This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
The Wiz took a 2-0 lead in Game 2 of the Korean Series on Monday. Hyeong Jun So, who looked like the Wiz's fifth-best starter throughout the regular season, pitched like an ace, tossing six shutout innings, while Won Joon Choi struggled, giving up six runs across 4.1 frames. Jae Gyun Hwang started the scoring with a first-inning solo homer, and the Wiz added five more runs in the bottom of the fifth to cruise to a 6-1 win. Baek Ho Kang reached base four times for the victors, meaning he's now 5-for-5 with three walks through two games this series.
It's as close to a must-win as it gets for the Bears in Game 3 on Wednesday, though they'll at least get to turn to Ariel Miranda, who won the Choi Dong-won Award as the KBO's best pitcher this season. Exactly what Miranda can give them remains unclear, however, as he's been out all postseason after developing shoulder fatigue in his final regular-season start.
This article will break down the game for DraftKings Showdown contests and will conclude with a pick against the moneyline and the Over/Under. 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.
Odrisamer Despaigne, Wiz ($10,200): Despaigne wasn't much more than an innings-eater in his first KBO season in 2020, leading the league in innings pitched but producing a very unremarkable 4.33 ERA in his 207.2 frames. He was a totally different pitcher in 2021, raising his strikeout rate from 16.4 percent to 20.1 percent while cutting his ERA by nearly a run to 3.39. That doesn't necessarily represent the pitcher he is today, however. Prior to the Olympic break, he produced an excellent 2.45 ERA, but his second-half ERA came in at a mediocre 4.50, with his K/9 dropping from 9.6 to 5.8. If the second-half version of Despaigne is all he is at the moment, he's an unexciting captain choice, but any pitcher who lasts long enough to get the win is still a strong option given the gap in points per game between the best starters and the best pitchers.
Ariel Miranda, Bears ($10,600): If not for Miranda's late-season shoulder woes, this would be the easiest captain choice you could possibly ask for. The veteran lefty stood head and shoulders above the rest of the KBO's best pitchers in the regular season, winning the ERA title with a mark of 2.33 while striking out 31.7 percent of opposing batters. The next closest qualified starter in the latter category was Wilmer Font, who finished nowhere near him at 26.0 percent. Miranda's elite whiff numbers not only make his success sustainable, they also provide tons of fantasy points on their own. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to predict what Miranda can offer Wednesday. He's likely to be on some sort of pitch count, having last pitched back on Oct. 24. He may not be nearly as dominant when he's on the mound, either, as it's tough to rely on a pitcher with known shoulder troubles. The upside is of course massive here, as Miranda could easily strike out 10 batters across five shutout innings and pick up a win even while on a pitch count, but he could just as easily fail to complete the second inning.
Wiz hitters: Against a healthy Miranda, I wouldn't touch any of these bats, but a Wiz-based lineup is absolutely worth considering given the uncertainty surrounding the southpaw. Given Despaigne's forgettable second-half form, captaining a Wiz hitter seems entirely defensible as well. Baek Ho Kang ($9,800) is the team's clear offensive star, and while he'll have a tough lefty-on-lefty matchup against Miranda, it's possible he only faces him once or twice. Kang was merely good down the stretch but has yet to be retired through two games in the Korean Series. Jae Gyun Hwang ($9,200) is an alternative if you'd rather go with a righty, though he was poor down the stretch and has just a single hit (which did clear the fence, to be fair) in this series. Regardless of which lineup you build around, it's probably a good idea to include some of the cheapest Wiz bats for budget reasons, as Han Joon Yoo ($4,600), Yong Ho Cho ($4,400) and Kyung Su Park ($4,000) are all cheaper than anyone who's likely to start for the Bears.
Bears hitters: The Bears' bats carried the team through three playoff rounds despite multiple injuries in the team's rotation, but they've suddenly gone quiet against the Wiz, managing a combined three runs through two games. That said, building a Bears-based lineup is a fine idea given that Despaigne looked unintimidating down the stretch, and captaining one of the team's hitters is the safe move given that we just don't know what Miranda can offer. Jose Fernandez ($10,000) has been outstanding throughout the postseason, recording three or more hits five times in nine games, while Jae Hwan Kim ($9,600) had three straight multi-hit games before going 0-for-3 in Game 2 and offers a better chance at a homer. The Bears still don't have anyone priced near the minimum who's likely to start, though In Tae Kim ($6,000) and Jae Ho Kim ($5,600) have both started one of the two games this series and could help you save a bit of cash if they're in the lineup.
Wiz (+120) and Over 7 runs (-105). This pick is more or less entirely dependent on what Miranda is able to offer. If he's close to 100 percent and is able to throw close to 100 pitches, the Bears are very likely to win this game. If the odds were close to even, I'd be happy to bet on that happening, but I just can't get behind the Bears as a -140 favorite given that uncertainty. Even with a fully healthy Miranda, seven runs is a very low Over/Under, so this is a pretty easy Over pick considering that Miranda may well not be anywhere close to full strength.