This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
The Wiz took a 1-0 lead in the Korean Series with their 4-2 victory over the Bears on Sunday. William Cuevas, the hero of the tiebreaker game that clinched the number one seed for the Wiz and sent them directly to the Korean Series, continued his excellent form, striking out eight in 7.2 innings while allowing just a single run. Been Gwak was good on the other side as well, allowing just a single unearned run on three hits and a walk in his five innings of work, but the Wiz got to reliever Young Ha Lee for three runs, including a go-ahead solo shot from Jung Dae Bae. Baek Ho Kang led both teams with three hits, including an RBI single.
This article will break down Game 2 for DraftKings Showdown contests, a game in which the Bears enter as slight favorites. Showdown 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.
Note: the slate still wasn't up on DraftKings as of publishing, but it presumably will be soon, so I've gone ahead and published anyway. Prices therefore aren't included this time around, but I'm confident that my recommendations will be reasonable, as prices have generally been pretty stable in postseason contests.
Won Joon Choi, Bears: Choi entered the postseason as the Bears' only reliable starter, though he's expected to be joined soon by Ariel Miranda, who's yet to pitch in the playoffs due to shoulder fatigue but is available in some capacity in this series. He threw five shutout innings in the Semi-Playoff against the Twins but wasn't as good in his start last round against the Lions, walking four and allowing five hits across 4.1 innings, though he escaped having allowed just two runs in a game the Bears would eventually win. There's no guarantee he throws enough innings to pick up the win here, but he has a good enough chance to do so that he stands as the Bears' top captain choice, as you'd always prefer a pitcher based on their points-per-dollar numbers as long as you're reasonably confident he'll go deep into the game. Choi's below-average 15.8 percent strikeout rate does make him a little less exciting for fantasy purposes than you'd expect for a pitcher with a 3.30 ERA, but he still easily outscores even the top hitters on the slate and is a strong choice here against the fifth-ranked Wiz lineup.
Hyeong Jun So, Wiz: I have to admit to being pretty surprised that it's So who gets the ball in Game 2. So is by no means a bad pitcher–he won the 2020 Rookie of the Year Award, after all–but his 4.16 ERA ranked last among the Wiz's starting five, and his underlying numbers back up the idea that he was the team's worst starter. His 16.3 percent strikeout rate was last among his rotation-mates, as was his .264 batting average against. He closed the season with a 2.22 ERA over his final five starts, but his 16:13 K:BB over that stretch hardly suggests he's in dominant form. It's possible he's being asked to throw the game immediately before a scheduled off day so that the Wiz can pull him early if needed, either for a member of their very deep bullpen or perhaps for another starter. That makes it tough to fully trust him with your captain slot, especially against the top-ranked Bears lineup, though he's not nearly poor enough that you should rule him out completely.
Bears hitters: I'd lean towards Choi to lead a Bears-based lineup, as pitchers are always the first place you should look for the spot unless they're not at all trustworthy. Wiz starter So doesn't give up many homers (just six in each of his first two seasons, good for a combined 0.4 HR/9), which makes the Bears' bats an even tougher sell as captain choices. Jae Hwan Kim does still have the power to be a passable selection, especially as he'll get the platoon advantage against So, while Jose Fernandez is a fine choice if you're fine with a minimal chance at a homer but a good chance at multiple hits. The Bears again lack true bargains in their lineup, so it's possible you'll have to include two very cheap Wiz bats if you want multiple expensive Bears rather than jamming in as many Bears hitters as possible.
Wiz hitters: Building around the Bears looks more attractive Monday, as they have both the stronger lineup and the stronger pitcher. If I were to go with a Wiz-based squad, I'd strongly consider Baek Ho Kang as my captain instead of So, as I'm concerned about So's potential workload. Kang was merely mortal down the stretch after hitting .400 as late in the year as August 17, but he's still an elite hitter and demonstrated as much with a three-hit day in Game 1. His more expensive teammates may not be worth their price tags give their late-season form, but the Wiz do have multiple very cheap players who look like strong budget plays, including leadoff man Yong Ho Cho, cleanup hitter Han Joon Yoo and the minimum-priced Kyung Su Park.
Bears (-115) and Over 8 runs (-115). The Bears have the better lineup and the better starting pitcher, so the former pick is fairly easy as long as the odds stay close enough to even. That said, it would hardly be a huge upset should the Wiz come away with a win, so if you'd rather side with the number one seed and the larger payout, I certainly don't hate it. The over/under is much tougher. I don't think Won Joon Choi will give up many runs, and playoff games can be lower-scoring with managers able to rely on their top relievers for a larger share of innings than normal, but eight isn't a tough number to hit and I think we'll hit it given the strength of the Bears' lineup against the mediocre Hyeong Jun So.