This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Rain cut Tuesday's KBO slate down to three games, washing away both the Wiz-Dinos and Landers-Tigers matchups. The three games that were able to be played offered plenty of excitement, as they were decided by a combined five runs. The Lions took a 5-0 lead in the top of the first thanks in large part to Won Seok Lee's grand slam and held off a late charge by the Bears to win 8-6. The Twins joined the Lions and Wiz atop the standings after their 4-2 victory over the Heroes, scoring all four runs in the final three innings off Heroes relievers after Eric Jokisch held them scoreless through six frames. Meanwhile, Ryan Carpenter's two runs in six innings helped his Eagles beat Dan Straily's Giants, with Straily allowing three runs over five frames.
Rain doesn't appear likely to cancel any of Wednesday's games, though previous rainouts have turned the day's slate into a bit of a strange one. DraftKings' KBO contest will include the first halves of the Giants-Eagles and Landers-Tigers doubleheaders, which begin at 2 a.m. ET, as well as the lone game of the day for the other three matchups, which begin three and a half hours later.
David Buchanan ($10,600) may be the most expensive pitcher on the slate, and he may be facing the third-ranked Bears lineup, but he's priced that way for a reason. He's cruised to a 2.40 ERA and 1.22 WHIP through 12 starts this season, even with nine of those coming at Daegu Samsung Lions Park, the league's most hitter-friendly venue. He'll be pitching Wednesday at Jamsung Baseball Stadium, the league's most extreme park in the opposite direction. Buchanan finished last season with a solid 3.45 ERA, but a modest 16.6 percent strikeout rate limited his fantasy appeal. This year, his strikeout rate has jumped up to 23.8 percent, giving him a high ceiling on any given day regardless of the matchup.
In 2019, Hyun Hee Han ($8,900) pitched exclusively in relief and finished with a 3.41 ERA. He moved back to the rotation last season and struggled to a 4.98 ERA, though that mark would have been a much more respectable 3.95 if not for a two-start stretch in early July in which he allowed 17 runs in 3.2 innings. This year, he remains in the rotation and looks as good as ever, cruising to a 3.29 ERA. He's backed that up with a solid combination of an 18.9 percent strikeout rate and 8.6 percent groundball rate. That doesn't give him the highest of ceilings, but it's enough to make him one of the better options on a fairly thin night for starting pitchers, especially given his matchup against the eighth-ranked Twins lineup.
Se Woong Park ($7,700) joins Han as another mid-priced option who doesn't have elite upside but should be a strong choice given his matchup, which in his case comes against the ninth-ranked Eagles offense. Park finished with an unimpressive 4.70 ERA and 1.52 WHIP last season, but he's been much better this year, recording a 3.88 ERA and 1.18 WHIP through 11 starts. A .242 BABIP is suppressing those numbers by a fair amount, but his combination of a 17.8 percent strikeout rate and 8.6 percent walk rate is perfectly adequate. He's looked especially good lately, however, recording four straight quality starts, with the last two of those being a complete-game shutout against the Wiz and a seven-inning, one-run performance against the Bears, both of which rank within the top three in scoring this season.
If you're willing to pay up for a catcher but want to avoid Eui Ji Yang given his tough matchup against Young Pyo Ko, consider Heroes backstop Dong Won Park ($4,600). Park isn't on Yang's level, though that's true of every other catcher and basically every other hitter in the league. He's emerged as a solid offensive backstop over his last three seasons, however, finishing with an above-average batting line each year after posting a wRC+ no better than 91 in any of his first seven KBO campaigns. This year is shaping up to be his best yet, as both his .387 on-base percentage and .592 slugging percentage represent career highs. He homered in each of the Heroes' final three games last week and could launch another Wednesday against 20-year-old Twins lefty Sang Yung Lee, whose decent 4.08 ERA isn't supported by his 18:15 K:BB.
It took Shin Soo Choo ($5,600) some time to really get going in his first KBO campaign, which may have come as something of a surprise given his 16 strong seasons stateside. He was hitting just .222 as recently as May 29, but he can mostly blame a low BABIP for that. He remained a useful contributor even with that low average, homering eight times, stealing 10 bases and posting a .394 on-base percentage thanks to his 19.7 percent walk rate. He's suddenly taken off over his last 10 games to become the dominant force he ought to be given his past MLB success, hitting .455/.561/.727. There's no reason to think he'll slow down Wednesday, as he'll get the platoon advantage against Tigers righty Yong Jun Choi, who will be making his KBO debut.
Sticking with the Landers, who easily could have been one of Wednesday's top stack recommendations, Yoo Seom Han ($3,300) will also get the platoon advantage against Choi and is a strong budget outfield option. Han obviously doesn't have anything close to Choo's track record, but he's coming off a season in which he homered 15 times in 62 games while missing over half the year due to injury. His eight homers in 51 games this season represent a more modest total, but three of those come in his last four games, a stretch in which he's recorded three multi-hit contests.
For reasons I don't remotely understand, Ah Seop Son's ($3,000) price continues to drop despite the fact that he's turning things around after a very slow start. Son is supposed to be one of the best contact hitters in the entire league, hitting .295 or better for 11 straight seasons and finishing second in the race for the batting title last season with a .352 average. He hit just .240 over his first 28 games this season but has been much better over his last 26 contests, hitting .340/.434/.381. Zoom in on just his last eight games, and he's hitting .400 with six multi-hit performances. He should have a good shot at another one Wednesday, as he'll get the platoon advantage against Eagles right Dae Kyung Yun, a 27-year-old with just two career KBO starts under his belt.
Stacks to Consider
The 30-year-old righty has some solid seasons on his resume, posting a 3.75 ERA as recently as 2019. Last year was a disaster for Lee, however, as he finished the year with a 6.55 ERA and 1.63 WHIP, numbers that look deserved given his poor combination of a 14.9 percent strikeout rate and 10.5 percent walk rate. He was given a spot in the Dinos' Opening Day roster nonetheless this season, but he lost it after just two disastrous outings, giving up 12 runs in 7.2 innings while walking 10 batters and striking out just five. He fared better upon a demotion to the Futures League but still wasn't good, striking out just 14.8 percent of opposing batters en route to a 4.99 ERA and 1.50 WHIP across six starts. There's a big gap between the hitters in the Futures League and those on the Wiz, who now lead the league in runs per game, so there's little reason to believe things will go well for him Wednesday.
The stack listed here features the Wiz's typical second through fourth hitters. Kang may be the best hitter in the entire KBO, an argument that isn't tough to make given that his .403 batting average leads all qualified hitters by 50 points. He also leads the same group in on-base percentage (.490) and sits fourth in slugging (.573). Hwang missed over a month with a broken nose, but he's been swinging a hot bat since he returned at the start of June, going hitless just once while slashing .310/.383/.429. Almonte failed to live up to the expectations placed on foreign hitters through his first 41 games, hitting a modest .263/.324/.378, but he's turned things around over his last 14, hitting .358/.424/.528.
Lee pitched quite poorly as a starter last season, struggling to a 5.52 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 19 starts. He thrived when moved to the bullpen, however, posting a 1.04 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 23 relief appearances. The Bears moved him back to the rotation this season in hopes that he'd carry his bullpen success with him, but things could hardly have gone worse. Lee was demoted at the end of April after posting an 11.40 ERA, 2.40 WHIP and 7:10 K:BB in four starts. He was recalled last week but didn't look like anything had changed, as the Giants lit him up for six runs in 3.2 innings while he walked four and struck out just three. He does get to pitch in run-suppressing Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Wednesday, but no amount of help from park factors can help numbers as bad as his have been this year.
This stack skips the right-handed Jose Pirela ($5,800) for budget reasons, going with a trio of lefties instead, though Pirela is certainly worth a look if you can squeeze him in. Koo started the year brilliantly, posting a 1.050 IOS over his first 30 games, before collapsing to a .423 OPS over his next 20. He appears to be turning this around over his last six games, however, grabbing at least one hit in all six while homering twice. Oh, who spent nine years with the Bears before joining the Lions in free agency over the winter, has been on a tear over his last 16 games, driving in 20 runs over that stretch while hitting .400/.464/.783 with six homers. Leadoff Man Park benefits from hitting in front of the aforementioned big bats. He's hit .295 this season and owns a .379 on-base percentage while also stealing 19 bases, the second-highest total in the league.