This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
The dawn of a new week of KBO action sees the Wiz sitting safely atop the standings, as they hold a 4.5-game lead over the rest of the pack while outscoring their opponents by an average of 1.2 runs per game. The Lions and Twins still look quite safe in the second and third spots in the standings, while the Heroes are now in the clear by 2.5 games after going 6-2 in their last eight. Meanwhile, a seven-game game unbeaten streak, which has come exclusively against teams above them in the standings, has seen the Bears charge right back into the playoff hunt. They now sit just half a game behind the Dinos and Landers, who are tied for the final playoff spot.
The upcoming set of games features three matchups between pairs of contenders, with the Heroes facing the Dinos, the Twins facing the Lions and the Wiz facing the Bears. Unfortunately, rain threatens the former two contests as of writing as well as the Giants-Tigers game. None of the games looks like a guaranteed rainout, so all three will feature in this piece, but be sure to check the forecast when you set your lineup.
Ariel Miranda ($10,000) is the best pitcher on any slate he's involved in. He's been so dominant this season that I'm willing to give him top billing here even against the Wiz, the league's highest-scoring team. In the early part of the season, Miranda was a better fantasy option than a real-world one, as he posted a 12.1 K/9 over his first seven KBO starts but also had a 6.6 BB/9. He's now been far better than that for the majority of the campaign, however, cutting his BB/9 to 1.8 over his last 14 starts, a stretch in which he owns a 2.04 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He's allowed a combined one run on six hits while striking out 18 batters across his last two starts, and while he may not be quite that good against a team like the Wiz, he's still likely to be a very worthwhile option.
Among the day's more reliable options, Daniel Mengden ($8,000) carries the cheapest price tag and should be good value for the money against a righty-heavy Giants lineup that ranks seventh in scoring. Mengden hasn't quite dominated this season in the way teams hope their foreign starters do, but he's been effective enough, posting a 4.14 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 13 starts. Both his 21.2 percent strikeout rate and 7.6 percent walk rate are solidly better than average, suggesting he could perform better than his ERA going forward. The veteran righty owns a 13:1 K:BB over his last two starts.
Nick Kingham ($8,600) doesn't cost much more than Mengden and comes with very similar peripherals, including a 22.4 percent strikeout rate and a 7.1 percent walk rate. In Kingham's case, those numbers come with significantly better results, as he owns a 3.02 ERA and 1.08 WHIP through 17 starts. He's been particularly effective over his last four starts, allowing a combined three runs, good for a 1.04 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. The last two of those outings have been among his best of the year, as he struck out 10 batters each time. The fifth-ranked Landers lineup shouldn't pose too many problems for him given the way he's been pitching lately.
If not for the relatively high risk of rain, the Dinos likely would have been one of today's recommended stacks against Heroes righty Dong Hyeok Kim, a 19-year-old righty whose 3.96 ERA comes with a 19:25 K:BB. If the weather holds up, Sung Bum Na ($5,600) will be a strong choice, with or without his teammates. He's shown excellent power recently, clearing the fence six times in his last nine games. That's seen him jump into the league lead with 28 homers on the season. That kind of power is nothing new for the veteran outfielder, who hit a career-high 34 home runs last season.
Rain is also a worry in nearby Daegu, albeit to a lesser extent. Ja Wook Koo ($6,000) makes for an excellent choice if the Lions' game goes forward, as he'll get the platoon advantage against Twins righty Chan Gyu Im and his 4.76 ERA. Koo may have gone hitless in his last two games, but that followed a 27-game stretch in which he went hitless just one, hitting .352/.397/.620 while stealing nine bases. He's particularly dangerous at Daegu Samsung Lions Park, the most hitter-friendly stadium in the league and the venue where he's hit 12 of his 17 homers this season.
Seong Mun Song ($3,800) didn't make his season debut until right before the Olympic break, but he's settled into a role in the heart of the Heroes' order and has impressed at the plate recently. Over his last 16 games, he's hitting .305/.397/.492 with more walks (nine) than strikeouts (eight). He hasn't done much in recent seasons, missing last year due to mandatory military service and struggling to a .597 OPS in a limited role in 2019, though he did have a .883 OPS in 78 games in 2018. He's not too much of a risk at his mid-tier price and will get the platoon advantage against Dinos righty Wes Parsons, who's thrown just a combined 7.1 innings across his last two starts, striking out six while walking five.
Justin Bour ($3,200) continues to feature here far more frequently than his .183/.289/.280 line suggests he deserves, but I remain very willing to overlook a slow start from a former MLB hitter, especially someone with a .794 OPS in 559 career games at the highest level like Bour. While he's been poor for the Twins thus far, that comes in just 25 games, and he's finally begun showing signs of life, posting an .890 OPS over his last six games. He really struggled with the whiffs initially upon his arrival in Korea, striking out 41.2 percent of the time over his first eight games, but he's cut that figure to a completely acceptable 17.5 percent over his last 17 games. The Bour breakout is coming (or arguably has already started), and while he's facing a tough opponent in Won Tae Choi, he'll at least get to do so at the league's most hitter-friendly stadium.
Stacks to Consider
It's difficult to stack the last-ranked Tigers lineup, but it's even harder to avoid stacking a team against Lee. The 22-year-old was the third-overall pick in 2018 and demonstrated at least some promise last season, when his 4.66 ERA in eight starts came with a 1.23 WHIP and a strong combination of a 21.7 percent strikeout rate and 7.0 percent walk rate. He doesn't seem to be anywhere close to that level this season. He's only made five starts and three relief appearances, but it's not hard to see why he's failed to earn more opportunities. His 5.40 ERA is bad but not terrible, but it comes with a 2.12 WHIP. His 10.2 percent strikeout rate and 18.0 percent walk rate are both awful, suggesting his ERA is unlikely to improve any time soon. The stack listed here features three lefties, including leadoff man Won Jun Choi, whose decent .752 OPS is the best among the team's regulars, alongside a pair of veterans who were excellent last season and mediocre at best this year.
Stacking the ninth-ranked Eagles lineup is almost as unusual as stacking the Tigers, but again, the matchup makes such a move tough to pass up. The Landers have scrambled to find starting pitching while they deal with an injury crisis, with 16 different pitchers making at least one start, and while Choi has remained in the rotation since the start of the second half, there's little reason to believe he's the answer. His 5.17 ERA and 1.82 WHIP as a reliever hardly suggested he was starting material, and his move to the rotation has played out as expected, as he owns a 6.43 ERA and 2.05 WHIP through five starts. His 17:16 K:BB in a starter role gives little reason to think things are about to improve. We'll go here with a mid-price trio of players who occupied the first three spots in the order in the Eagles' most recent game.