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Korean Baseball (KBO) Picks: Top DraftKings Targets, Values for July 2

Garion Thorne gives his top studs and value picks for Thursday morning’s Korean Baseball (KBO) slate on DraftKings, which locks at 5:30 a.m. ET.

NC Dinos v Doosan Bears Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images

With the MLB regular season still a few weeks away, 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 Thursday 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 DraftKings lineups here: KBO $40K Relay Throw [$10K to 1st] (Korean Baseball)


PITCHER

Stud

Warwick Saupold, HAN at KIA, $8,500 - Look, I’m not going to tell you to avoid Dan Straily ($10,000), as he possesses the highest upside on this slate by a mile; however, Saupold is cheaper, has the better matchup and won’t be nearly as chalky. Saupold’s also proven himself across his last three starts. The import couldn’t have drawn a tougher schedule than the Bears, the Dinos and the Wiz, yet Saupold emerged averaging 21.2 DKFP over that difficult stretch. On a slate with few enticing pitching options, the RHP is certainly viable.

Value

Jong Gi Park, DOO at KIW, $7,300 - The matchup isn’t ideal, but Park is clearly the best option below $7.5K on Thursday. The 25-year-old has pitched well in his 16 innings of work in 2020, sporting a 0.94 WHIP and striking out 13 opponent hitters. That might not seem like all that impressive a figure; however, with few starters on this slate possessing a strikeout rate above even 15.0%, I’ll take a chance on Park’s 22.0% mark in a limited sample. In fact, with the Heroes leading the KBO in strikeouts, the RHP could really thrive.


CATCHER

Stud

Kang Nam Yoo, LG vs. KTW, $4,600 - Yoo is generally someone I like to use when the Twins are facing a southpaw, but pretty much anyone is viable when the Wiz’s pitching staff gets involved. KT’s bullpen is horrendous and Thursday’s starter - Byung Wook Jo ($4,800) - is a 22-year-old rookie with a microscopic 5.7% strikeout rate. If that doesn’t sound like someone you want to stack against, I don’t know what to tell you.

Value

Se Hyuk Park, DOO at KIW, $3,600 - With all the offensive talent in Doosan’s lineup, we don’t often think about Park, yet the veteran has seen him power numbers jump significantly in recent weeks. In fact, after maintaining a lowly .276 slugging percentage in May, Park’s managed a .440 figure across his last 75 at-bats. He’s far from the best hitter on the Bears’ roster, but he’s fairly priced and has a great matchup on Thursday.


FIRST BASE

Stud

Roberto Ramos, LG vs. KTW, $5,400 - Ramos is in quite the lengthy home run drought, yet the first baseman still holds the KBO’s third-highest ISO (.309) and it’s fifth-highest wRC+ (168). Honestly, the only concern I’ve had with the import is a steadily climbing strikeout rate, though that shouldn’t be an issue with the aforementioned Jo on the mound for the Wiz. Look for Ramos to break through on Thursday.

Value

Dae Ho Lee, LOT at NCD, $3,800 - Lee has truly been one of the better dollar-for-dollar DFS values going back to the beginning of June. In that span of time, the former Seattle Mariner has put up a massive .602 slugging percentage, as Lee’s registered 12 extra-base hits in his past 88 at-bats. Honestly, even with Lee now 38-years-old, none of this should be all that shocking. Despite spending a year of his prime in North America, Lee sits eighth all-time in KBO home runs (321).


SECOND BASE

Stud

Jose Fernandez, DOO at KIW, $6,000 - I think it’s safe to say Fernandez’s mini-slump is a thing of the past. I’m not just talking about Wednesday’s 5-for-5 performance, either. Going back to June 23, the 32-year-old infielder has produced some absolutely mind-bending numbers. In 31 at-bats, Fernandez has 16 hits, he’s scored 11 runs and he hasn’t struck out once. Not one time. Think about how crazy that is. With Young Gun Jo ($6,400) and his 1.96 WHIP on the mound for the Heroes, I can’t imagine Fernandez’s recent success fizzles out on Thursday.

Value

Hoon Jung, LOT at NCD, $3,500 - Jung hit a home run off of Chang Mo Koo last night, so I guess you could say that he’s seeing the ball pretty well right now. In fact, for the season as a whole, Jung’s produced an .843 OPS in 84 plate appearances. Not too shabby at all. With Jae Ha Lee ($8,800) and his ugly 5.60 ERA taking the mound for the Dinos on Thursday, I’m certainly seeing the infielder as viable.


THIRD BASE

Stud

Jeong Choi, SK at SAM, $5,400 - With Choi possessing a slugging percentage of .593 since the beginning of June, I think we can all agree that the 33-year-old is feeling it. So, with that already the consensus, let’s focus on his opponent for Thursday: Tae In Won ($7,700). The RHP has had a weird season to say the least, as a 2.96 ERA looks fantastic, but does not tell the whole story. In fact, Won’s pitched to the largest negative ERA-FIP disparity in the KBO, with his 5.00 FIP over two runs higher. He’s due to blow up and I’m sure Choi will be more than happy to assist.

Value

Kyoung Min Hur, DOO at KIW, $3,300 - Hur dropped down in the Bears’ lineup on Wednesday with the return of Kun Woo Park ($4,200), yet at this price, hitting sixth is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s also not as if Hur hasn’t been tearing the cover off of the baseball as of late. The 29-year-old has five multi-hit performances in his past seven starts and, for the season, Hur’s .835 OPS ranks fourth on Doosan’s roster.


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Dixon Machado, LOT at NCD, $4,500 - Machado’s been enjoying a pretty successful stretch of play, with the import slashing .389/.477/.472 in his past 10 games. Granted, the middle infielder hasn’t showcased a lot of power in this span, but that’s more of a nitpick than a death sentence when it comes to Machado’s viability. In a great matchup, I’m more than willing to give the import a little exposure.

Value

Ji Hwan Oh, LG vs. KTW, $3,600 - Oh seems to have found a home in the two-spot in the Twins’ lineup and it’s difficult to argue with the team’s logic. Dating back to June 13, the shortstop has registered a base hit in 15 of his last 16 contests; a span of time that’s seen Oh maintain a batting average of .361. Add in that Oh has stolen the second-most bases in the KBO (9) and you’ve got yourself quite the value option for Thursday.


OUTFIELD

Stud

Jae Hwan Kim, DOO at KIW, $5,600 - Kim currently leads all Doosan players with an impressive .230 ISO, a number that speaks to the effortless power that the 31-year-old possesses. Honestly, his only flaw is his propensity to strikeout, though that shouldn’t be an issue on this slate. The 21-year-old Jo has struck out just eight of the 88 batters he’s faced so far this season, one of the main reasons for his awful 7.66 FIP. This is a perfect spot for Kim.

Value

Ah Seop Son, LOT at NCD, $3,600 - Son has been on fire in the batter’s box in his past 10 games, slashing an impressive ..410/.452/.641 with 16 hits in just 39 at-bats. Heck, we don’t even really have to use recency bias to justify the outfielder as viable. Among all qualified hitters in the KBO, Son’s overall average of .352 is the fifth-best mark in the league. He’s undervalued and you should take advantage.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: KBO $40K Relay Throw [$10K to 1st] (Korean Baseball)


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.