This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
We're set for our usual five-game slate Thursday, one that follows another low-scoring night on Wednesday that saw only one team, the Landers, put up double-digits in the run column. There is an intriguing four-team race in the upper echelon of the standings and the Wiz and Lions enter Thursday tied for first, while the Twins and aforementioned Landers are just a game behind.
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.
Andrew Suarez ($10,600) continues to mostly dominate KBO bats, as he's now sporting a 1.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and miniscule 0.4 HR/9 across 12 starts. The left-hander has yet to allow more than three earned runs in any start, and he's actually been at his best on the road with a .207 BAA and average of 20.6 DK points in away starts. He put in a solid outing against the Heroes his one previous time facing them this season as well, allowing just two earned runs across seven innings while recording four strikeouts. Kiwoom continues to make for a good target, generating the third-fewest hits (8.6), third-fewest home runs (40) and the third-lowest team batting average (.253).
Won Seok Oh ($6,900) could turn out to be one of the better pitching values of the night when all is said and done. The southpaw owns a solid 4-2 mark and 4.24 ERA, and he comes into Thursday's matchup versus Kia with scores of 12.7 to 24.7 DK points in three of his last four starts. The second-year lefty has two other starts with greater than 20 DK points this season as well, excellent ceiling for his current salary. The Tigers are also far from a prohibitive matchup, as they're averaging the fewest runs per game (4.0), have hit the fewest homers (21) and have the fifth-lowest team batting average (.256). What's more, Oh, has the benefit of a potent offense to support him, as SSG has slugged the second-most homers in the league (74) while Kia pitchers have yielded the fourth most (54).
ALSO CONSIDER: Won Joon Choi ($8,700)
Baek Ho Kang ($5,700) is showing no true signs of slowing down, as he takes a .409 average and 1.070 OPS into Thursday's matchup. The slugger is hitting .375 and averaging 9.7 DK points over his last 10 games as well, and he's already tagged Dinos pitching for a .407 average and 1.189 OPS on his way to an average of 13.6 DK points across seven games this season. Opposing starter Drew Rucinski has been impressive for the most part, but he surrendered eight runs (four earned) on eight hits and three walks over five innings to the Wiz the one prior time he faced them this season, and he also gave up a .295 average and .372 wOBA to the 105 left-handed hitters he faced during his short-lived MLB career.
Eui Ji Yang ($5,200) continues to rake, posting a .339 average, 1.085 OPS, 26 XBH and 51 RBI across 57 games. The slugging backstop checks into Thursday having posted double-digit DK-point tallies in five of his last 11 games, and he's hit an outstanding .375 with two doubles, five home runs and 21 RBI in 24 home games this season. Opposing starter Odrisamer Despaigne has generally been effective this season, but he heads into Thursday having pitched to a 7.27 ERA and 2.31 WHIP in two of his last three starts.
Suk Hwan Yang ($4,600) carries a reasonable salary for a player that has shown some impressive pop in the form of 23 extra-base hits and that heads into Thursday with a .280/.342/.505 slash line Yang has been a better hitter on the road overall, but he has a premium matchup Thursday against Samsung starter Chae Heung Choi, who owns a 7.12 ERA, 1.88 WHIP and elevated 1.5 HR/9, along with a 12.2 percent walk rate and 15.0 percent strikeout rate. Yang has flashed his ceiling with tallies of 17 and 32 DK points within his last seven games, and he's posted double-digit DK points on 18 occasions overall this season.
Hyun Soo Kim ($4,600) continues to roll along in his own right, as he's provided a .310 average, .864 OPS, 17 XBH and 33 RBI across 58 games. The veteran has been a far more productive hitter on the road as well, posting a .337 average and 9.3 DK points per contest across 26 away games. Thursday, Kim faces a right-hander in Won Tae Choi that's been a bit inconsistent and sports an elevated 1.43 WHIP, and that gave up eight runs (four earned) over 5.2 innings to LG the first time he faced the Twins this season.
Jung Dae Bae ($3,900) faces a tough matchup on paper in Rucinski, but as already elaborated on in Kang's entry, it's not necessarily a prohibitive one. The veteran checks in with a solid .293 average and .780 OPS as well when traveling, and he also offers the possibility of supplementing his fantasy production with his speed, as he boasts seven steals on the season. Bae has flashed a ceiling north of 20 DK points this season and has recorded double-digit fantasy-point tallies on 23 occasions overall, making him a bargain at his salary.
Stacks to Consider
Choi's vulnerabilities were already elaborated on in Yang's entry, and it's also worth noting the Bears are averaging the third-most runs (5.3) and hits (9.5) per game while also boasting the third-highest team batting average.
Heo has been excellent as a leadoff hitter, heading into Thursday's matchup with a .319/.373/.421 slash line, 14 XBH and 22 RBI. He also has tallies of 16 and 28 DK points within his last six games and is a highly dependable contact hitter with just 16 strikeouts across 235 plate appearances.
Fernandez is unlikely to be bothered by the same-handed matchup against the struggling southpaw Choi, as he boasts a .330/.397/.493 slash line and .327 average with runners in scoring position. He's also consistently thrived against Samsung this season, as evidenced by a .379 average and .911 OPS over eight games versus the Lions.
Finally, Park is averaging 8.1 DK points and owns an excellent .328 average and .401 OBP for the campaign. He's hit .333 versus Samsun pitching as well, and he's demonstrated quite the knack for clutch hitting by forging a .367 average with runners in scoring position.
Kim has made a relief appearance and start apiece thus far, and he was very hittable in the latter, allowing four earned runs on five hits and three walks over 4.1 innings to the Wiz. The Giants are also a dangerous matchup, as they're scoring 5.2 runs per contest and averaging the most hits per game (9.7) while crafting the KBO's second-highest batting average (.276).
Machado usually has the advantage of hitting leadoff and has been at his best on the road, where he's hitting .289. He also has four double-digit DK-point tallies in the last 10 games, is hitting .313 with runners in scoring position and has seven steals in addition to his other solid numbers.
Choo's salary is extremely appealing, considering he's slashing .306/.384/.477 with 11 extra-base hits and 14 RBI. He's also wielding a hot bat coming in, as he's posted a .368 average, 1.032 OPS and 11.4 DK points per game over the last 10 contests.
Jeon has been an excellent all-around fantasy producer thanks in large part to his clutch hitting, as he's a spectacular .431 average with runners in scoring position. The remainder of his season line includes a .324 average, .840 OPS, 17 XBH and 37 RBI across 59 games, and he's averaging 10.9 DK points in his last 10.
Finally, Jung is averaging 9.2 DK points per contest and slashing .325/.410/.472 with 19 XBH and 37 RBI. He's hitting .339 with runners in scoring position and comes in with double-digit DK-point tallies in seven of his last nine games.