This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Friday's KBO slate was a low-scoring one, with five teams scoring no more than two runs and just one managing more than four. The Bears' eight runs accounted for more than a quarter of the scoring on the day, with Jose Fernandez leading the way with a homer and four RBI as Walker Lockett struck out 10 over six scoreless innings to help his team beat the Dinos by an 8-1 score. Plenty of pitching was available elsewhere, with Min Ho Lee striking out eight Eagles while allowing just one hit over seven scoreless innings to secure a 2-0 win for the Twins while Se Woong Park struck out eight while allowing just one run over seven frames to help the Giants past the Landers, 4-3.
Saturday's slate looks rain-free again and will start slightly earlier at 4:00 a.m. ET. The pitching options aren't particularly strong, but there are at least a few playable choices.
I haven't recommended Jung Hyun Baek ($9,700) often this season despite his excellent 2.54 ERA, a mark which ranks fourth among qualified starters. His underlying numbers don't support a mark anywhere near that level, as his combination of a 16.4 percent strikeout rate and 9.0 percent walk rate isn't anything particularly special. The 34-year-old lefty struggled to a 5.19 ERA last season despite posting stronger strikeout and walk numbers. The full picture doesn't add up to a pitcher who should normally command this sort of price, but I'm interested in him Saturday nonetheless. That's mainly a function of the lack of exciting alternatives, but it's also due to the fact that he gets to face an Eagles lineup which ranks second-last in scoring. He should be fine at minimum here, which could be one of the best results among this very unreliable group.
Speaking of unreliable, that certainly describes Jae Hak Lee ($7,700), who's struggled to a 5.87 ERA this season after posting a 6.55 mark last year. He struggled to an awful 7.59 ERA and 2.02 WHIP in five starts prior to the break, striking out 14 while walking 21. He's been much better thus far in the second half, however, posting a respectable 4.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 24:10 K:BB through four starts. There's reason to believe the improvement is real, as he has some solid seasons on his resume, including a 3.75 ERA as recently as 2019. The primary reason to like him here, however, is his matchup, as he'll get to face off against the last-ranked Tigers lineup.
For an alternative inexpensive option, consider Won Tae Choi ($8,000). He's a fairly low-ceiling option due to his modest 14.8 percent strikeout rate, a number that's unlikely to change much considering he struck out just 14.0 percent of opposing batters last season. He's generally a high-floor option, however, as he's allowed no more than one run in four of his five starts since the break. His other second-half saw him get absolutely destroyed, as he allowed 11 runs while recording just four outs in his final start of August against the Twins, but he bounced right back by matching his season high with seven strikeouts while allowing just a single run in seven innings against the Landers his last time out. That's the version of Choi I'd expect to see here against a righty-heavy Giants lineup that ranks sixth in scoring.
You may have noticed the notable absence of Dan Straily from the group above. He's been unable to repeat last year's excellent numbers throughout this season and has been particularly poor over his last four starts, struggling to an 8.10 ERA, 2.16 WHIP and 15:13 K:BB. You could go as far as to stack several Heroes against him, but even if you don't, Jung Hoo Lee ($5,500) should very much be in consideration. Lee missed nearly a month with a side injury but returned to the lineup Friday and grabbed a double. He's done that 32 times this season, leading the league even after missing an extended period. He'd be an even better hitter if he turned some of those doubles into homers, as he's only cleared the fence three times this season, but he does more than enough to justify his price tag even with that lack of pop. His 13.6 percent walk rate more than doubles his 6.4 percent strikeout rate, leading to a .347/.440/.503 season slash line.
Suk Hwan Yang ($4,900) earns another mention here as the top Bear to target Saturday, as he'll get the platoon advantage against Twins lefty Yun Sik Kim, whose decent 4.32 ERA comes with a 1.54 WHIP and 27:23 K:BB. Yang may have gone hitless Friday, but that followed a 10-game stretch in which he hit .444 with four homers and 16 RBI. Yang's season overall has been quite strong, as he owns an .868 OPS after previously posting a mark no higher than .758. He's exclusively played first base for the Bears this season but is also eligible at third base on DraftKings, allowing you to select him alongside another of the league's top first basemen.
While Jae Hak Lee was mentioned above as an inexpensive pitcher to target given his improved form recently and his matchup against a weak Tigers lineup, he's certainly not intimidating enough that you should avoid the Tigers entirely if you don't select him yourself. Preston Tucker ($3,200) hasn't been good this season, which explains his low price, but the skills that made him a .306/.401/.557 hitter last year can't have evaporated entirely, making him an interesting option in this price range. He's also finally started to show something at the plate in his last eight games, grabbing at least one hit in all eight and hitting .393 overall. His 48:45 BB:K on the season indicates that he's still seeing the ball well, so I'm still interested in him in the right matchup despite his unimpressive .702 OPS.
Hun Gon Kim ($2,800) has spent most of the year batting in the bottom third of the order, but he hit second and sixth in the Lions' last two games. He'll be an interesting budget option if he has a good enough lineup spot Saturday, as he'll get the platoon advantage against rookie lefty Ki Joong Kim, who owns a 4.64 ERA and 1.85 WHIP. A .269 BABIP for the veteran outfielder led to a poor .248/.311/.315 slash line last season, but he's bounced back this year to the tune of a .310/.382/.389 line. He doesn't have much power, hitting just three homers both this year and last year, but his low 11.2 percent strikeout rate means he should continue to hit for a good average.
Stacks to Consider
The Wiz lead the league in scoring, making them a strong stack choice against all but the best opposing pitchers. They're the clear top choice Saturday against the 19-year-old rookie Kim, who's making just his second career KBO appearance. Things can't go much worse than they did in his first career start Sunday against the Heroes, as he allowed four runs while lasting just two innings. The young lefty's status as a regional-round draft pick indicates the Landers believe he has plenty of potential, but his Futures League numbers give little reason to believe he's anywhere close to ready to make the jump to his level, as he's walked 23 batters while striking out just 18 in 29.1 innings. If he can't put hitters away at that level, he's in for a very rough time against the best lineup in the league. I don't expect him to remain in the game long enough for the platoon advantage to matter, so I've included the incredible left-handed hitter Kang in this stack in a trio which features the Wiz's likely second through fourth hitters.
The Dinos' lineup isn't the same as it used to be, as the team is without four regulars for the rest of the season due to suspensions for health-protocol violations, but the team's best hitters are still among the best in the league and are very much worth stacking against pitchers of Yoon's caliber. The 26-year-old rookie owns a 3.31 ERA through 32.2 innings (four starts and six relief appearances), but nothing about the line looks sustainable. He's struck out a miniscule 6.0 percent of opposing batters while walking 11.3 percent. He's made a pair of brief starts already in September and has allowed just two earned runs in seven innings, but he's struck out just a single batter. That's not a sustainable path to success against hitters like Na and Yang, who remain arguably the best duo in the league. Choi doesn't have nearly that kind of reputation, but he's an inexpensive option who benefits greatly from hitting directly in front of two of the league's best bats.