players with at least 70 plate appearances in 2020. If you combine his production with his premium lineup spot, it’s pretty easy to see that Kim’s too cheap on this slate.
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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.