This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Rain washed out the Tigers-Bears and Dinos-Landers games Tuesday, leaving us with a three-game slate. Min Ho Kang reached base three times while Jung Hyun Baek allowed just a single run in six innings as the Lions squeezed past the Heroes by a 3-2 score in the lone game between two playoff contenders. Elsewhere, the Eagles upset the Wiz behind a strong outing from Ki Joong Kim, who struck out six batters in six innings while allowing just one run on two hits, while the top four batters in the Twins' lineup each recorded two hits to help their side beat the Giants by a 9-4 score.
Recent rainouts mean there are a full eight games on the schedule Wednesday. The DraftKings slate will be an odd one, as it will include three games that start at 2:00 a.m. ET (the first half of three doubleheaders) as well as two more that start at 5:30. Unfortunately, rain threatens all five games to some extent as of writing.
Ariel Miranda ($10,500) was the top pitcher on the slate Tuesday before his game got rained out. He's still the best option here even though his price tag has risen by $700. The lefty has filled up the leaderboard this season, ranking fourth in ERA (2.57) and fifth in WHIP (1.17) among qualified pitchers. His most impressive number has been his elite 30.9 percent strikeout rate, which leads the rest of the pack by more than three percentage points. Miranda has averaged 8.5 strikeouts over his last 13 starts, a stretch in which he owns a 2.27 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. The last-ranked Tigers lineup is unlikely to give him much trouble here.
In the middle tier, Sang Back Um ($8,500) looks like an interesting option. The 24-year-old had shown very little at the KBO level prior to this season, struggling to a 6.21 ERA. He's been dominant over the last two years at the Futures League level, however, posting a 1.68 ERA in 2020 while pitching for the military team during his mandatory military service and an even better 1.46 ERA this season. Through three KBO starts this year, he's largely been able to carry that success over, as he owns a 3.38 ERA and a 21.7 percent strikeout rate. That's obviously not a large sample, but I'd be willing to take a chance on him given that he gets to face the ninth-ranked Eagles offense.
If you're looking to save some cash, Tae Yang Lee ($6,500) looks like a playable option. He's facing a Dinos lineup that ranks second in scoring but which has scored just 3.9 runs per game since the break after losing four regulars to suspensions due to health-protocol violations, a number which would rank last in the league had they scored at that rate all year. Lee hasn't been anything special, posting a 4.77 ERA on the year as a swingman, but the rest of his numbers look good enough to justify his low price tag. His 1.33 WHIP is adequate, and he's combined a roughly average 17.4 percent strikeout rate with a low 6.7 percent walk rate. That's enough to get the job done against the league's weaker offenses, something which describes this version of the Dinos.
Jose Fernandez ($4,700) featured here yesterday after I was surprised to see him cost less than $5,000. He's even more interesting on Wednesday's slate, as he comes in $200 cheaper. He'll also be facing an easier opposing starter, as the Tigers will be starting Joong Hyun Yoon, a 26-year-old rookie with an 8:15 K:BB, instead of former major leaguer Daniel Mengden. Fernandez has hit a merely good .293/.369/.414 since the break, but he still owns an .870 OPS on the season. Even performing at the level that's earned him a .783 OPS thus far in the second half should be more than enough to justify this price tag given the matchup.
Dae Ho Lee ($4,300) has been on fire recently. He's riding a streak of three multi-hit games in a row and has five such performances in his last seven games, hitting .414/.452/.759 with three homers over that stretch. The 39-year-old may no longer be the slugger he was at his peak, as his 15 homers on the year merely tie him for 11th, but his .306/.367/.504 slash line on the year is more than enough to justify his status as an affordable option in the deep but very expensive pool of first basemen. He'll face Twins righty Chan Kyu Im on Wednesday, who owns an unintimidating 4.46 ERA and 1.49 WHIP on the year.
Speaking of affordable first baseman, it doesn't get any better than Justin Bour ($2,400). His price remains near the minimum due to some very underwhelming numbers at the start of his KBO career, but betting on him to break out remains the smart thing to do. Bour's .160/.267/.220 line through his first 15 games in Korea is admittedly terrible, but those 15 games simply don't matter nearly as much as the 559 he played at the MLB level, where he slashed .253/.337/.457. He should start resembling that player any time now, and he's already starting to do so, as he's riding a five-game hitting streak. He should extend that to six here against Giants righty Dan Straily, who owns a 6.92 ERA, 2.23 WHIP and 10:11 K:BB over his last three starts.
While I mentioned Tae Yang Lee as the best affordable pitcher above, he's not the kind of pitcher who should scare you away from selecting any Dinos should you elect not to roster him yourself. Rather than writing up Jeong Won Choi ($2,900) yet again, I'll devote this space instead to his teammate Jin Sung Kang ($3,600). The Dinos needed players to step up after four of their regulars were suspended for COVID-19 protocol violations over the break, and Kang has done just that. Kang hit an unremarkable .262/.346/.393 in the first half, but he's caught fire thus far in the second half, slashing .350/.435/.500 in 13 games.
Stacks to Consider
Jang is coming off his best start of the year, a seven-inning, two-run performance against the Heroes. Seven good innings aren't enough to wash away what he's done the rest of the season, however. Even after that quality start, he still owns a 5.85 ERA, the second-worst mark among pitchers who have thrown at least 60 innings. He's seemingly lucky to have an ERA even that respectable, as his 1.88 WHIP is last among the same group. He's struck out just 12.8 percent of opposing batters this season while walking 14.1 percent. No one else who's thrown at least 60 frames has more walks than strikeouts. His awful season should continue here against the league's highest-scoring lineup. The stack listed here contains the Wiz's two biggest bats in Kang and Hwang alongside Yoo, an affordable veteran who owns a .790 OPS on the season.
It doesn't take much to incentivize stacking the Lions at the league's most hitter-friendly park. While Kim's 3.44 ERA could make this seem like the rare Lions home game where they aren't worth stacking, a deeper look reveals that's not the case. The 19-year-old righty hasn't gotten to that figure in a remotely reliable way, as seen in his .280 BABIP. His numbers look particularly hard to trust in his three appearances as a starter. While he's allowed a respectable seven runs in 16 innings since joining the rotation at the start of the second half, he's done so by striking out just three batters while walking eight and hitting five more. That's not a path to sustainable success. Most of the Lions' top bats look great in this matchup, but I've gone here with a trio that should bat third through fifth in the order.