This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Apologies to those who were waiting for a cheat sheet yesterday, but I'm not back from a day wiped out by a migraine and am ready for another day of KBO action. Saturday's slate was a high-scoring one, as the Giants, Heroes, Lions and Wiz all crossed the plate at least eight times. We could see similar numbers in the box scores Sunday, with quite a weak group of pitchers taking the mound. Sunday's slate will start at 12:58 a.m. ET.
Je Seong Bae ($9,600) usually allows quite a few baserunners, but he typically gets the job done. His 1.45 WHIP is right around league average, but it's come with a solid 3.66 ERA. Control is an issue for the righty, as he's walked 13.2 percent of opposing batters, but his 21.8 percent strikeout rate gives him a fair amount of fantasy upside and has helped him get out of jams. He's walked an average of three batters over his last seven starts but hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of those outings. He'll face the eighth-ranked Twins lineup Sunday and will do so at Jamsil Baseball Stadium, the league's most pitcher-friendly park.
Dan Straily ($9,000) hasn't been nearly as good as he was last season, but he still looks like one of the best options among this very unreliable group. The veteran righty was arguably the best pitcher in the league last season, finishing with a 2.50 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 26.4 percent strikeout rate. That strikeout rate has fallen five points this season but still sits at an above-average 21.4 percent, while his walk rate has jumped three points from 6.6 percent to 9.6 percent, though that's also better than league average. While he's capable of much better, those numbers should still add up to results that beat his 4.31 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. He's been in a slump recently, struggling to a 6.92 ERA and 2.23 WHIP in his last three games, but a date with a Dinos team that's without five of its usual starters due to suspensions and injuries should help him turn things around.
Ki Joong Kim ($8,400) is about as cheap as I'd go on this slate with any confidence, and "confidence" might be an overstatement. The rookie lefty owned a 5.86 ERA, 2.17 WHIP and 18:21 K:BB as recently as Aug. 19, but he's turned in a pair of very strong starts since then. In his last two outings, he's allowed just a single run on five hits in 11 innings of work, posting a respectable 10:5 K:BB. That good sample may be far shorter than his poor stretch, but it's believable that a player talented enough to be selected second-overall in the most recent draft would figure things out as the season progresses. Even if you're not fully buying in, the fact that he's facing the last-ranked Tigers lineup, a unit which skews left-handed at the top, makes the young southpaw a much more palatable choice than usual.
Jeong Choi ($5,200) is one of the best power hitters in KBO history, and he's shown why in his past few games. The 34-year-old has homered four times in his last seven games, including a three-game streak earlier this week. That's brought his career mark up to 394, the second-highest total of all time and 73 homers shy of all-time leader Seung Yeop Lee. His five highest homer totals have come in his previous five seasons, so he's showing no signs of slowing down and could catch Lee as soon as the end of the 2023 season if he maintains a similar pace. He leads all hitters with 26 bombs this season and could add another against Heroes righty Seong Gi Kim, who owns a 6.75 ERA and 1.96 WHIP.
Jae Gyun Hwang ($4,900) is the top alternative to Choi at third base, though you could fit both in by starting Choi at shortstop. He's much more cost-efficient than teammate Baek Ho Kang ($6,000) on Sunday and will be the one to get the platoon advantage against Twins lefty Yun Sik Kim, whose 3.20 ERA isn't backed up by his 26:20 K:BB. Hwang has been on a tear over his last 10 games, hitting .442/.478/.581 while adding four stolen bases. He's unlikely to keep stealing bases at a similar clip, as he has just nine steals on the season and didn't steal more than 11 in either of the previous two seasons, but the excellent batting average should last, as he's hit .291 over his 14 KBO campaigns.
The Eagles don't have many reliable hitters at the moment, otherwise they could have been one of Sunday's stack recommendations against Tigers rookie righty Joong Hyun Yoon, whose 3.34 ERA comes with a 9:16 K:BB. Tae Yean Kim ($3,900) doesn't have much of a track record, coming to the plate just 58 times prior to this season, but he emerged as the Eagles' cleanup hitter early in the second half and doesn't look likely to relinquish the role any time soon. He's appeared in just 18 games this season but has hit an excellent .400/.494/.517. A .442 BABIP is undoubtedly inflated that line, but he's also shown a great eye at the plate, walking 12 times to go with just 10 strikeouts.
Ah Seop Son ($3,700) features frequently in this spot whenever the Giants face an unimpressive righty. The Dinos' Min Seo Bae certainly falls into that category, as he owns a 5.58 ERA and 1.70 WHIP on the season while pitching exclusively in relief. For his part, Son has had an up-and-down year, but he's back on the upswing lately. After hitting .352 last season, he hit just .240 over his first 28 games this year, an untenable number for a player who provides very little power. He hit an excellent .373 over his final 45 games to close the first half before stumbling again at the start of the second, hitting .146 over the first 12 games after the break. He appears to have snapped out of that slump, however, as he's hit .308 over his last six games, a run which should continue here against Bae.
Stacks to Consider
Over half of the pitchers on Sunday's slate are the type you'd love to stack against, but we may as well start here with one who will be pitching in Daegu Samsung Lions Park, the most hitter-friendly park in the league. Kim's 5.64 ERA and 1.50 WHIP on the season aren't terrible compared to some of the arms throwing Sunday, but they're certainly not good enough to give much cause for confidence. The same can be said about his 15.7 percent strikeout rate. Those mediocre numbers look even worse when considering that all but three of Kim's appearances this season have come in relief. Most of the Lions' top bats look quite good in this matchup, but the stack here features the team's best and most expensive options in Pirela and Koo alongside Oh, a very affordable option among a deep pool of first basemen.
Kim might be the most unreliable among a very unreliable group of starting pitchers Sunday. The 19-year-old lefty presumably has some potential, as he was selected with a regional round pick (a round which precedes the bulk of the draft in which teams can draft a player from their local area) in the most recent draft. Despite that pedigree, and despite the Landers' injuries in their rotation, he's only just now being called up for his KBO debut after 14 other players have started at least one game for the team. Judging by his Futures League stats, it's not hard to see why the team elected to try a host of other options first. He owns a 4.60 ERA and 1.64 WHIP at that level, striking out just 13.2 percent of opposing batters while walking 16.9 percent. Given the magnitude of his struggles at that lower level, there's little reason to believe he'll even hold his own here. That makes nearly the entire Heroes' lineup worth considering, even those who will get the platoon advantage, so we'll go here with a fairly inexpensive trio who hit third through fifth in the team's most recent game.