This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Rain unfortunately affected yet another KBO slate last night, wiping out Thursday's daily fantasy contests as only one game was able to be played. The Dinos crushed the Twins by an 11-1 score in that one behind eight innings of one-run ball from Young Kyu Kim and a combined nine hits and two homers from Sung Bum Na, Eui Ji Yang and Aaron Altherr.
Friday's action sees the start of a new set of series around the league, one that currently features seven teams within two games of each other atop the standings. Rain, thankfully, looks like it won't be a factor this time around.
David Buchanan ($9,200) has cooled off a bit following an incredibly hot start, but that's not to say he's pitched poorly lately. His 3.71 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over his last three starts are no match for his 1.38 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over his first five but are still both very acceptable marks. He cruised to a 3.45 ERA in his debut season in Korea last year, though a modest 16.6 percent strikeout rate capped his fantasy upside. This year, his strikeout rate has jumped all the way up to 23.8 percent giving him the potential to justify his high price tag with a big point total. He has a very good chance of being worth the investment against the last-ranked Tigers lineup Friday.
Seung Won Moon ($7,000) may not be as good as his 3.29 ERA suggests, but he's still far too good to be the third-cheapest pitcher on the slate. That ERA is nothing new for him, as he's finished with ERAs of 3.88 and 3.65 in each of the two previous years. It's taken a bit of luck to get him there this season, however, as seen in his .252 BABIP and 0.0 percent HR/FB rate. His strikeout rate has fallen from 19.2 percent to 14.8 percent. Last year's version of Moon should still be in there, however, and he's succeeding this year even with worse peripherals, so he should be a safe, cheap option against a Twins lineup that sits second-last in scoring.
I still don't know if Je Seong Bae ($6,700) has some secret method of dramatically outperforming his peripherals, but I'm interested in him here for the first time in a long time. Most of the interest comes from the fact that he's very cheap and gets to face the Eagles, but he's also shown something new lately. His 3.95 ERA last season beat his FIP by well over a run and came with a very poor combination of a 13.2 percent strikeout rate and 12.1 percent walk rate. This year, his 2.89 ERA is again well more than a run better than his FIP, but his last three starts have been quite encouraging. He's given up just a single earned run while striking out a total of 18 batters, dragging his strikeout rate up to 20.5 percent.
The Lions' lineup is typically quite strong at home, so they easily could have been one of today's stack recommendations against young Tigers lefty Eui Lee Lee, who's had a pair of poor outings following a hot start. Jose Pirela ($6,000) appears to particularly love hitting at home, as 10 of his 12 homers have come at Daegu Samsung Lions Park, the most homer-friendly park in the league. That total is good for second in the league, while his 1.050 OPS is good for fourth. He's been as hot as ever over his last 10 games, hitting .405 with three homers and 12 RBI.
Shin Soo Choo ($5,700) hasn't set the KBO on fire in his first season in his home country, hitting a modest .228/.387/.425, but he can seemingly blame a .247 BABIP for his low batting average. Despite the fact that he's now 38 years old, there's little reason to expect him to run a BABIP that low, as he still has some speed, as seen in his nine steals, a mark which ties him for fourth in the league. He has plenty of power, too, as his grand slam Wednesday was his eighth of the year, tying him for eighth in the league. He'll get the platoon advantage Friday against Twins right Min Ho Lee, who's half his age and owns a 5.11 ERA.
If you don't believe in Je Seong Bae's ability to consistently outperform his peripherals, Eun Won Jung ($3,900) is the top Eagle to start against him. The leadoff man has shown a remarkable ability to take a walk, with opposing pitchers walking him at a 21.7 percent clip despite the fact that he doesn't do a ton of damage with the bat, sluggin just .362 and hitting zero homers. That elite walk rate (which leads all qualified hitters by a wide margin) and a .277 batting average have helped him to a .434 on-base percentage, meaning he's likely to be right in the middle of whatever offense the Eagles generate Friday.
Yong Kyu Lee ($2,300) has been the Heroes' leadoff man in each of the last four games and makes for a strong budget option if he occupies that spot again Friday. The 35-year-old's .258 batting average is below his usual standards, but his .296 BABIP also represents the second-lowest mark in the last 17 seasons. Things have been trending in the right direction lately, as he's had multi-hit games in three of his last four. He's a career .300 hitter and should continue his push towards that figure Friday, as he has the platoon advantage against Dinos righty Wes Parsons, who owns a mediocre 4.50 ERA and a poor 1.70 WHIP.
Stacks to Consider
Yoo managed to throw six scoreless innings in his most recent start, but it would be a surprise if he's able to do that again. He's an extreme soft-tosser, with a fastball that averages less than 80 mph, and that's finally starting to catch up to him in his mid-thirties. He managed to keep a somewhat respectable 5.02 ERA last season despite a 9.0 percent strikeout rate, but his ERA has jumped to 6.23 this season while his strikeout rate has fallen to a pitiful 6.2 percent. He's struck out just eight batters across his six starts, and allowing that amount of contact should hurt him more often than not.
The righty-heavy Giants lineup offers plenty of players to choose from against the veteran southpaw, even with Dae Ho Lee out with a side injury. Leadoff man Jung is in the middle of a career year at age 33, as his .887 OPS is best mark in a decade. A 16.0 percent walk rate has helped him to a .407 on-base percentage, giving him plenty of chances to score. The 35-year-old Jeon has also remained quite strong at the tail end of his career, as his .837 OPS gives him a good chance to continue his streak of finishing above .800 in that category in each year of his thirties. Compared to his teammates, the 30-year-old An is quite young, but he's also showing no signs of slowing down as he enters the back half of his career. His .807 OPS is his best mark since 2018.
The other side of that same contest features the day's second-most compelling stack. KBO teams' scouting departments deserve the benefit of the doubt regarding the players they deem worthy of their three foreign player slots, at least initially, but seven starts for Franco is enough for that to start to wear off. He simply hasn't come close to living up to expectations, struggling to a 5.91 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. An uninspiring combination of a 16.0 percent strikeout rate and 11.3 percent walk rate hardly suggests he deserves much better. It perhaps shouldn't be a surprise that he's one of the weakest foreign starters in the league, as his MLB experience consists of just five relief appearances. He also struggled to a 5.97 ERA at the Triple-A level in 2019. After allowing 10 runs in 8.1 innings across his last two starts, there's little reason to believe he's about to turn the corner.
This stack features what should be the Bears top three lefties. Jae Hwan Kim's spot as the cleanup hitter in one of the league's best lineups has helped him drive in 37 runs, tied for third in the league, two spots better than he finished last year. Fernandez missed one game this week with a bruised hand but has since returned to the lineup. He's gone hitless just once in his last 11 games, hitting .370 over that stretch. In Tae Kim could be swapped out for one of the team's top righties if you have the budget space, but he's worth a look as a budget option. His .298/.425/.369 slash line in his first opportunity as an everyday player is nothing special but is more than enough to justify his low price against a pitcher like Franco.