This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
The Semi-Playoff between the Bears and Twins, two teams which share Jamsil Baseball Stadium, has reached its third and final game. The Bears won Game 1 by a 5-1 score behind their lone remaining reliable starter, Won Joon Choi, but the Twins returned with a 9-3 victory in Game 2 behind ace Casey Kelly.
This article will break down both pitchers and lineups for DraftKings' single-game showdown contests. These contests require fantasy players to select six total players at any position (including pitcher), with one designated as a captain, who costs 50 percent more but earns 50 percent more points. The prices listed here are given for the utility spots rather than the captain. Lineups must contain at least one player from both teams.
Min Gyu Kim, Bears ($4,000): The first place to look for your captain in a showdown contest is the starting pitchers, as pitchers who are allowed to go deep into games average a far higher point total than even the best hitters do. In that context, captaining Kim, who's set to start while costing the minimum on DraftKings, is extremely tempting. You can captain Kim alongside the Bears' four most expensive bats and still be able to round out your lineup with one of the top Twins' hitters as well. Of course, I've gotten to this point in the paragraph without mentioning anything about Kim himself, which is where that idea breaks down. He's only pitching in a playoff game because of injuries to Ariel Miranda (shoulder) and Walker Lockett (elbow), as he's struggled to a 6.07 ERA and 1.63 WHIP while spending most of the year in relief. Those numbers come with a poor 13.9 percent strikeout rate, leaving him with minimal fantasy upside. Toss in the fact that the Bears are likely to pull him at the first sign of trouble given that this is an elimination game and it becomes tough to look his way even for budget reasons.
Chan Kyu Im, Twins ($10,200): Im is far from an ace, though he might look like one opposite Kim. In 17 starts this season, he owns a 3.87 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, numbers that improve to 2.93 and 1.15, respectively, if you toss out his disastrous pair of starts to open the season. He's been helped quite a bit by his .257 BABIP, however, as neither his 17.3 percent strikeout rate nor his 10.6 percent walk rate are particularly good. He wasn't allowed to throw five innings in either of his final two regular-season starts, and the Twins could turn to their very deep bullpen quite early in this one if he runs into any trouble, so there's a real chance he doesn't last long enough to secure a win here. He's a defensible captain choice nonetheless, as you'd usually prefer to have a pitcher if possible, but he's certainly not an automatic one given that he's the most expensive player on the slate.
Bears hitters: While Im is clearly the stronger starter, he's not nearly dominant enough that a Twins-based lineup is the only viable option. If you're expecting the Bears' offensive advantage to overcome the Twins' better pitching, I'd look to one of the Bears' top hitters as your captain choice. Jae Hwan Kim ($8,800) would be my preferred option, as you're really hoping to get a home run out of your captain if you go with a pitcher over a hitter. His 27 homers were one fewer than teammate Suk Hwan Yang ($8,600) managed, so Yang is also a defensible choice, but Kim will be the one to start the game with the platoon advantage. Kyoung Min Heo ($6,600) makes for a nice cheaper option to round things out, as he's gone 6-for-14 thus far in the postseason after disappointing down the stretch in the regular season.
Twins hitters: While I definitely don't hate a Bears-based lineup, the Twins' advantage in both the respective starters and the respective bullpens is strong enough that I'd lean in their direction. Eun Seong Chae ($9,800) is probably the top option if you'd prefer to select a hitter as captain, as he led the Twins in slugging (.452) and grabbed two hits in both of the first two games of the series, though he's not all that much cheaper than Im. Veteran Hyun Soo Kim ($7,800) is the value play at captain, as he carries the fifth-highest price tag among the team's regulars despite finishing with the third-highest fantasy points per game, though he recorded a mediocre .731 OPS from the start of July through the end of the year. The Twins lineup also includes a few starters who cost near the minimum, allowing you to cram in more big bats, though Sung Ju Moon ($4,800), Min Sung Kim ($4,600) and Bon Hyeok Gu ($4,000) are all cheap for a reason.
Twins (-145) and Over 8 runs (-115). The Twins are fairly substantial favorites here, so you aren't getting a great deal, but Min Gyu Kim is simply too poor of a pitcher for me to side with the Bears. Since that's my main reason for picking the Twins, I'm expecting to see enough runs to clear the low over/under here, as I think the Bears pull off a victory if Kim has an out-of-nowhere strong start to keep this game low-scoring.