This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
We're set for our usual five-game slate Thursday, one that comes on the heels of a relatively high-scoring night Wednesday. The top of the standings remain tight with four teams within two games of the first-place Twins, and there are several strong pitchers taking the hill for some of the top clubs in the league.
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 recommend two stacks that I trust the most to potentially string some above-average offensive numbers together and pay off for you in tournaments.
David Buchanan ($9,400) checks into Thursday with a 2.63 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and average of 19.6 DK points per start over a sample of 65 innings. The former MLB right-hander has already had one strong outing against his Thursday opponent, the Tigers, earlier in the season, posting 26.5 DK points across six innings versus Kia on May 21. The Tigers also check in as one of the weakest offenses in the league, as they're averaging a KBO-low 4.1 runs per game, have a pedestrian .253 team batting average and have hit a league-low 18 home runs across 52 games as well. Buchanan has also been at his best at home, where he's averaging 19.9 DK points across eight starts.
Drew Rucinski ($8,900) is averaging 19.3 DK points and has been stellar on the road, where he's posted a 1.62 ERA, .215 BAA and average of 23.7 DK points over six starts. The right-hander does draw a matchup against the aforementioned first-place Twins, but he already has a 1.80 ERA and .211 BAA in two starts against LG, a pair of outings where he's also recorded 13 strikeouts in 10 innings. Rucinski has eclipsed 25 DK points on six occasions already this season, and the Twins, despite their 31-23 record, are averaging a relatively modest 4.5 runs and 8.3 hits while hitting just .250 as a team.
Jose Pirela ($5,800) continues to mow through virtually every pitcher put in front of him, as following his second straight 12-DK-point tally Wednesday, he's now slashing an outstanding .347/.398/.577 with 24 extra-base hits and 41 RBI across 54 games. Pirela is averaging 10.7 DK points per game as well and has a similarly impressive .344/.389/.563 slash over eight games against Kia pitching this season. Moreover, he sports a 1.059 OPS at home and Tigers starter Gi Yeong Im has pitched to a 4.99 ERA over nine starts this season.
Jose Fernandez ($5,200), much like Pirela, continues to rake as the season unfolds, as he'll enter Thursday with a .333/.398/.490 slash line with 15 XBH and 32 innings. The left-handed slugger has been at his best on the road, where he's posted a .340 average and .882 OPS across 24 contests. Fernandez has also thrived against Lotte pitching, posting a .323 average and 10.1 DK points per contest over eight games versus the Giants. Additionally, Lotte starter Se Woong Park makes for a good target Thursday, as he's already yielded eight home runs across 58 innings.
Jun Woo Jeon ($4,000) continues to carry very reasonable salaries despite the fact he's hitting a blistering .385 (15-for-39) over his last 10 games and boasts a .325 average and .423 OBP for the season. Jeon has also been a terror against Doosan pitching all season, as he boasts a .414 average, 1.121 OPS and 12.1 DK points per contest in eight games versus the Bears. Jeon heads into Thursday's matchup with three consecutive double-digit DK-point tallies, and although Doosan starter Won Joon Choi has been dominant recently, he did allow three earned runs on seven hits to Lotte back on May 22 and gave up a double and walk to Jeon.
Jamie Romak ($3,900) is only hitting an ordinary .253 for the season, but he boasts a .356 OBP and .500 slugging percentage, with the latter figure largely the byproduct of his impressive 13 home runs. It's that power that makes Romak an excellent tournament play, even though he carries some risk due to his unusually low .246 BABIP that continues to limit his overall batting average. Romak has also slugged four of his homers in the last 10 games alone, averaging 11.1 DK points per contest during that span.
Woo Hyun Song ($3,200) doesn't offer much in the way of the long ball, but he does have 11 doubles and a triple in addition to his one homer. He also boasts a .323 average and .836 OPS over his last 10 games, and he's scored between seven and 12 DK points in four of the last five contests specifically. Although he's been a much better hitter at home, he's had plenty of success against Hanwha, posting a .333 average and .419 OBP in eight games versus the Eagles.
Stacks to Consider
In addition to Im's elevated ERA that was already detailed in Pirela's entry, it's worth noting when considering the Lions as a stack is the fact Samsung has averaged 5.1 runs and 9.3 hits per contest while also hitting .274 as a team.
Pirela's attributes were already discussed in his entry, while Koo checks in with an average of 9.7 DK points and is hitting .324 with an .843 OPS in eight games against Kia this season. He's also shown some nice pop with 20 XBH and he's hitting a solid .300 with runners in scoring position.
Oh comes into Thursday wielding a scalding hot bat, having posted a .410 average, 1.209 OPS and 12.5 DK points per contest in the last 10 games. He has 32- and 44-DK-point tallies in two of the last 10 games, offering a glimpse at his massive ceiling.
Kang is one of the best hitting catchers in the KBO and checks in with a .351 average and .921 OPS for the season. He's boasting an even hotter bat over his last 10 as well, as evidenced by his .382 average over that span. Kang has also been effective in six games against Kia, posting a .333 average, .821 OPS and 7.2 DK points per game in that sample.
Lee has had a bit of an up-and-down season, having given up multiple earned runs on four occasions, including outings with six and seven earned runs surrendered. He's also been bit vulnerable to the long ball with four homers given up in 39 innings, and the Dinos check in scoring a KBO-high 5.8 runs per contest while having hit a league-high 75 homers and .275 as a team.
Na comes into Thursday with a .297 average, .945 OPS and three homers in the last 10 games. Na has averaged 10.5 DK points in that span and has five double-digit DK-point tallies in his last eight contests alone, including a pair over 20.
Yang is averaging 10.3 DK points per game on the strength of a .349 average and 1.083 OPS, and he's averaging an impressive 11 DK points per his 29 road contests. The slugging catcher has been excellent versus LG pitching as well, posting a .348/.444/.696 slash and 10.7 DK points per contest over six games.
Altherr has been an excellent road performer this season, posting a .320 average, .969 OPS and 9.2 DK points per contest in 29 away games. He's averaged 9.8 DK points in six games against LG as well, and he comes into Thursday with three double-digit DK-point tallies in the last five games.
Finally, Lee makes for a cost-effective way to round out the stack, and he carries a very appealing salary for a player who's carrying a .296 average and .797 OPS for the campaign. Lee is also running very hot at the plate, posting a .400 average and 1.064 OPS with four doubles, a home run and five RBI in his last 11 games.