This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Thursday's KBO action featured a number of strong pitching performances. Dan Straily, who's struggled for much of the second half, struck out six while allowing just three hits in six scoreless innings against the league-leading Wiz as the Giants won, 8-4. Elsewhere, Woo Jin An struck out eight Tigers in six scoreless innings, outdueling Joong Hyun Yoon, who allowed a single unearned run over his six frames, and helping the Heroes to a 2-0 victory. David Buchanan bounced back from a poor outing to allow just two runs over seven innings against the Eagles, with three hits from Ja Wook Koo and homers from Jae Il Oh and Sang Su Kim helping the Lions to a 6-2 win. Offense wasn't impossible to find, with Sung Bum Na homering twice as the Dinos beat the Landers by the same 6-2 score, while five different Twins had multi-hit games in their 12-4 win over the Bears.
We're back with another four-game slate for DraftKings' Friday KBO contests, as neither half of the Wiz-Giants doubleheader will be included on the slate. Rain doesn't appear to be a factor in any of Friday's games.
There are way too many strong pitchers to choose from Friday, but the clear best value belongs to Bo Takahashi ($5,200). Takahashi was only asked to throw four innings (70 pitches) in his KBO debut last week against the Landers, but he certainly impressed, striking out five while allowing zero runs on three hits and a pair of walks. The Brazilian righty is unique among foreign players in the KBO both in terms of his age (24) and the fact that he went overseas before ever cracking the big leagues, but the rule that any player deemed worthy of one of a team's precious few foreign player spots should be assumed to be quite good until they prove otherwise still applies. Even if his career resume can't compete with that of some of his counterparts on other teams, he's still likely to settle in as far more than a $5,200 player. He's a strong option against any team at this price point, so the sixth-ranked Heroes lineup shouldn't scare anyone away.
Ariel Miranda ($9,900) has allowed three runs in each of last two starts, though that really only looks bad compared to his ridiculous run right before that in which he allowed a combined one run over four outings. Miranda only allowed four hits over six innings in both of his "bad" starts and struck out a combined 21 batters while walking six. He's been incredible this season and is now riding a run of 15 straight quality starts, a stretch in which he owns a 1.97 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. He's the clear top pitcher in the league at the moment, a statement which is now backed by his league-leading 2.45 ERA and not just his incredible 32.0 percent strikeout rate, a mark which only one other qualified starter (Wilmer Font) even gets within six percentage points of. Expect him to be deservedly highly-rostered Friday, as he'll pitch in pitcher-friendly Jamsil Baseball Stadium against a Twins lineup that ranks eighth in scoring.
I'll go with Wes Parsons ($8,900) for the third spot here over Tae In Won, who's more expensive and has to pitch in the most hitter-friendly park in the league. Parsons has been solid thus far in the second half, allowing exactly one run in four of his five starts, good for a 3.00 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. His strikeout numbers were down in most of those starts, as he whiffed no more than four batters in four of his five trips to the mound, though he struck out 13 in his mid-September start against the Wiz, so that upside is clearly still there. On the season overall, his 25.8 percent strikeout rate has been more than enough to offset his 12.0 percent walk rate, leading to a 3.5.8 ERA. That's enough to make him worth the price here, even against the third-ranked Landers lineup.
While the aforementioned Tae In Won is having a strong season, the quality of pitchers on this slate means you'll have to select some batters who are facing strong pitchers, so grabbing one who will at least play in the league's most hitter-friendly park seems like a decent idea. Si Hwan Roh ($5,200) stands out as a solid option at either second or third base. The young infielder didn't accomplish much over his first two seasons in the league, but he's breaking out in his age-30 campaign, hitting .278/.404/.479 overall. He's been on a tear in 15 games since returning from a chest injury in mid-September, slashing .370/.507/.685 with three homers, 21 RBI and more walks (15) than strikeouts (11).
Hyoung Woo Choi ($4,000) remains one of the only reasons to ever look at the Tigers' lineup. He still comes far too cheap for a player who won a batting title last season and owns a career .952 OPS. His .767 OPS on the season is a disappointment, but he's been much better since he got an early-season vision problem sorted out. Since the start of July, he's hit .273/.395/.453 with more walks than strikeouts. The main issue with his statline this season is his .233 batting average, down 121 points from his league-leading .354 mark from last year, but that should rise alone with his .249 BABIP. He'll get the platoon advantage Friday against the incredibly inconsistent Won Tae Choi, who's either allowed exactly one or at least 10 runs in each of his last five starts.
Lineup context is a huge factor in fantasy baseball, and it's one that's made Soo Bin Jung ($2,900) an appealing option of late despite some rather mediocre numbers. There's nothing special about his .240/.309/.332 slash line, but he's nonetheless emerged as the leadoff man for a Bears lineup that's climbed up to first in runs per game. He did drop to eighth Thursday against lefty Woo Chan Lee, but he'll probably move back up Friday against righty Chan Kyu Im. As long as he's hitting in arguably the best lineup spot in the entire league, he'll be an excellent budget option even with his fairly unimpressive bat.
Dong Yub Kim ($2,600) didn't fit into the Lions stack discussed below, as I went with three options who have hit higher in the order in recent games, but he remains one of my favorite cheap outfielders even if he's stuck in the seventh spot like he was Thursday. For the second year in a row, he slumped his way to a well-deserved demotion, but for the second year in a row, it seems to be working. He hit .355/.409/.589 in 67 games to close the season after returning to the KBO level last year, and he's hitting .340/.365/.520 in 13 games since his return to action this season. He did go hitless in his last two games, but I'll back him to get back on track here against the struggling Min Woo Kim (discussed below).
Stacks to Consider
Jo was listed here as a pitcher to stack against Wednesday, but his start that night against the Lions got rained out. I'll copy what I wrote about him that day here, as it all still applies: The Landers are desperate to find anyone who can stick in their rotation as they try to remain in the playoff hunt despite multiple injuries to their top starters. Jo is one of 17 pitchers to start a game for the team this season and is about to become one of 14 who have made multiple starts. The 19-year-old rookie wasn't terrible in his season debut last Friday against the Giants, allowing three runs in four innings but at least posting a 4:1 K:BB, but he still looks like the most targetable option out there even without consider the fact that he'll be pitching in the league's best hitters' park. Despite his youth, he doesn't necessarily have a ton of potential, as he was merely a third-round pick and owns an unimpressive 5.45 ERA and 14.9 percent strikeout at the Futures League level. I've typically recommended a stack with Yang and Na plus one inexpensive bat when I feature a Dinos stack, but they've dipped cheap enough that it's not hard to afford Altherr alongside them. Given the quality of pitching elsewhere on the slate, loading up on as many Dinos as possible seems like a smart plan.
Kim is a perfectly fine pitcher and one I've recommended selecting at times this season. Among a very deep group of strong pitchers, however, he stands out as the second-weakest, though the gap between him and Jo is a large one. Part of the reason he stands out here is his recent downturn in form; while he cruised to a 3.89 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 16 starts before the Olympic break, he owns a 5.10 ERA and 1.58 WHIP thus far in the second half, striking out just 29 batters in 42.1 innings while walking 23. The other reason he's a prime stack target is that this game will take place at Daegu Samsung Lions Park, the most hitter-friendly venue in the league. We'll go here with a rather expensive trio, but the price tag should be worth it, as all three have recorded an OPS north of 1.000 over their last 10 games, with Oh checking in at an absurd 1.597 over that stretch.