This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Rain threatened almost the entirety of Saturday's KBO slate, but four of the five games were able to go ahead, with only the Bears-Landers matchup getting canceled. The games that went forward featured a pair of blowouts. The Heroes scored 10 runs in the first inning against the Eagles, which was far more run support than Jake Brigham would need in the team's 15-1 win, as he struck out seven in 5.2 scoreless innings in his season debut. Jung Hoo Lee led the way for the Heroes with four hits and three runs. Elsewhere, the Twins were similarly dominant against the Lions, winning 14-4 behind six shutout innings from Min Ho Lee and contributions up and down the lineup.
Rain unfortunately again looks like a major factor heading into Sunday's slate, with only the indoor game between the Eagles and Heroes appearing safe as of writing. At least all five games on this particular slate (which excludes the second half of the Bears-Landers doubleheader) start at the same time, 12:58 a.m. ET, so fantasy players should be able to have a sense of which games to target when the action begins.
If you're looking to pay up for one of the top-tier starters who will face each other indoors at Gocheok Sky Dome in the lone game guaranteed to go forward, consider Ryan Carpenter ($9,600) over Eric Jokisch, who's coming off a pair of poor outings. Carpenter isn't coming off a great outing himself, though he was only charged with a single earned run in his four innings against the Dinos. On the season as a whole, he's taken surprisingly well after spending last year as a good but not dominant pitcher in Taiwan. His 1.37 ERA isn't going to remain quite that good, but he's striking out a strong 24.9 percent of batters, giving him big fantasy upside most nights, especially against a lefty-heavy lineup like the Heroes'.
Dan Straily ($7,400) is as cheap as he's been all season and should be the clear top value on the slate if his game isn't rained out. He's been unable to repeat his dominant 2.50 ERA and 1.02 WHIP from last season, with a pair of poor outings leading to a still-strong 3.38 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. His strikeout rate has fallen from 26.4 percent to 21.7 percent while his walk rate has risen from 6.6 percent to 7.5 percent, but those are still numbers that most pitchers in the league would be thrilled to produce. Even against a strong lineup like the Wiz, Straily has no business being anywhere near this affordable.
Won Joon Choi ($7,600) is similarly affordable and looks like a great budget option even after allowing five runs to the Tigers in his most recent start. Even after that poor outing, he owns an excellent 2.94 ERA and 1.04 WHIP on the season, an improvement on his already solid 3.80 ERA and 1.37 WHIP last season. Strong control was his calling card last year, and his 6.6 percent walk rate is a near match for his 6.2 percent mark from last season. This year, however, that's come with a small jump in his strikeout rate, which has improved from 16.5 percent to 18.2 percent. That adds up to a pitcher who should cost far more than he does, especially against the seventh-ranked Landers lineup.
Betting against Eric Jokisch is somewhat bold, though he does own a 5.82 ERA and 1.82 WHIP over his last three starts and is pitching in the only game that's guaranteed to be rain-free. Among the Eagles' best bats, Si Hwan Roh ($5,500) looks like the most interesting option, as many of the alternatives bat left-handed. The 20-year-old didn't do much in his first two seasons in the league but is suddenly breaking out this year, hitting .293/.376/.496. He was the third-overall pick in 2019 and is still quite young, so the dramatic improvement doesn't seem entirely unsustainable.
Hoon Jung ($4,700) has served as the Giants' leadoff man seven times in the team's last 11 games and will be a strong option if he occupies that spot again Sunday. It would make sense to keep him there, as he's swung a hot bat over that stretch, hitting .341/.438/.561 and scoring 11 runs. He's not a complete zero in the power department, as he's homered four times already this season, but his primary skill is his on-base ability, as a 14.7 percent walk rate has helped him to a .406 on-base percentage. He'll face Wiz righty William Cuevas, who's struggled to a 7.04 ERA and 1.91 WHIP through five starts this season.
The Lions need more from hitters other than Jose Pirela, Ja Wook Koo and Min Ho Kang if they're to maintain their surprisingly hot start. Jae Il Oh ($3,700) appears to be stepping up to the plate. He joined as a free agent after being part of the core that led the Bears to six straight Korean Series appearances, but he missed most of April with an abdominal injury. He struggled to a .499 OPS over his first seven games as a Lion but has since turned things around, hitting .313/.421/.594 over his last nine games. He'll get the platoon advantage Sunday against Twins righty Casey Kelly, who's allowed 10 runs on 18 hits in 12 innings over his last two starts, striking out just four batters while walking six.
The Dinos don't have an easy matchup Sunday, as they'll face Daniel Mengden and his 3.40 ERA, but I'm still interested in Hui Dong Kwon ($3,000). Kwon is primarily interesting because he's far too cheap for a batter who's regularly hitting second for the league's best lineup, but he's also interesting in his own right. He owns a 1.053 OPS over his last seven games, homering twice while striking out just three times. On the season as a whole, his .228/.369/.443 slash line is perfectly solid, and it should improve going forward along with his .213 BABIP.
Stacks to Consider
Lee debuted as a 19-year-old last year and didn't have much success, finishing the year with a 6.84 ERA and 2.01 WHIP in five starts and two relief appearances, numbers that appeared well-earned given his 16:19 K:BB. His 11:7 K:BB through four starts this year at least represents a step in the right direction, but not a significant enough one. His WHIP has improved but is still poor (1.60), while his 6.91 ERA is a near match for his rookie numbers. Lee was a fourth-round pick last year and has a fastball which averages just 82.8 mph, so it's not as if he's some hot prospect on the verge of a breakout.
Finding Twins worth stacking is surprisingly difficult this year, though the lineup has climbed up to eighth in scoring after a very slow start and is finally showing signs of life. I'd ordinarily stay away from lefties against a southpaw, but Lee has thrown a combined 3.2 innings in his last two starts and the majority of the Twins' best hitters bat left-handed, so I'm comfortable using a few here.
With that in mind, I've gone with the team's two big left-handed bats along with the right-handed Chae. Kim has been excellent as usual this season, with his .989 OPS standing as the third-best mark of his 14-year career. Chae has been following him out of the cleanup spot recently and has been incredibly hot over his last nine games, posting a 1.142 OPS with four homers, 11 runs and 17 RBI. Ramos is deservedly affordable amidst a season-long slump, but he's shown signs of life recently, hitting .313/.333/.500 over his last seven games. His 38 homers last year demonstrate his upside once he gets going.
Jung is a 31-year-old with a career 6.54 ERA and 1.80 WHIP in 169.1 total KBO innings, so the Landers likely weren't expecting much when they turned to him to fill a hole in the rotation in late April. They've gotten perhaps even less than expected. In 10.1 innings across two starts and two relief appearances, he owns a 9.58 ERA and 2.42 WHIP. Those numbers aren't much of a surprise given his 14.8 percent strikeout rate and 20.4 percent walk rate. Outside of three good starts last season, the former Chicago Cubs minor-leaguer has never shown anything at the KBO level, and it would be a surprise if that changes against the Bears.
Fernandez and Jae Hwan Kim are the most obvious inclusions in this stack, as they're the Bears' two best hitters and will both get the platoon advantage against Jung. Fernandez has been on a tear recently, with five multi-hit games in his last eight, a stretch in which he's homered twice and driven in 10 runs. Jae Hwan Kim has been strong all year, with his .952 OPS standing as his best mark since his MVP campaign in 2018. I've gone with In Tae Kim as the third option here to keep things affordable. He's moved up to second in the order three times this week and has looked good in his first opportunity as an everyday player, hitting .303/.426/.368.