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Korean Baseball (KBO) Picks: Top DraftKings Targets, Values for July 16

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.

Kt Wiz v SK Wyverns Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

With the MLB regular season still about a week 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 has welcomed 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 $20K Relay Throw [$5K to 1st] (Korean Baseball)


Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.


PITCHER

Stud

Chris Flexen, DOO vs. SK, $8,900 - Flexen has had a few hiccups in his first professional season in Korea, but more often than not, he’s produced like one of the league’s best starters. To wit, the right-hander comes into Thursday’s matchup with the Wyverns in possession of the sixth-best FIP in the KBO (3.38) and as one of 13 qualified pitchers with a strikeout rate above 20.0%. Flexen isn’t just a floor play, either. The import has managed to exceed 20.0 DKFP in four of his last 10 games, a span than includes a 25.3 DKFP outburst against SK back on June 23.

Value

Chan Heon Jung, LG at LOT, $8,300 - Jung’s pretty expensive for a “value” option, but, when it comes down to it, there’s really only six actual starting pitchers on this slate, so you’re choices are limited. The 30-year-old has been incredible so far in 2020, with specifically his last five outings registering as elite. In that span, Jung’s averaged a whopping 26.9 DKFP per contest; though it should be noted that three of those starts came against the Eagles and the Wyverns. Still, among the 46 men with at least 40.0 innings thrown this season, Jung’s 23.7% strikeout rate ranks third. That’s all you need to be viable.


CATCHER

Stud

Kang Nam Yoo, LG at LOT, $4,800 - By this point, we’re all pretty clear on when you can and when you can’t use Yoo. Left-hander on the mound for the Twins’ opponent? Get the backstop into a lineup as quickly as possible. The Giants are leaning on journeyman Won Sam Jang ($5,300) on Thursday, a man who is not only a southpaw, but one that’s allowed 1.80 HR/9 across his first 15.0 innings of 2020. Considering Yoo is batting .472 with an .889 slugging percentage, I’d say this is about as good a spot as you’re going to get.

Value

Min Ho Kang, SAM vs. KIA, $3,400 - I’m a little worried that the 34-year-old might not be asked to start for a third-straight game; however, if Kang’s in there on Thursday, you’ll want to get a piece. The veteran has a .656 slugging percentage across his past 32 at-bats, the direct result of five extra-base hits within that stretch. On the other side is Hyun Jong Yang ($9,300), an LHP in the midst of a nightmarish campaign. Yang’s pitched to a 9.61 ERA and a 1.113 opponent OPS in his past four outings. That’s super rough.


FIRST BASE

Stud

Baek Ho Kang, KTW vs. HAN, $5,500 - As you might expect from a left-handed phenom, Kang has punished RHPs all year long in 2020. Over 122 at-bats within the split, the 20-year-old is hitting .344 with an eye-popping .639 slugging percentage. In fact, for the season as a whole, Kang comes into Thursday’s slate as one of just six qualified players with an OPS above 1.000. This is all bad news for Min Woo Kim ($7,300), as he’s allowed LHBs to compile a hefty .871 OPS across 114 plate appearances.

Value

Ja Wook Koo, SAM vs. KIA, $4,100 - This is a surprisingly low price point for a man slashing .400/.429/.575 with six multi-hit performances in his last 10 games. Yes, this is technically a left-on-left matchup for Koo, but it’s not like he’s struggled in these situations so far in 2020. In fact, Koo is hitting .303 with a .545 slugging percentage in his 33 at-bats against southpaws. Small sample, however, with the aforementioned Yang struggling, I’ll take my chances with Samsung’s best positional player.


SECOND BASE

Stud

Jose Fernandez, DOO vs. SK, $6,000 - Generally, I wouldn’t looking to be paying $6K to use Fernandez against a lefty, but this is an investment in the Wyverns’ bullpen. Seung Geon Baek ($5,000) has yet to exceed 67 pitches in his three appearances and that should translate into a lot of mop-up work. SK’s relievers have posted a disgusting 7.67 ERA over the Wyverns’ past 10 contests - the worst mark in the entire KBO.

Value

Joo Hwan Na, KIA at SAM, $2,500 - Na isn’t someone I’ve owned very often in 2020, but he does check a few boxes for Thursday’s slate. First and foremost, he’s a right-handed bat to throw at Yoon Dong Heo ($6,600), who has conceded a jaw-dropping .891 OPS to the 74 RHBs he’s faced so far this season. On top of that, Na is currently riding a five-game hitting streak and he’s ridiculously inexpensive. That’s an enticing combination.


THIRD BASE

Stud

Kyoung Min Hur, DOO vs. SK, $4,700 - Gone are the days where you could slip Hur into a lineup for less than $3K, but that doesn’t mean the infielder can’t be viable at his new price point. In fact, it’s quite easy to understand why his salary has risen as much as it has in recent weeks. Hur comes into Thursday’s slate riding an 11-game hitting streak. Beyond that, the 29-year-old has amassed an insane 28 hits over his last 15 contests.

Value

Won Seok Lee, SAM vs. KIA, $3,300 - With Lee’s price down $700 from this past weekend, this is a fantastic time to buy the 33-year-old. Not only did Lee go deep in the Lions’ 5-2 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday, but he’s been thriving against left-handed pitching all year long. In 35 at-bats within the split in 2020, Lee is hitting .400 with a .686 slugging percentage. With Yang having surrendered 34 hits in his past 19.2 innings of work, Lee might actually be one of the best value plays on the board.


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Jeong Choi, SK at DOO, $5,200 - I’d rather have Flexen in my lineup than spend $5K to own Choi, but it’s honestly hard to find many names to like at shortstop on this slate. It’s obviously a tough matchup for the veteran, but Choi is slashing .394/.500/.758 over his last 10 games. He easily possesses the highest ceiling at this position.

Value

Chan Ho Park, KIA at SAM, $4,000 - Rarely do I find myself thinking rostering Park is a good idea, but the 25-year-old has exceeded 19.0 DKFP three times in his past six games. He’s also got a .841 OPS over his last 40 at-bats. Again, his viability might have more to do with the dearth of talent at this position; however, it’s not like I’m scared of the underwhelming Heo, either.


OUTFIELD

Stud

Mel Rojas Jr., KTW vs. HAN, $6,000 - Feels weird to say you’re getting Rojas at a discount, but the switch-hitter hasn’t actually been this cheap since July 4. Ironically, that’s the same day Rojas began the nine-game hitting streak he’s currently riding. Simply put, I think a lot of people are going to be scared off of the Wiz after getting burned on Wednesday. Me? I’m willing to go back to the KBO’s leader in every major offensive category.

Value

Hee Dong Kwon, NCD at KIW, $3,200 - With Sung Bum Na (hand) on the IL, Kwon has been hitting third for the Dinos as of late. Truthfully, he’s not a terrible replacement, as the outfielder leads all qualified NC players in both wOBA (.430) and wRC+ (155) this season. Considering Kwon’s high-leverage order spot and the fact that the Heroes are essentially going with a bullpen game on Thursday, this is a great chance to save some salary without sacrificing upside.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: KBO $20K Relay Throw [$5K to 1st] (Korean Baseball)


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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.