This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Rain was again a factor in the KBO on Saturday, wiping out both halves of the Tigers-Giants doubleheader, though that didn't affect daily fantasy players, as neither game was part of DraftKings' slate. The games that were able to be played featured some exciting endings. Wilmer Font struck out 10 Heroes over six innings while allowing just two runs but didn't pick up the win, as the Landers didn't score the go-ahead run until the bottom of the ninth inning, when Ji Hoon Choi scored on an error by third baseman Byeong Woo Jeon. Elsewhere, the Twins sent their game against the Bears to extras with a pair of runs in the final two innings before getting lit up for five in the top of the 10th, with pinch hitter Yong Je Choi hitting the go-ahead single. Elsewhere, nine strikeouts over six innings of one-run ball from Odrisamer Despaigne and three hits from Baek Ho Kang gave the Wiz a 7-2 win over the Eagles, while Tae In Won held the Dinos to just one run in seven innings in the Lions' 4-1 win.
Sunday's slate will again be just four games, with the Tigers and Giants again set to play a doubleheader, neither game of which will be included in DraftKings' contests. The four games that will be included feature a fairly standard spread of strong and weak pitching.
Wes Parsons ($9,800) is the most expensive pitcher on the slate and is pitching at the league's most hitter-friendly park, but he's one of the top options on the day nonetheless. He didn't look like a particularly strong foreign import through his first five starts in Korea, posting a 4.88 ERA, 1.75 WHIP and 25:19 K:BB, but he's since turned things around dramatically. Over his last five outings, each of which counted as a quality start, he's cruised to a 2.70 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 42:9 K:BB. He's reached 10 strikeouts three times over that stretch, including both of his starts thus far in June. Few pitchers are throwing as well as he is at the moment, making him worth paying up for at any stadium against any lineup.
Min Woo Kim ($8,600), the first-overall pick back in 2015, posted career bests in ERA (4.34) and WHIP (1.45) last season, though neither mark was particularly exciting. His 20.9 percent strikeout rate hinted at upside, however, and he appears to be delivering on it this season. He's matched that strikeout rate exactly through 12 starts, but this time it comes with a 3.60 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He threw 18 shutout innings across his final three starts of May, and while his first start in June saw him give up four to the lowly Tigers, he rebounded to allow just two runs in six frames to the Eagles his last time out. He's facing a tough task against the second-ranked Wiz lineup Saturday, but he's shown enough this season to be worth the risk, especially in larger tournaments.
Chan Heon Jeong ($7,500) is the most interesting of the day's cheaper options. The veteran moved into the rotation last season, making his first starts since his rookie campaign back in 2008. He was managed very carefully, often receiving extra rest and making just 19 starts in total, but the plan worked, as he finished with a 3.51 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He's been used in a more normal way this year, though he'll be on extra rest this time around, having last pitched June 2. The Twins will hope that rest is what he needed, as his last three starts saw him post a 10.66 ERA and 1.89 WHIP. He's included here because of his 2020 numbers and the form he showed over his first six outings, when he recorded a 1.85 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He'll face a strong Bears lineup which ranks third in scoring but gets to do so at the league's most pitcher-friendly park.
Shin Soo Choo ($5,400) hit just .222 through his first 42 KBO games, but he can mostly blame a .247 BABIP for that. Batted-ball luck can turn around fast, as he's now hitting .260 just nine games later after a stretch in which he hit .448/.568/.655. Even when the hits weren't falling, he maintained a great eye, walking at a league-leading 20.0 percent clip. He's also shown quite a bit of speed for a 38-year-old and sits tied for third with 13 steals. The veteran will get the platoon advantage Sunday against Jake Brigham, who's given up at least four runs in each of his last three starts while posting an 11:11 K:BB.
Selecting a Dino or two in the league's most hitter-friendly park seems like a good idea Sunday, even against veteran lefty Jung Hyun Baek and his 3.17 ERA, which comes with a mediocre 1.41 WHIP. Eui Ji Yang ($5,500) remains the best option by a mile at catcher, outscoring the rest of the slate Sunday by at least 2.7 DraftKings points per game. He sits atop the OPS leaderboard with a 1.084 mark, the product of a .344/.467/.617 slash line, while he also leads the league in RBI with 48. None of this is new territory for the veteran backstop, who's posted a four-digit OPS in each of the last three seasons.
Sticking with the Dinos, Jin Sung Kang ($3,700) is re-emerging as a solid budget option after a slow start to the year. He'd accomplished next to nothing prior to last year, when he broke out to hit .309/.350/.463 and earn an everyday role. His .260/.348/.382 line this season is much more modest, but he appears to be beating up at the plate, going 7-for-15 with a homer and two doubles over his last four games. It would be nice if he hit higher in the order, but the fact that he'll get to hit at Daegu Samsung Lions Park on Sunday is enough to keep him interesting even if he bats in the bottom third.
Ryon Healy ($3,500) didn't come close to meeting expectations through his first 30 KBO games, hitting .248/.288/.333. That was something of a surprise, as he owned a slightly above-average 101 wRC+ in 405 MLB games, a better resume than most foreigrn hitters can boast. He also didn't have a significant strikeout problem, whiffing 22.2 percent of the time, so his 23.2 percent strikeout rate against a lower quality of pitching was also a surprise. He's looked like a new man over his last 20 games, however, trimming his strikeout rate to 19.0 percent while hitting .310/.380/.493. More power could still be coming, but that's already enough to justify his inexpensive price tag, especially against William Cuevas and his 6.35 ERA.
Stacks to Consider
Gwak owns a 3.75 ERA through five starts this season, but it's difficult to say how. That number comes with a 1.71 WHIP and a higher walk rate (16.7 percent) than strikeout rate (14.9 percent). He's walked more batters than he's struck out in each of his last four outings and has hit an additional four batters over that stretch, but he's somehow managed to avoid giving up more than three runs in any of them. Gwak was a high draft pick back in 2018, but his success this season seems primarily due to his 80.3 percent strand rate and .288 BABIP rather than his talent. That good luck should expire soon, and betting on it to do so Sunday seems like a wise decision.
The Twins' lineup as a whole has fallen short of expectations this season, but the team's best few players are still fine choices. Kim has been one of the KBO's best hitters for well over a decade, posting a career .322/.403/.495 slash line over his 14-year career, a line which could be even better if he hadn't spent a pair of seasons stateside during his prime. He's been as good as ever in his age-33 season, with his .320/.416/.487 line looking remarkably similar to his career numbers. Hong, on the other hand, received just 56 KBO plate appearances prior to last season when he broke out to hit .279/.409/.417. He's only gotten better as an on-base threat this season, raising his walk rate to 17.6 percent and his on-base percentage to .451, the third-best mark among qualified hitters. Chae is the lone righty in this trio but should be right in the middle of whatever the Twins manage Sunday, as he's locked into the cleanup role. He's swung a hot bat over his last 15 games, posting a 1.055 OPS.
Jo made seven starts and 28 relief appearances last season, struggling to a 5.96 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. Both of those numbers look strong compared to what he's managed so far this season, however. In 26.2 innings, he's struggled to a 6.75 ERA and 1.76 WHIP. All but one of his 20 appearances came as a reliever, so his numbers may only get worse if he remains in the rotation. He did actually look fine in his last start, holding the Wiz to one run in four innings, but nothing in his track record (which includes a career 6.68 ERA) suggests he'll be able to repeat that performance.
This stack contains one lefty and two righties, but consider subbing in lefties Yong Kyu Lee ($3,300) or Geon Chang Seo ($3,000) for one of the two Parks should either of them hit near the top of the order if you need to keep things cheap. Lee has only homered once this season, but he's still slugging .505 thanks to his 22 doubles, a number which leads the rest of the league by nine. He's an elite contact hitter, striking out just 6.3 percent of the time, leading to a .349 batting average. Former Minnesota Twin Byung Ho Park struggled so much that he was sent down in late April and still owns a 29.0 percent strikeout rate, but he's been hitting far better lately. He's homered four times and driven in 11 runs over his last nine games while posting a 1.067 OPS. Dong Won Park hit an unremarkable .237/.351/.375 with two homers over his first 32 games, but he's suddenly become one of the best power hitters in the entire league. In his last 20 games, he's hit .358/.478/.906 with nine homers.