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Korean Baseball (KBO) Picks: Top DraftKings Targets, Values for July 22

Garion Thorne gives his top studs and value picks for Wednesday 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

We don’t have to wait until the MLB season starts on Thursday 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 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 DraftKings lineups here: KBO $25K 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

Drew Rucinski, NCD vs. SAM, $10,000 - You’ll have to keep an eye on the weather report for Changwon, but if this game plays, Rucinski is easily the safest pitching option on Wednesday. The import is on quite the hot streak, sporting a 0.69 ERA across his past four outings, a span of time in which the RHP has also scored at least 17.0 DKFP each and every trip to the mound. Sure, the Lions have seemingly been scoring runs at will so far in July, but Rucinski has proven himself to be one of the KBO’s top arms.

Value

Geon Wook Lee, SK vs. LOT, $6,300 - Lee has been outperforming his FIP for a while now, but the result has been a 2.61 ERA across the RHP’s last 38 innings of work. In a shortened season, that’s a pretty significant sample of data. It’s not like Lee doesn’t possess a little upside, either. In fact, the 25-year-old has averaged 19.0 DKFP in his three appearances at home so far in 2020. The secret to Lee’s success has been his ability to completely nullify right-handed batters - something Lotte is flush with. Of the 114 RHBs Lee has faced this season, he’s surrendered just a .181 average and three extra-base hits. Impressive stuff.


CATCHER

Stud

Eui Ji Yang, NCD vs. SAM, $5,900 - Honestly, this probably isn’t a situation where I’d be looking to spend up at catcher. Still, in a vacuum, Yang is supremely talented, with his 164 wRC+ dating back to the beginning of 2019 sitting as the second-highest qualified mark in the whole KBO. With Dong Won Park (abdominal) injured, Yang stands alone at the position in ceiling. That is if his back is feeling well enough for him to suit up.

Value

Se Hyuk Park, DOO vs. KIW, $3,600 - Park lacks the upside of someone like Yang, but floor he possesses in spades. In fact, the backstop is hitting .385 in his 52 at-bats since the beginning of July, a stretch that’s also seen the veteran drive in 13 runs. Considering Won Tae Choi ($8,000) has conceded a .843 OPS to opposing LHBs in 2020, Park’s in a great spot.


FIRST BASE

Stud

Jamie Romak, SK vs. LOT, $4,600 - There’s obviously been a lot of disappointment in rostering Romak this year, but this feels like a slate where you have to take advantage of his depressed price point. Won Sam Jang ($5,300) just isn’t fit to be pitching in the KBO and that’s illustrated by the LHP’s 8.38 ERA and the 1.82 opponent home runs per nine he’s allowed. Romak’s also had a majority of his success in 2020 against southpaws, with the veteran owning a .341 average and a .659 slugging percentage within the split.

Value

Joo Hwan Choi, DOO vs. KIW, $3,800 - After having his 16-game hitting streak snapped on July 17, Choi’s gone hitless across his past three contests. Still, that shouldn’t matter too much against the aforementioned Won Tae Choi. Kiwoom’s starter has had a rough season, pitching to an ugly 5.00 FIP and having surrendered 1.21 home runs per nine - the sixth-highest qualified mark in Korea. With Joo Hwan Choi’s power, he should thrive in a left-on-right matchup.


SECOND BASE

Stud

Jose Fernandez, DOO vs. KIW, $6,100 - Choi has struggled with lefties? Well, in a tough break for the right-hander, Fernandez just happens to be one of the best LHBs in the entire league. The import is coming off an 0-for-4 showing on Tuesday, however, in the 10 games prior to that, Fernandez slashed .357/.426/.571 with three home runs and just three strikeouts. With Choi having conceded 11 earned runs in his past eight innings, I think he’ll struggle to contain Doosan on Wednesday.

Value

Hye Sung Kim, KIW at DOO, $3,700 - Chi Guk Park ($5,500) has actually pitched pretty well so far in 2020, as the 22-year-old has yet to give up a single home run in the 29 13 innings he’s pitched for the Bears. Still, if you’re going to try and attack him, you’d probably be wise to do so with a left-handed bat like Kim. While Park has limited RHBs to a .191 average and a microscopic .527 OPS, lefties have compiled a .282 average and a .725 OPS.


THIRD BASE

Stud

Jeong Choi, SK vs. LOT, $5,400 - For a right-handed power bat, Choi has strangely putrid numbers off of left-handed pitching so far in 2020. No matter. Jang’s allowed opposing hitters to compile an insane .943 OPS in his four emergency starts this season and he’s had some serious issues keeping the ball in the park. Choi - who is hitting .373 with a .765 slugging percentage in July - should be able to do some damage regardless of handedness.

Value

Eun Won Jung, HAN vs. KIA, $3,400 - Jung’s salary has fallen all the way down to slightly above $3K and while that’s partly due to a slump, the 20-year-old might have broken out with his third home run of the season on Tuesday. In any case, he’ll get the privilege of squaring off with Hyun Jong Yang ($8,600) on Wednesday, a man who has surrendered an eye-popping 1.011 OPS to the 80 LHBs he’s faced so far in 2020. These are the kinds of things that happen when you have the worst qualified ERA in the league (6.31).


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Ji Hwan Oh, LG at KTW, $4,100 - Oh is currently looking like one of the league’s hottest hitters. After three more base knocks in Tuesday’s loss to the Wiz, the shortstop has now collected multiple hits in five of his past six games. This has also coincided with a return to the two-spot in the Twins’ lineup. William Cuevas ($9,000) isn’t an ideal matchup, but he has conceded an .807 OPS to the 117 LHBs he’s faced in 2020.

Value

Ju Suk Ha, HAN vs. KIA, $3,900 - Another left-on-left matchup to exploit Yang’s odd splits. It’s just hard to believe that this is the same guy who led the KBO with a 2.29 ERA last season. So far across three starts in July, Yang’s pitched to a jaw-dropping 13.15 ERA while also allowing 27 opponent hits in 13 innings of work. Ha doesn’t provide a ton of upside due to his lack of power, but his high-leverage lineup spot makes up for what’s lost.


OUTFIELD

Stud

Preston Tucker, KIA at HAN, $6,000 - This is the second game where we do have some weather concerns, but putting that aside, Tucker’s in a fantastic situation. Not only does the import have six multi-hit performances in his past 11 games, but he also gets the opportunity to face Min Woo Kim ($7,200) on Wednesday. The RHP has conceded the fourth-most opponent home runs per nine so far this season (1.47) and most of that damage has been done by LHBs, who have compiled a .876 OPS. If the rain holds off, Tucker could be the best play on this slate.

Value

Dong Min Han, SK vs. LOT, $4,200 - Let’s round out our Wyverns stack with some exposure to Han. The veteran is only batting .174 since his return from a two-month stay on the IL, but two of his four hits have been home runs, including his eighth of the season on Tuesday night in SK’s win over Lotte. Between the scuffling Jang and a Giants bullpen that’s posted a 5.62 ERA across the team’s past 10 games, I’ll be expecting big things from Han.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: KBO $25K 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.