This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Saturday was supposed to be a very busy day in the KBO, with four doubleheaders set to take place after a quartet of games were canceled the night before due to fine dust making the air unsafe to play in. Unfortunately, the dust was still around, so all four of the early games were wiped out. Five late games were able to go through, with all the makeup games getting pushed back to Sunday.
The first half of each of those doubleheaders will be on Sunday's DraftKings slate, weather permitting, and they'll be joined by the day's lone Giants-Lions contest, which also takes place at 12:58 am ET. Note that both halves of doubleheaders in Korea still last the traditional nine innings, but the game will end in a tie after nine innings rather than heading into extras.
Eric Jokisch ($9,800) hasn't been in his best form lately, but even a slightly diminished version of the lefty still stands out as the top option among a fairly weak group of starting pitchers. Over his last two starts, which came against last year's Korean Series participants, the Bears and Dinos, he's allowed seven earned runs on 19 hits in 11.2 innings, striking out just six batters. Even after those struggles, however, his ERA sits at 3.28. He's capable of far more when he's on his game, as his league-leading 2.14 ERA last season indicates, and he should look more like that guy Sunday against a Landers lineup which sits eighth in runs per game.
Chae Heung Choi ($7,000) will be making his season debut Sunday after missing the start of the season with a ruptured right abdominal muscle. He shouldn't come with significantly workload concerns, as he threw 5.1 innings in his latest rehab start in the Futures League. Exactly what he'll look like in his first start back is unclear, but he'll be a bargain at his inexpensive price even in the Lions' hitter-friendly home park if he looks anything like he did last year. His 3.58 ERA and 19.9 percent strikeout rate last season both ranked eighth among qualified starters. The Giants aren't the easiest opponent, but they've fallen to a modest fourth in scoring after their unexpectedly hot start at the plate.
Been Gwak ($4,000) doesn't have much of a track record, but he doesn't need to be all that good to justify his minimum price tag, which should give you the room to add a few more top-tier hitters than normal. Selected in the regional round (a round that precedes the first round in which teams can select one player from their local area) of the 2018 draft, Gwak struggled to a 7.55 ERA in 31 innings as a rookie and then did not make a KBO appearance the next two years. The 21-year-old looked decent enough in his first start this year against the Landers, lasting just 4.1 innings but striking out six batters while allowing just one run. He's also looked quite good in the Futures League, posting an 0.98 ERA and a 38.2 percent strikeout rate in 18.1 innings. There's more than enough here to make Gwak worth the risk, especially against the ninth-ranked Tigers lineup.
Jose Pirela ($6,000) hit an unremarkable .266/.312/.411 in Japan last season, but he's thrived with the step down in competition and has emerged as one of the best hitters in the KBO. His .344/.396/.656 slash line is good for a 1.051 OPS, the fifth-best mark among qualified hitters. His 10 homers rank second behind only Aaron Altherr. He may not be the second-best power hitter in the league under context-neutral circumstances, as all but one of those homers have come at the Lions' hitter-friendly home park, but he's still a very appealing option whenever the Lions are at home. They're home Sunday and get what should be a fairly easy matchup against Kyung Eun Noh, who's given up five homers in 15 innings this season en route to a 6.00 ERA.
Sung Bum Na ($5,300) has run hot and cold this season, but he's on a hot streak at the moment. A 1.111 OPS over his first eight games was followed by a .601 OPS over his next 12. He then caught fire again and now owns a 1.096 OPS with five homers over his last eight games. His .259/.348/.552 is still below his usual lofty standards, though it's already enough to justify his high price tag. He'll be a bargain if he continues hitting like the guy who posted a .324/.392/.596 line last season. He'll have a good chance to do just that Sunday against Wiz righty Hyeong Jun So, who's so far failed to match his Rookie of the Year numbers and owns an unintimidating 4.35 ERA and 1.55 WHIP.
If Chae Heung Choi doesn't interest you in his first start back at a hitter's park, consider using some of the Giants' righties like Hoon Jung ($4,000) against him. Jung has jumped up to the leadoff spot in four of the team's last five games and has rewarded the team with four multi-hit games over that stretch. He's now hitting .310/.417/.480 on the year. Don't expect a ton of power, though he has a respectable three homers this season after hitting 11 last year. His 15.8 percent walk rate has helped make him a strong on-base threat this season, something which should be fairly sustainable given that he finished last year with a .380 on-base percentage.
On a slate with stronger pitching across the board, the Wiz could have been a recommended stack against Dinos righty Jung Soo Park, who owns a career 6.11 ERA. Yong Ho Cho ($3,800) provides an inexpensive way to grab a piece of the league's second highest-scoring lineup. The leadoff man is very much a role player, but he plays his role quite well. He doesn't have a single homer in 1,044 career plate appearances, but he's an on-base machine. His .384 on-base percentage this season is a near match for his .389 mark from last year. Getting on base that frequently for a lineup this good should give him a shot to score multiple runs Sunday.
Stacks to Consider
As many as half of the pitchers on Sunday's slate look like justifiable stack targets, but Jung may be the most appealing. He did record a 1.15 ERA and 1.02 WHIP over a small sample of three starts last season, but that's very much out of line with his career numbers. The 31-year-old owns a lifetime 6.67 ERA and 1.81 WHIP in 164.2 KBO innings. This season, he's thrown just 5.2 frames across one start and two relief appearances, allowing 10 runs on 12 hits, striking out five batters while walking six. The Heroes bats have shown far more signs of life lately and shouldn't have any issues with the veteran righty here.
The stack listed here features three lefties who should bat in the first four spots against Jung. Hye Seong Kim has subsides his numbers at the plate with an excellent 14 steals (six more than anyone else at the league), helping him to a league-leading 27 runs, though his .270/.358/.374 slash line is still perfectly respectable. Lee took a while to get going this season and is still searching for his first homer of the year, but he's driven in 10 runs over his last five games while going 11-for-21 at the plate. Woong Bin Kim is quite inexpensive for a cleanup hitter and is hitting .309/.405/.489 on the year, raising his batting average by 40 points over the last four games by going 8-for-16 at the plate.
This section is pulled directly from yesterday's cheat sheet, as Im was pushed back a day due to the postponed game: Im had some strong results early last season but struggled later in the year, finishing the season with an unimpressive 5.15 ERA. Poor performances are generally the norm for Im, who posted ERAs of 5.73 and 6.26 in the two previous campaigns. Those numbers look practically elite next to his 9.16 ERA through four starts this year, however. That figure comes with a 1.71 WHIP and an 11:11 K:BB, so there's not much of a silver lining here for the Tigers.
Saturday's suggested stack against Im featured a slightly different arrangement, but the existence of some cheap, usable pitchers Sunday means we can go more expensive here, using the Bears' projected second through fourth hitters. Cleanup man Kim has shown plenty of power as usual this season, ranking fifth in slugging (.602), fourth in homers (eight) and first in RBI (32). Fernandez continues making excellent contact as expected, striking out just 7.2 percent of the time en route to a .333 average. Park slots right in between them in the third spot and is having an excellent season. His seven hits over the past three games have improved his season slash line to .374/.439/.505.