This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Saturday's KBO slate featured a number of unreliable starting pitchers, but only two teams crossed the plate more than five times. Both of those came in the same game, with the Heroes winning a 13-7 shootout over the Giants thanks in large part to a massive day from Jung Hoo Lee, who went 4-for-4 with a homer, a walk, two RBI and three runs scored. Elsewhere, Jae Il Oh went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI as the Lions beat the Eagles, 5-4, while Chang Jin Lee and Aaron Altherr each grabbed two hits and a homer in a game in which Lee's Tigers defeated Altherr's Dinos by a 5-3 score.
Sunday's KBO action features five sets of doubleheaders, with all 10 teams playing twice on the day. DraftKings' contests include just the first game of each twin bill, all five of which begin at 1:00 a.m. ET.
David Buchanan ($10,000) is coming off one of his weakest starts of the year, though even that outing was far from terrible, as he held the Giants to a passable four runs in six innings despite allowing a season-high nine hits. That mediocre performance followed a run of 10 straight starts in which he gave up no more than three runs, recording seven quality starts and a 2.43 ERA over that stretch. That hot streak isn't actually all that better than what he's done for most of the season, as he owns a 2.76 ERA overall, backing it up with a strong combination of a 22.9 percent strikeout rate and an 8.6 percent walk rate. Those whiffs give him the fantasy upside he lacked last season, when his solid 3.45 ERA came with a sub-par 16.6 percent strikeout rate. He should have both a high ceiling and a high floor Sunday, as he'll face the ninth-ranked Eagles lineup.
Drew Rucinski ($9,600) may be an even better choice than Buchanan, as he's slightly cheaper despite the fact that he's produced very similar numbers and is facing the Tigers, the only team that's scored fewer runs per game than the Eagles this season. Rucinski's 2.89 ERA trails Buchanan's 2.76 only slightly, and he's backed his number up with a very similar 22.3 percent strikeout rate and 8.1 percent walk rate. He's also coming off a run of three straight excellent outings, allowing a combined two earned runs over that stretch while striking out 18 and walking just four. The Tigers are unlikely to be able to end that run at just three outings Sunday.
I try to avoid recommending the three most expensive pitchers wherever possible, but I don't think I can recommend anyone cheaper than Young Pyo Ko ($9,100) in good conscience here. Tae Yang Lee has at least some small amount of appeal, but he's been poor in his last few outings and now has to face the top-ranked Wiz lineup. Ko will be backed by that lineup, giving him a strong chance at a win. Ko avoids walks better than any other KBO starter, as his 4.9 percent walk rate leads all qualified starters. That's helped him to a 1.02 WHIP, which also leads the league. Control alone wouldn't make him the most exciting fantasy starter, but he's paired it with a perfectly adequate 18.4 percent strikeout rate, leading to a 3.50 ERA. After struggling in his final start prior to the break and his first start of the second half, he's bounced back with three straight quality starts, recording a 1.29 ERA and 0.76 WHIP over that stretch.
Jung Hoo Lee ($5,400) missed nearly a month with a side injury but hasn't lost his timing at all, as his huge day Saturday indicated. He's now gone 5-for-8 with a homer and a double in his two games since returning from the injured list. The 23-year-old doesn't look like he's going to match the 15 homers he managed last season, as his homer Saturday was just his fourth of the year, but he's been excellent at the plate nonetheless. He's matched his career low with a 6.3 percent strikeout rate, a number that comes in at less than half of his career-high 13.7 percent walk rate, leading to a well-deserved .355/.446/.519 line. He'll get the platoon advantage Sunday against Giants righty Jun Won Seo, who owns a 5.82 ERA and 1.71 WHIP.
Like Lee, Kun Woo Park ($4,700) doesn't have a ton of power, as he's homered just three times this season and hasn't managed more than 14 since 2017, but he's one of the best second-tier outfield options available nonetheless. He's in the middle of his seventh straight season hitting above .300, and it looks fairly safe that he'll end up north of that mark, as he's currently all the way up at .331, the fourth-best mark among qualified hitters. He's in a groove at the plate right now, posting a 1.019 OPS over a six-game hitting streak, and he's unlikely to slow down Sunday, as he'll get the platoon advantage against Twins lefty Ju Young Son and his 6.97 ERA.
The Lions' bats are less exciting when they aren't playing at their hitter-friendly home park, but Jae Il Oh ($4,000) is still a strong budget option at first base on the road. He's on a tear at the moment, homering in three of his last four games and posting a 1.020 OPS while driving in 11 runs over his last nine contests. The 34-year-old isn't as far from the top of the first-base pool as his price tag makes it seem, as he owns a career .282/.364/.493 slash line even while spending most of his seasons with the Bears, who play in the league's most pitcher-friendly stadium. He should be able to keep his hot streak going Sunday against Eagles righty Dae Kyung Yun, who owns a mediocre 4.58 ERA and 1.46 WHIP.
The Giants easily could have been one of today's top stack recommendations, as they'll face Heroes righty Seon Gi Kim, who's struggled to a 6.75 ERA, 1.88 WHIP and 10:14 K:BB over 21.1 innings. Selecting which of the largely interchangeable Giants to roster is seldom an easy task, but Chi Hong An ($3,900) seems like the best bet here based on his recent performance. In his last six games, he's hitting .476/.521/1.143 with three homers and four multi-hit games. That's brought his season slash line up to .311/.381/.492, representing his best marks in all three categories since 2018.
Stacks to Consider
Yoo, a 35-year-old lefty, has had a long and fairly successful career despite rarely striking many batters out, but he's clearly past the point of being an effective starter. His fastball has averaged just 79.7 mph this season, leading to unsurprisingly poor results. He's made exactly 10 starts this season, so it's very easy to calculate what his average line looks like: 4.4 IP, 7.3 H, 3.8 R, 1.5 K, 1.7 BB. Framed in other terms, that adds up to a 7.25 ERA, a 2.01 WHIP and a 6.8 percent walk rate. He did manage to strike out a season-high four batters while giving up just one run in six innings against the lowly Tigers in his most recent start, but nothing about his season-long numbers suggests he's about to have a similar performance. The stack listed here features a trio of batters who typically hit in the middle of the Twins' order. Kim won't get the platoon advantage, but Yoo doesn't usually stick around long enough for that to matter much.
Han owns a 2.45 ERA this season, though that comes in a tiny sample of 3.2 innings split across three relief appearances. He's topped out at 30 pitches, so this is likely to be a bullpen game, which is good news for the Dinos, as they'll get to face the Tigers' weaker relievers for much of the contest. For however long Han remains in the game, he's unlikely to pitch at anywhere close to a 2.45-ERA level. His three appearances this season are his first since 2018, as he missed the last two years due to injury and mandatory military service. The 28-year-old's career numbers aren't anything close to inspiring, as he owns a lifetime 6.05 ERA and 1.73 WHIP in 311 innings of work. The stack featured here is my preferred Dinos stack of late, featuring two of the best hitters in the league in Na and Yang alongside Choi, an unproven option who benefits greatly from hitting directly in front of that pair and keeps the stack cheap.