This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Stacking Bears was the key to success in Thursday's KBO slate, as their 15 runs equalled the combined total of the days' seven lowest-scoring teams. Kyoung Min Hur led the way by reaching base four times and scoring three runs, while Suk Hwan Yang drove in four. Stacking Dinos worked quite well, too, as they managed an impressive 19 hits in their 9-0 victory over the Lions. Eui Ji Yang grabbed four of those hits as he became the first catcher in KBO history to hit for the cycle. That game also featured the top pitching performance of the day, with Min Hyeok Shin striking out 10 in six scoreless innings while walking one and allowing just two hits. Plenty of strong pitching performances were available on the day, however, with Ryan Carpenter, Daniel Mengden, Hyeong Jun So, Enderson Franco and Andrew Suarez all allowing no more than one earned run in six or more innings of work.
Friday's slate, which contains all five games despite the Heroes-Dinos matchup taking place half an hour after the rest, is unlikely to feature nearly as many strong pitching performances. That's not to say there are no pitchers worth selecting, but the list of pitchers who look like compelling stack targets is quite long.
Ariel Miranda ($9,100) allowed just one run in his first three starts before running into a strong Dinos lineup his last time out, giving up four earned runs in six frames. Even in that start, however, he struck out nine while walking just three. Miranda hasn't actually done a great job keeping runners off the basepaths, as he owns a 1.69 WHIP thanks in part to a 15.1 percent walk rate. He's paired that with an excellent 27.9 percent strikeout rate and has yet to allow a home run, which has kept his ERA to a strong 2.45. He shouldn't be tested too much at pitcher-friendly Jamsil Stadium against a Landers lineup which is tied for sixth in scoring and which is without star second baseman Joo Hwan Choi (hamstring).
Se Woong Park ($8,400) wasn't much more than mediocre last season, finishing the year with a 4.70 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. Through four starts this season, he owns a far better 3.57 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, numbers which look even more impressive considering that four of the nine runs he allowed this season came in his first outing against the Dinos. In his last three trips to the mound, he owns a 2.65 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Even with the poor outing included, he's combined a roughly average 17.2 percent strikeout rate with a strong 6.5 percent walk rate. He should be set for another strong performance against an Eagles lineup for which tying for sixth in scoring counts as an impressive achievement, as they finished last in that category by more than half a run last season and didn't make major changes.
Young Pyo Ko ($7,700) still isn't getting the respect he deserves, at least judging by his DraftKings price tag. After missing the last two years due to mandatory military service, he's shown nothing close to rust, beginning the season with four straight quality starts, leading to a 3.38 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. He's backed those up with an excellent combination of a 19.6 percent strikeout rate and 4.1 percent walk rate, not far off his 21.0 percent strikeout rate and 3.3 percent walk rate from his two seasons as a starter in 2017 and 2018. He should continue his quality-start streak against a Tigers lineup which ranks ninth in scoring and hasn't scored more than four runs in any of its last eight games.
It's tough to find a hitter who's hotter than Jae Hwan Kim ($5,700) at the moment. Over his last 10 games, he's hit an incredible .421/.511/.868, homering five times while driving in 17 runs and scoring 14 more. He started the season slowly but now sits second among qualified hitters with a 1.059 OPS. He leads the league in RBI (26) while sitting third in homers (seven) and tied for third in runs (18), the kind of form he hasn't shown since his MVP season back in 2018, when he hit .334 with 44 homers. He'll get the platoon advantage Friday against Landers righty Wilmer Font, who owns a 5.00 ERA through his first four KBO starts.
Sung Bum Na ($4,500) likely won't come this cheap for quite some time. It says a lot about his talent that he's having what's justifiably considered a down season (his .874 OPS is well below his .989 mark from last year) but still sits seventh among hitters in DraftKings points per game, a mark which makes it hard to explain why his price tag is merely tied for 33rd among hitters on this slate. It's not as if he's trending down lately, either, as he's homered in back-to-back games. He's a top-tier bat who isn't priced that way and will get the platoon advantage against Won Tae Choi and his 4.95 ERA and 1.80 WHIP in the Dinos' hitter-friendly home park.
The Giants could easily have been one of the recommended stacks on this slate, as they'll face Eagles righty Yi Hwan Kim, whose unimpressive 4.76 ERA comes with an even worse 1.76 WHIP and 8:9 K:BB. While other equally strong options and the fact that the Giants are very righty-heavy caused them to miss out, the left-handed Ah Seop Son ($4,000) is certainly worth consideration. He's not off to his strongest start, as his .276 batting average is well below the .352 mark he managed last season and comes with just two extra-base hits, but he's riding a six-game hitting streak and has hit .320 over his last 12 contests.
Han Joon Yoo ($2,600) has hit fifth for the Wiz for three straight contests and will be a bargain if he remains there Friday. The 39-year-old isn't the top-tier hitter he was at his peak, when he posted a 1.009 OPS for the Heroes back in 2015, but his .280/.349/.409 line from last season would be more than enough to justify his low price given his spot at the heart of a good lineup and the fact that he'll get the platoon advantage against Tigers lefty Yu Sin Kim and his career 8.31 ERA. He's been even better than that thus far this season, however, hitting .364/.472/.432 in 53 trips to the plate, walking seven times to go with just three strikeouts.
Stacks to Consider
Kim presumably has some potential, as the Twins took him with the third pick in the draft in 2020. The 21-year-old hasn't shown that potential in his 80.1 KBO innings thus far, however. He owns a career 5.71 ERA and 1.62 WHIP, numbers which come as no surprise given his low 12.1 percent strikeout rate, as he's simply been far too hittable. Don't be fooled by his 2.84 ERA this year, as that's come entirely in relief and isn't close to being supported by his 6:6 K:BB. The Lions shouldn't have much trouble with him at their hitter-friendly home park in this one.
I'm skipping the left-on-left matchup for Ja Wook Koo ($6,100) in this stack to keep things somewhat affordable, though he's still worth considering given his fantastic start. Pirela is more than capable of leading a stack by himself, however. He didn't look like one of the more exciting new foreign hitters after posting an unremarkable .723 OPS in Japan last year, but he hardly could be thriving more in his new home. He's hitting .337/.392/.652 on the season, ranking third among qualified hitters in OPS (1.044) and second in homers (eight).
Kang sits just two spots behind Pirela in the OPS rankings, as his .400/.439/.573 slash line is good for a 1.012 mark. While his .429 BABIP will certainly drop soon and take a bite out of his batting average, a performance near this level isn't out of the ordinary for the veteran catcher. He hit .287/.349/.487 last year with 19 homers, the ninth time in his career he's matched or surpassed that mark.
Oh joined in free agency after being part of the core that led the Bears to six straight Korean Series appearances. He missed the start of the season with an abdominal muscle injury but has looked healthy since returning to action at the start of the week, going 3-for-10 with a double. The 34-year-old's power dipped slightly last season, as he hit 16 homers after managing at least 20 in each of the previous four seasons, but a move from the league's most pitcher-friendly park to its most hitter-friendly should keep him as a very interesting fantasy option, at least during the Lions' home games.
Very little has gone right for the Heroes this season, who sit eighth in runs scored and last in runs allowed. A date with Kang at the Dinos' hitter-friendly park should at least help them solve that first problem. Kang has never thrown more than 24 innings in a season in a KBO career which began back in 2013, and it's not hard to see why, as he owns a 6.08 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. In that context, his 5.11 ERA and 1.46 WHIP through two starts and one relief appearance this season practically count as impressive numbers. Homers have been an issue for him throughout his career, as he owns a lifetime 1.8 HR/9. He's already given up three in 12.1 innings this season.
Lee's early-season struggles are certainly part of the reason for why the Heroes sit ninth in the standings, but that's created a buying opportunity, as he's worth a lot more than $4,300 when he's on his game. Even in a down year, his numbers are far from terrible, as his .278/.381/.356 is perfectly respectable, especially in the on-base department. The 22-year-old's eye remains excellent, as his 14:8 K:BB has him well on his way towards his third consecutive season with more walks than strikeouts. The hits should start falling sooner rather than later, with his seven-game hitting streak indicating that his bat is already starting to wake up.
Seo has never come close to replicating his .985 OPS from his MVP season back in 2014, but his .884 mark through his first 22 games this season currently stands as his second-best. His modest price tag reflects the fact that he doesn't have much power, as he's never hit more than seven homers in a season and has just one this year, but he does just about everything else well. He's hitting .333 on the season and .395 over his last 12 games.
Kim is interesting primarily because he's quite cheap for a player who's hit cleanup in seven straight games and because he'll get the platoon advantage against Kang, but that's not to say he's completely uninteresting on his own. He hit a solid .275/.335/.454 with eight homers in 73 games last season. While he's yet to hit a homer through 19 games this year, he's hitting a strong .304/.402/.406. He's also cut his strikeout rate all the way from 27.7 percent to 18.3 percent.