This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Thursday's five-game KBO slate has several former MLB arms taking the hill, and while I'll primarily be staying away from targeting a couple of them, there's one that certainly shapes up as vulnerable. There are also some strong options in terms of one-off bats due to some other back-end rotation starters taking the mound.
As customary, I'll highlight what I consider to be two of the safer pitching options at different price points, followed by some one-off hitters across the salary scale that could also prove profitable for cash games and/or tournaments. I'll then deviate a bit from the norm and stick to just one stack that I trust the most to potentially string some above-average offensive numbers together and pay off for you in tournaments.
Tae In Won ($10,200) has a tough matchup on paper against a Wiz team that's averaging 6.1 runs and 10.1 hits per game while sporting a KBO-high team batting average of .292. However, Won has been masterful all season, posting a 1.18 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, .204 BAA and 39:8 K:BB over 38 innings. He's averaged 24.2 DK points over three road starts as well, and he's only been under 20.8 DK points once all season. Won already has tallies of 33.7 and 36.8 DK points in two starts this season, flashing the type of ceiling that justifies the five-figure salary.
Aaron Brooks ($8,500) only sports a 1-3 mark, but he's generated a solid 3.37 ERA that would be much lower if not for a couple of difficult turns against the potent offenses of the Dinos and Bears. He'll have a chance to bounce back nicely from the latter outing Thursday, however, as the opposing Twins come in averaging a modest 4.3 runs and 8.3 hits per game while also slugging a KBO-low 17 home runs through 32 games. LG is also hitting a pedestrian .246 as a team, and outside of his two hiccups, Brooks has scored 15.3 to 25.3 DK points in four other trips to the mound.
ALSO CONSIDER: Se Woong Park ($7,600)
Si Hwan Roh ($5,700) is averaging 10 DK points per game and has been at his best at home by far, posting a .319 average, 1.046 OPS and 11.3 DK points per contest across 13 games. The third-year slugger has belted six home runs as well and is hitting an outstanding .487 with runners in scoring position. Thursday, he faces the highly vulnerable Young Kyu Kim, who's pitched to a 9.53 ERA and 2.29 WHIP across his first five starts while already giving up five homers in just 17 innings. Kim is also an opposite-handed matchup for Roh, making him all the more appealing.
Won Jun Choi ($4,800) has yet to leave the yard this season, but he's sporting a .316 average and .371 on-base percentage while also having laced one double and four triples and swiping seven bases. Choi comes in with back-to-back 19-DK-point totals as well and could well take advantage of the matchup against Sang Yung Lee, who has a 4.77 ERA and 1.41 WHIP through two trips to the mound. The 24-year-old is also hitting .303 with runners in scoring position and has already battered LG pitching for a .435 average over five games.
Kyoung Min Heo ($4,300) has already blasted Kiwoom pitching for a .400 average (6-for-15) over four games and has flashed a glimpse of his ceiling recently with tallies of 16, 11 and 26 DK points in his last 10 games alone. He sports a .352/.406/.443 line and already has seven extra-base hits (five doubles, two home runs) and is hitting .308 with runners in scoring position. Heo is also an excellent contact hitter (8.3 percent strikeout rate) and will face Seung Ho Lee, who'll make his first start of the season and pitched to a 4.90 ERA and 1.48 WHIP over his first three seasons and surrendered 15 home runs in 2020.
ALSO CONSIDER: Aaron Altherr ($5,700)
Hoon Jung ($3,900) gets a crack at KBO rookie Wilmer Font, who allowed a .348 wOBA, 4.91 xFIP and 15.4 percent HR/FB to right-handed hitters during his long MLB career. Jung owns a solid .294/.403/.477 line and is averaging 9.6 DK points per contest, and he owns a .945 OPS over 13 home games. He's also been ramping up at the plate of late, posting double-digit DK-point tallies in five of his last seven games.
Chi Hong An ($3,700) is another Lotte batt that I'm recommending against Font, as the matchup, An's salary and his stellar production all make him highly appealing. An is slashing .315/.395.457 across 32 games and has flashed excellent pop with seven doubles, one triple and three home runs. An is also hitting .394 with runners in scoring position, which has led to his impressive tally of 24 RBI.
Stacks to Consider
As mentioned in Jung's and An's entries, Font had considerable trouble with right-handed hitters through his MLB career, but he was also battered by left-handed hitters to the tune of an .879 OPS and .366 wOBA and has also pitched to a 5.00 ERA and 1.28 WHIP thus far in his KBO campaign.
After kicking off the stack with Jung, Jeon is an excellent way to follow him in your lineup, considering his .311 average and .825 OPS, along with the 21 RBI he's already compiled thanks to his .424 average in runners in scoring position.
Lee is the highest-salaried of the four main suggestions for the stack, but he makes for excellent value. The veteran is slashing .320/.388/.512 and averaging 9.2 DK points per contest, and he boasts a 1.043 OPS in 15 home games. He's also hitting .300 over three games against Landers pitching.
An is another highly cost-effective inclusion that was discussed earlier, while Han is a great alternative that won't set you back a great deal either.
Kim's unsightly numbers thus far this season were already detailed in Roh's entry, and although the Eagles have very poor offensive team metrics, that could also make them very low-rostered (by KBO standards) in this favorable matchup.
Ha carries a .291/.395/.445 slash over his first 30 games and is hitting .308 with runners in scoring position. He's also offering well-balanced fantasy production with six doubles, one triple, three home runs, 23 RBI and four steals. Ha is also hitting .357 over five games against Dinos pitching, and he should be facing several of the relievers he's enjoyed success against considering Kim isn't likely to go very long into the game.
Roh's attributes were already discussed earlier, while Healy has also hit Dinos pitching well (.333 average, 1.051 OPS) over three games. Healy is also starting to catch up to KBO pitching after a somewhat slow start, as he's hitting .276 over his last seven contests.
Finally, Jang makes for a very inexpensive way to round out your stack, as he owns a .276 average and .340 on-base percentage over his first 27 games. He's yet to leave the yard but does have six doubles, and he's continued to demonstrate a knack for clutch hitting by clocking a .318 average with runners in scoring position.