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 Friday 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
Dan Straily, LOT vs. SAM, $9,500 – The guy who was expected to be the chalk play on Thursday morning’s slate, Straily pitches on Friday instead due to the rain out. Overall, Straily has been excellent in the KBO, sporting a 2.10 ERA and an average of 21.5 DKFP. He has also appeared to be getting better and more comfortable in Korea as the season has progressed. Over his past five starts, Straily has only allowed a total of four earned runs.
Drew Gagnon, KIA at KIW, $7,900 – Gagnon always looks to be a bit too cheap. His 17.5 DKFP average is the second most of any starter on the slate with multiple starts this season, yet he’s the fifth-most expensive starter on Friday. Gagnon is striking out 9.66 hitters per nine innings, making him one of the rare starters in the league with significant strikeout upside. While his 3.94 ERA is mediocre at first glance, he has suffered from a bit of bad luck. Gagnon only has a 59.7% strand rate and these numbers suggest he’s been the victim of poor sequencing. His 2.77 FIP is a better indication of how he’s pitched than his ERA suggests.
Eui Ji Yang, NCD at DOO, $5,800 – With both Yang and Dong Won Park ($5,300) healthy again, we have a decision to make at catcher. Neither of them is hitting particularly well at the moment, so we can’t rely on any sort of recent form. Since the price gap between the two stud catchers isn’t massive, I am going to lean toward Yang as the stronger option. For the season, Yang has been the better fantasy producer of the two with an average of 9.1 DKFP.
Se Hyuk Park, DOO vs. NCD, $3,200 – There aren’t any cheap catchers that regularly produce much on offense. Park isn’t an exception to the rule, but at least he has upside when he does play well. This is more than I can say for most of the cheap catchers in the league. Park has four games with double-digit DKFP over the past two weeks.
Baek Ho Kang, KTW at HAN, $6,000 – At just 20 years old, there is a case to be made that Kang is already the best hitter in the KBO. He has improved in each of his three pro seasons and currently is among the league leaders with a 187 wRC+. Due to a wrist injury, Kang has been held to 27 games, but he has still managed to blast 10 homers. This has led him to average 11.9 DKFP, the most of any first baseman.
Joo Hwan Choi, DOO vs. NCD, $2,600 – Until his price goes up, Choi looks like a must-play and he also has second base eligibility. He is riding an 11-game hitting streak and is averaging double-digit DKFP during this stretch. Playing in a potent Bears offense, getting on base has led to plenty of opportunities to score and drive in runs. Over his past seven games, Choi has scored sevens runs and has nine RBI.
Jose Fernandez, DOO vs. NCD, $5,700 – After a prolonged slump, it looks like Fernandez is starting to get back on track. He scored 16 DKFP on Thursday and 18 DKFP on Tuesday. A machine at the plate when everything is working for him, Fernandez has a .372 batting average this season and has only struck out 13 times while drawing 17 walks.
Hye Sung Kim, KIW vs. KIA, $2,800 – Kim is on a nice run lately. He’s on a six-game hitting streak and has scored at least 5.0 DKFP in each of these games. Kim also has scored 12 DKFP in two of his past four games. Even though he’s playing well, his price is down $100 from where he was priced at the start of the week.
Jeong Choi, SK vs. LG, $4,700 – With Tyler Saladino hurt, Choi is the only reliable player we can spend up for at third base. He averages 8.6 DKFP, the most of any player at the position and is on a 10-game hitting streak. Choi has also seen an uptick in power as of late. During his hitting streak, he’s hit six long balls.
Kyoung Min Hur, DOO vs. NCD, $2,300 – Without much doubt, Hur will be the chalk play at third base on Friday. He had over 40% ownership in Thursday’s main GPP and he scored 32 DKFP while hitting a homer. That performance combined with his near min price will almost certainly have the masses flocking to him again. It’s hard to argue with the logic when he’s likely going to be the cheapest starting third baseman on the slate and averages the second-most DKFP at the position.
Ha Seong Kim, KIW vs. KIA, $5,400 – With three homers in the past five games, Kim is in the midst of another strong stretch. He’s had an up and down year due to injuries, but when he’s healthy, we have seen him string together big games. He’s been priced around the $6,000 mark for most of the season, so this could be one of the last chances to roster Kim in the $5K range.
Ji Hwan Oh, LG at SK, $3,300 – What does this guy have to do to get a salary increase? Oh is on an 11-game hitting streak and his salary was nearly identical to his current price at the start of the streak. Due to his recent stretch of games, Oh has upped his DKFP to 7.7 per game. This is good for the fourth most at the shortstop position.
Mel Rojas Jr., KTW at HAN, $5,700 – Rojas leads the league in quite a few offensive categories, making paying up for his price tag well worth it. Most importantly, he is topping all hitters with 15 homers and an average of 12 DKFP. Rojas has also hit a bunch of those homers in recent games. He’s hit six long balls in his past 13 games including a 26 DKFP performance in the second leg of Thursday’s doubleheader.
Kyung Ho Kim, SK vs. LG, $2,200 – Traded to the Wyverns a month ago, it took a while for Kim to finally debut with his new club. Now that he’s finally in the lineup, Kim is making the most of the opportunity. He started two games in a row and averaged 15 DKFP in those contests. We don’t know what we will get from Kim going forward, but his price and recent production make him worth taking a chance on.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.