This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
We have an intriguing five-game KBO slate Thursday, as there are a couple of former MLB left-handers that have gotten off to especially dominant starts in the KBO, but there are also some very questionable spot starters that have mainly operated as relievers this season taking the hill. That sets up some favorable one-off and stacking opportunities when it comes to offense, which I'll proceed to detail further.
As customary, I'll highlight what I consider to be two of the safer pitching options at different price points, followed by some one-off hitters across the salary scale that could also prove profitable for cash games and/or tournaments. I'll then break down the two stacks that I trust the most to potentially string some above-average offensive numbers together and pay off for you in tournaments.
Andrew Suarez ($11,000) is putting up an outstanding 28.2 DK points across his first four starts, comfortably eclipsing 30 DK points in three of them on his way to a 1.17 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, .128 BAA and 38.4 percent strikeout rate. The left-hander faces a Lotte squad that's put up some serviceable offensive numbers, but one that still averages under a home run per game, is just 10-11 on the season and is allowing the third-most runs per game (5.4), the latter figure encouraging for Suarez's chances of walking away with a victory. Suarez is also pitching at home and the Giants check in averaging just 3.0 runs per contest over the last four games.
Ryan Carpenter ($8,200) is another former MLB southpaw that's highly worthy of consideration Thursday, and given his discounted salary and matchup, he could well turn out a better fantasy-point-per-dollar play than Suarez when all's said and done. Carpenter has averaged 19.4 DK points per game over his first four starts, scoring 18.4 to 25 FD points in three of those outings. Thursday, he'll face a Tigers team that's sported one of the weakest offenses in the KBO thus far this season, averaging the second-fewest runs (4.2) and hitting fewest home runs (four) in the league. Kia is also hitting a pedestrian .247 as a team and has scored the second-fewest runs (89), setting up Carpenter, who's been at his best on the road (21.7 DK points average, .135 BAA across two starts), for another strong fantasy performance.
Min Ho Kang ($5,700) is slashing an outstanding .400/.439/.573 with three home runs and 17 RBI across his first 82 plate appearances, and he's hitting .320 with runners in scoring position as well. The veteran already has seven extra-base hits overall and sports a modest 12.2 percent strikeout rate, making him an outstanding play from any appreciable metric. Kang recently put together a five-game streak of double-digit DK points as well, and he'll have a favorable matchup against Dinos spot starter Min Hyeok Shin, who's operated in relief in all but his first appearance of the season, checks into Thursday's game having a total of four earned runs in his last four innings while allowing a 1.5 HR/9 on the season.
Kun Woo Park ($5,300) is averaging 8.9 DK points per game on the strength of a .373/.448/.507 slash that's partly comprised of four doubles, two home runs and 13 RBI across 87 plate appearances. Park is also hitting .348 with runners in scoring position, and the fast start is hardly an outlier – the veteran has posted a minimum of a .304 average, .369 OBP and .465 slugging percentage in his last six seasons. Park also gets a tantalizing matchup against Heroes spot starter Jae Young Jang, who's pitched to a 9.53 ERA and 1.59 WHIP while operating out of the bullpen thus far this season and has already issued four walks over his first 5.2 innings.
Hyun Soo Kim ($4,800) hit .287 and sported a .361 OBP and .330 wOBA versus right-handed pitching during his MLB career, and he's made a living off righties during his two separate KBO stints as well. The veteran has compiled four double-digit DK-point tallies in his last seven games alone, and Thursday, he gets a crack at Lotte right-hander Enderson Franco, who allowed a .294 average, 1.57 ERA and 6.06 ERA to left-handed hitters during his last season in affiliated ball back in 2019. Franco has pitched to an unfavorable 5.09 ERA and 1.53 WHIP over his first four KBO starts primarily due to one meltdown start versus Samsung, but he should remain hittable in the opposite-handed matchup.
Dong Hui Han ($3,900) is an exception to the rule for me Thursday, as I'm recommending him as a one-off bat in spite of the matchup against my top suggested pitcher Andrew Suarez. The fact is Han's salary is such that any risk is really mitigated, and it's certainly still possible for a hitter of his talent to pay it off even with Suarez still putting together a strong outing. Han has carried over the improvement he displayed last season and taken his game to another level altogether in the form of a .306/.438/.528 slash, eight extra-base hits (four doubles, four home runs), 18 RBI and a .381 average with runners in scoring position. Factoring in it's an opposite-handed matchup against Suarez, Han could well deliver a strong return on investment.
Woong Bin Kim ($3,000) sports a highly appealing salary for a player who's averaging 7.2 DK points per game largely on the strength of a .308 average and .410 OBP across his first 78 plate appearances, a sample during which he's also laced seven doubles and hit .389 with runners in scoring position. Kim gets an opposite-handed matchup against Doosan starter Won Joon Choi, who's gotten off a strong start this season but isn't an elite swing-and-miss pitcher by any stretch and allowed a 1.1 HR/9 last season across 42 appearances (18 starts).
Stacks to Consider
So checks into Thursday's game having pitched to a 5.52 ERA and 1.70 WHIP over his first three starts, a sample during which he's produced an unsightly 11.9 percent walk rate. So has done a good job keeping the ball in the park over his first season-plus, but he's also proven easy to make contact against by giving up 158 hits over his first 147.2 career innings.
Choo makes for a high-powered way to start off the stack, as he's slugged five homers over his first 20 games. The lefty-swinging veteran always handled himself well in same-handed matchups during his long MLB career, and he's flashed his upside with DK-point tallies of 17, 30, 25 and 16 during his last 10 games alone.
Choi has started to pick things up at the plate after a slow start, as he'll carry a five-game hitting streak into Thursday's contest and has 19- and 26-DK-point tallies within that span. The veteran already has six extra-base hits (including five homers) and 12 RBI despite hitting just .091 with runners in scoring position thus far, and his prodigious power makes him a long-ball threat anytime he's in the batter's box.
Romak also seems to be hitting his stride of late, scoring 14 to 18 DK points in three of his last four games while racking up seven RBI on the strength of a pair of homers over that stretch. Romak already has 15 RBI as well despite hitting just .235 with runners in scoring position, with that latter figure bound to continue rising considering the veteran has hit between .266 and .316 in that category in the last three seasons.
Finally, Han makes for a viable value option with which to round out the stack, as he's slashing .269/.383/.433 with seven extra-base hits (five doubles, two home runs) and eight RBI over his first 81 plate appearances. Han has also been at his best at home and against Wiz pitching specifically, posting a .343 average and 1.106 OPS over12 games in the former span and going 5-for-7 with a double, a home run and six RBI across two games in the latter.
As mentioned earlier in Park's entry, Jang has struggled in his relief role thus far this season and now has to face a Bears team that's averaging 5.1 runs and 10 hits per game while also sporting the second-highest team batting average in the KBO (.283).
Heo is averaging 7.9 DK points per game while producing a .352 average and .814 OPS across his first 21 games. The veteran has an extensive track record of success and even offers some stolen-base upside, and he's been at his best on the road with an average of 10 DK points and a .388 average across 11 games.
Fernandez is off to another outstanding start this season, posting a .338 average and .894 OPS across his first 20 games while slugging three homers and eight RBI. The veteran slugger has also thrived when traveling, averaging 11 DK points per road contest on the strength of a .364/.429/.568 line across 10 games. Fernandez is also hitting .429 (3-for-7) in his first two games against Heroes pitching.
Park was already highlighted in his entry earlier, while Kim has gotten hot after a slow start, posting a .378 average and averaging 15.1 DK points per contest across his last 10 games. Kim has slugged five homers and driven in 15 runs during that sample alone, and he's already compiled 24 total RBI in just 21 games.