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 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.
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Chang Mo Koo, NCD at SK, $10,800 - There’s more pitching talent than usual on Tuesday’s KBO slate, but that doesn’t change the fact that trusting Koo has been beneficial all season long. The left-hander - who currently leads the league in strikeout rate (31.1%) and FIP (2.43) - has exceeded 30.0 DKFP in four of his 10 outings in 2020, a stretch that includes an 11-strikeout performance in his last start on July 1 against the Giants. Considering the Wyverns sit dead-last in OBP (.311) and second-last in OPS (.671), I can’t see how Koo isn’t dominant once again.
David Buchanan, SAM at KIW, $7,600 - I’ll probably also have some exposure to Shi Hwan Jang ($6,800) on Tuesday, but it’s difficult to ignore what Buchanan’s been doing as of late. The import has mustered a 2.70 ERA across his past 46.2 innings of work and that already small figure drops to just 1.33 when you exclude an outlier start versus the Eagles on June 25. Sure, the RHP’s strikeout numbers have been pretty pedestrian and he’s slightly home run prone, but at the end of the day, Buchanan’s a workhorse and he’s coming off a complete game in his last outing. That’s some enticing form and a high floor to match with Koo’s ceiling.
Se Hyuk Park, DOO vs. LG, $3,800 - Park has been thriving in the batter’s box the past week, as the catcher is 9-for-17 with a home run dating back to the beginning of July. You shouldn’t be too afraid of the LHB drawing the left-handed Woo Chan Cha ($8,400), either. Park has actually crushed southpaw pitching in 2020, with a .464 average over 28 at-bats within the split.
Min Ho Kang, SAM at KIW, $3,600 - Like a few of the more veteran players in the KBO, it apparently took Kang a little more time that usual to heat up at the dish. However, after slashing .321/.345/.563 across with four extra-base hits across his past 10 games, I’m willing to say that the 34-year-old has shaken off the rust. Kang hit his sixth home run of the season on Sunday, and on Tuesday, the RHB with face Jae Woong Kim ($4,000), a 21-year-old lefty making his first professional start. Seems like a good spot to exploit the experienced backstop.
Hyung Woo Choi, KIA vs. KTW, $4,800 - Choi has been absolutely tearing the cover off the baseball the past couple of weeks, with the 36-year-old slashing .343/.425/.686 dating back to June 21. Still, it’s not just Choi’s recent form that makes this such a great situation to pay up for the LHB. To be blunt, Jae Seong Bae ($6,600) can not pitch to left-handed hitters. So far this season, the RHP has allowed a .366 opponent average to lefties, while RHBs have hit a mere .185. Choi should cause Bae some serious issues.
Min Sang Yoo, KIA vs. KTW, $3,400 - Take everything I wrote above about Choi and apply it to his teammate. Yoo has also been thriving since the schedule flipped over to July, as the infielder has posted a .343 average and a .893 OPS over his last 35 at-bats. On top of that, Yoo mirrors Choi in the fact he’s left-handed and occupies a high-leverage spot in the middle of KIA’s lineup. With the ability to stick Choi in an outfield slot, you can fit both players into a single build and really try to take advantage of Bae’s handedness struggles.
Keon Chang Seo, KIW vs. SAM, $4,600 - If you’re looking for a reason to poke holes in Buchanan’s viability on Tuesday, there’s one glaring flaw: The RHP’s inability to keep left-handed hitters in the ballpark. To wit, Buchanan’s surrendered nine home runs so far in 2020 and eight of those have been to LHBs. That could mean the import with have problems with Jung Hoo Lee ($4,800), Hye Sung Kim ($3,400) and Seo. In particular, the latter has been red-hot of late, producing a 1.095 OPS across his past 38 at-bats. Seo also leads the KBO in stolen bases (12).
Hoon Jung, LOT vs. HAN, $3,700 - Jung has been magically hitting on the road this season, as the 32-year-old has slashed .333/.375/.529 in his 51 at-bats within the split. I’d anticipate that success continuing on Tuesday, with Jang owning the second-highest qualified WHIP in the KBO (1.86). It also doesn’t hurt that Jung seemingly took over the Giants’ leadoff spot this past weekend.
Sang Su Kim, SAM at KIW, $4,800 - Kim has gotten off to a blistering start in July, as the middle-infielder has gone 10-for-19 (.526) at the plate with six runs scored and a stolen base in five games. I’d expect the good times to continue on Tuesday against the rookie southpaw Kiwoom has projected to start. In fact, Kim is batting .407 with more doubles (5) than strikeouts (4) against LHPs in 2020. That seems good.
Won Seok Lee, SAM at KIW, $3,800 - Similar to our breakdown of first base, you can maneuver both Lee and Kim into a single build with the latter possessing second base eligibility. That’s great news, because much like his teammate, Lee has excelled against lefties in 2020. In fact, Lee’s .352 slugging percentage when facing RHPs is absolutely dwarfed by his .690 mark when squaring off with a southpaw.
Ha Seong Kim, KIW vs. SAM, $5,400 - Honestly, my preference really isn’t to stack against Buchanan, but if he’s not going to be your SP2, it’s hard to overlook Kim. The 24-year-old has averaged 13.1 DKFP across his past 10 starts and he’s mustered 10 hits already in the month of July. More often than not, I’m paying down at shortstop, but Kim is rarely not viable.
Jae Ho Kim, DOO vs. LG, $3,200 - Kim was activated from the injured list on Sunday and I would expect him to be back in the lineup again on Tuesday against the left-handed Cha. This is a nice spot to stack the Bears’ bats as Cha has struggled immensely as of late, conceding 14 earned runs in his past 12 innings of work. On top of that, Cha’s surrendered 1.38 home runs per nine - the fifth-highest mark in the KBO.
Hyun Soo Kim, LG at DOO, $5,000 - I’m not a complicated man. If you’ve hit a home run in three-straight games and have one of the higher contact rates in the league, you’re going to get a look against a pitcher like Young Ha Lee ($5,800). While the RHP hasn’t been overly prone to allowing opponent long balls, he does own a KBO-worst 1.87 WHIP. I’d like the left-handed Kim’s chances in a vacuum, let alone with him seeing the baseball this well.
Dong Yeop Kim, SAM at KIW, $3,100 - Like many of his previously mentioned teammates, Kim has found a great deal of success hitting against left-handed pitching in 2020. To be exact, the 29-year-old has managed a .391 average with a .696 slugging percentage within the split. Most importantly, he’s an inexpensive addition to your Lions stack.
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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.