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Korean Baseball (KBO) Picks: Top DraftKings Targets, Values for July 9

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.

Kiwoom Heroes v LG Twins 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 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 $30K Relay Throw [$10K 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

Eric Jokisch, KIW vs. SAM, $9,500 - As you might expect from a pitcher who has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 11 outings this season, it’s difficult to find many knocks on Jokisch. Sure, he doesn’t have the highest strikeout upside in the world, but the LHP has posted a 1.30 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP across 69.1 innings. Jokisch has also surrendered just 0.26 opponent home runs per nine and a paltry .388 OPS to the 65 left-handed batters he’s faced in 2020. That’s crucial to note, as two of the Lions’ best hitters - Ja Wook Koo ($4,300) and Hak Ju Lee ($4,300) - are lefties.

Value

Bum Soo Kim, HAN vs. LOT, $5,500 - I’ll be 100% honest, most of my lineups will be built around the trio of Jokisch, Raul Alcantara ($9,200) and Drew Gagnon ($8,100). However, if you want to save some salary and take a risk on some upside, Kim could be an appealing option. The left-hander has struck out 20.1% of the opposing hitters he’s faced so far this season, and he’s even been able to maintain a 8.27 K/9 as he’s made the switch from reliever to starter. The Giants’ heavy right-handed lineup construction is a little scary, yet Kim is purely a low-exposure tournament flier.


CATCHER

Stud

Dong Won Park, KIW vs. SAM, $5,500 - With Park in the midst of a pretty serious slump, you almost wish his salary would be a bit lower heading into Thursday’s matchup with Jung Hyun Baek ($6,700). Still, despite the hefty price tag, you’ve got to find a way to get a piece of the backstop on this slate. RHBs have crushed Baek so far in 2020, with the southpaw having surrendered a whopping .912 OPS to the 97 he’s seen. Park, who has four home runs within the split in 27 at-bats, is in a perfect situation to bust out.

Value

Seung Taek Han, KIA vs. KTW, $3,900 - Speaking of scuffling at the dish, Han’s managed a disgusting .219 slugging percentage in his last 10 games; however, KT’s terrible pitching staff makes the RHB viable. This isn’t just about the incredibly contact-oriented Byung Wook Jo ($4,800), either. The Wiz’s staff as a whole owns a 5.38 ERA - the second-worst mark in the KBO. Yong Hwan Baek ($3,400) would also be an option is Han’s given a day off on Thursday.


FIRST BASE

Stud

ByungHo Park, KIW vs. SAM, $4,600 - Park has been locked in at the plate since taking a few days off in late June. In fact, across his past 16 games, Park has racked up eight home runs and 20 RBI for the Heroes. Suddenly, his .272 ISO is the sixth-highest qualified mark in the entire KBO. This should all be terrifying news for the aforementioned Baek, who has conceded 2.09 home runs per nine in 2020 - the most of any pitcher that’s exceeded 40 innings of work.

Value

Min Sang Yoo, KIA vs. KTW, $3,100 - Yoo is another inexpensive Tigers bat that could prove useful in a matchup with the 22-year-old Jo. To be perfectly blunt, the RHP just can’t generate a swing and miss. Jo’s struck out only four of the first 71 hitters he’s seen in his KBO career, which equates out to an anemic 5.6% strikeout rate. Knowing that, I’m willing to give the left-handed Yoo a look, as he generally hits fifth in KIA’s order.


SECOND BASE

Stud

Hoon Jung, LOT at HAN, $4,100 - It’s not hard to see why Jung was recently moved up to the leadoff spot in the Giants’ order. In the veteran’s past 10 games - a span of time where Jung’s exceeded 13.0 DKFP six times - the RHB is slashing .326/.408/.512 with a pair of stolen bases. That’s all enough to make Jung viable on his own merits, yet Kim’s struggles with right-handers only helps the infielder’s case. The LHP has surrendered an .877 OPS to the 87 righties he’s faced in 2020.

Value

Joo Hwan Choi, DOO vs. LG, $3,400 - It’s hard to express just how red-hot Choi has been at the dish for about the last four weeks. In fact, going back to June 13, the 32-year-old has managed a hit in 21 of his past 22 games. That’s also a stretch where Choi has produced 10 multi-hit performances. Considering all this, there remains no justifiable reason for the infielder to be this inexpensive slate after slate.


THIRD BASE

Stud

Jae Gyun Hwang, KTW at KIA, $6,000 - Look, the numbers say that if you’re daring enough to use a positional player against Gagnon, said player should at least be left-handed. Hwang is not a lefty, yet, at the same time, it’s difficult to ignore his recent run of success. The third baseman comes into Thursday’s slate slashing .455/.520/.795 across his past 44 at-bats. Those are some eye-popping statistics. I’d still probably prefer to pay down at 3B than use Hwang, but the 32-year-old is undoubtedly viable.

Value

Eun Won Jung, HAN vs. LOT, $3,900 - Jung also finds himself within a great run at the plate, yet his matchup on Thursday is far more palatable than Hwang’s. Hanwha’s leadoff man will square off with Adrian Sampson ($7,700), someone who has allowed left-handed hitters to compile a massive .903 OPS so far this season. With Jung possessing a .489 OBP in his last 10 games, I’m sure the 20-year-old will be able to do some damage.


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Ha Seong Kim, KIW vs. SAM, $5,800 - Did you really think I’d suggest stacking Kiwoom’s right-handed hitters against Baek without mentioning Kim? The 24-year-old is putting together a phenomenal season, as Kim is one of just five qualified players with an ISO above .200 and a strikeout rate below 11.0%. Kim and Aaron Altherr ($5,400) are also the lone two players in the KBO with double-digit home runs to go along with at least five stolen bases. There’s just not many who can do what the shortstop can do.

Value

Ju Suk Ha, HAN vs. LOT, $4,200 - It’s very rare that I get to include multiple Eagles hitters in the same article, but that’s how poorly Sampson has performed against LHBs in 2020. Plus, Ha really can’t be blamed for Hanwha’s offensive struggles this season. The former first-overall pick returned from a two-month injury absence on Wednesday and was immediately slotted into the three-spot in the Eagles’ order. If he’s in there back-to-back nights, he’s viable.


OUTFIELD

Stud

Jamie Romak, SK vs. NCD, $4,500 - Obviously this season hasn’t been up to Romak’s usual standard, but he’s still managed to beat up almost every southpaw pitcher he’s come across. The veteran has hit .324 with a .595 slugging percentage in the 37 at-bats he’s had within the split in 2020. I’d anticipate those good times to keep rolling on Thursday with Sung Young Choi ($6,200) the LHP set to take the mound for the Dinos. Choi’s conceded 2.28 opponent home runs per nine. Yikes.

Value

Ji Hoon Choi, SK vs. NCD, $2,900 - Sung Yung Choi has been just as gracious to LHBs as he’s been to RHBs so far in 2020. To wit, in left-on-left situations, the southpaw has surrendered a .986 OPS to the 40 batters he’s faced within the split. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Ji Hoon Choi is in for a great evening, but it does illustrate how much the Dinos have struggled with their Choi on the hill. If Ji Hoon Choi is leading off on Thursday, stick him and his .304 average into a few lineups.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: KBO $30K Relay Throw [$10K 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.