This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Rain threatened the majority of Tuesday's KBO slate, but all five games were able to go forward. The Eagles provided the highest run total on the day, beating the Landers by an 11-5 score thanks to a combined eight hits from Eun Won Jung, Jae Hoon Choi and Ju Suk Ha atop the order. The Dinos and Heroes provided plenty of runs as well, with the Dinos winning 10-8 as Min Su Jun, Aaron Altherr and Jin Hyuk No all homered. Good pitching was much harder to come by, but Ariel Miranda proved to be a strong choice as usual, striking out eight while allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits in six innings of work against the Wiz. It wasn't enough to secure a win, however, as the league leaders emerged 4-3 victors.
Wednesday's DraftKings slate will include just four games, as neither half of the Giants-Tigers doubleheader will be included. Rain doesn't appear to be a factor as of writing.
Wednesday's slate features three former MLB pitchers, and Sam Gaviglio ($7,200) is by far the cheapest of the trio despite the fact that he'll face the ninth-ranked Eagles lineup. Judging purely by Gaviglio's 6.19 ERA, his inexpensive price tag appears accurate, but that's not the level we should expect him to perform at going forward. Anyone who's pitched at the highest level of competition in the world (as Gaviglio has done for 296.2 innings) deserves the benefit of the doubt even if they struggle over a small sample to begin their KBO career. Gaviglio did just that, stumbling to a 10.31 ERA across his first four starts, but he's since turned things around dramatically, posting a 2.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over his last three outings, striking out 20 while walking five in 18 innings of work. Another performance in that vein should be the expectation given the matchup here.
Won Joon Choi ($7,700) has a tough assignment Wednesday against the top-ranked Wiz lineup, but he'll at least get to face them at Jamsil Baseball Stadium, the most pitcher-friendly park in the league. Even given the difficult matchup, he's priced quite cheaply for a pitcher of his talents. His 17.0 percent strikeout rate is nothing special, but he's combined it with a very low 5.7 percent walk rate, leading to a 3.15 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Choi struggled in his first three starts after the break, giving up 13 runs (10 earned) in 11.2 innings, but he bounced back in a big way his last time out against the Dinos, striking out seven while allowing just one run on three hits and a walk over seven innings of work.
Casey Kelly ($8,800) doesn't have an easy assignment either, as he'll be pitching in Daegu Samsung Lions Park, the most hitter-friendly venue in the league, but he's been dominant enough of late that he's a strong choice nonetheless. Through the end of the first half, he was more good than great, posting a 3.56 ERA and 1.33 WHIP while striking out a modest 6.1 betters per nine innings. He's been on fire through six starts thus far in the second half, however, with his K/9 shooting up to 9.5 to go along with a 2.04 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. He tied his season high with 10 strikeouts in his previous outing against the Eagles and could approach that number again here even in a tough stadium to pitch in.
Sung Bum Na ($5,300) doesn't have the easiest matchup Wednesday against Heroes righty Chan Heon Jeong, though he'll at least get the platoon advantage and Jeong is at least hittable, as that ERA comes with an 11.4 percent strikeout rate. That makes Jeong one of the less intimidating pitchers among this deep group of arms, though Na is swinging well enough lately that he's virtually matchup-proof. Since the start of September, he's hitting .302/.327/.660 with six homers, 13 runs and 13 RBI in 13 games. He now leads the league in homers (28), sits third in runs (78) and is tied for fourth in RBI (79).
While Won Joon Choi was mentioned as one of Wednesday's top pitching options, you're going to have to select some hitters facing quality pitchers on this slate, so betting on him returning to the poor form he showed at the start of the second half isn't the worst idea. While I have some hesitation about shelling out for Baek Ho Kang, the most expensive active hitter on the slate, given the matchup, Jared Hoying ($4,400) provides a mid-priced way to grab a piece of the league's best lineup. Hoying had a pair of successful seasons in Korea before posting a .577 OPS in 34 games last season and getting released by the Eagles, but he returned to the league with a new team over the summer. He struggled to a .592 OPS in August, but he owns a far better .792 OPS in September, adding three homers and 14 RBI in 11 games. His overall line remains poor but should rise along with his .233 BABIP.
Sticking with veteran foreign bats, Jamie Romak ($4,000) has drifted into a price range that's far too affordable for a man of his talents. He slumped to a .163/.281/.265 slash line over his first 17 games of the second half, dropping his overall OPS to a merely good .779, but I'm interested again after he grabbed a hit in each of his last two games. His .230/.349/.430 season slash line implies that his price tag is deserved, but that's come with a .239 BABIP, which suggests his line should improve going forward. The Canadian owns a career .910 OPS through five KBO campaigns and wasn't showing signs of aging last year, producing an even better .951 mark, so he clearly has the ability to produce at a far greater level than what he's shown lately.
Going back to the Dinos, Jeong Won Choi ($3,000) remains a go-to budget option whenever he occupies a key lineup spot for the team. He got the day off Tuesday, but that followed a 17-game run in which he hit first or second. Anyone who hits in that spot while carrying this kind of price tag is worth a look, as it means he gets to hit directly in front of the likes of Sung Bum Na and Eui Ji Yang. If Choi sits again Monday, consider this a recommendation for whoever leads off for the Dinos, but Choi himself has hit well enough that he ought to keep the job. Since stepping into the role in mid-August, he's hit .318/.376/.365 over 23 games while stealing five bases.
Stacks to Consider
Shin is far from terrible, but he's clearly one of the weakest options among this deep group of starting pitchers. His 16.9 percent strikeout rate on the season is sub-par, but when combined with a low 7.6 percent walk rate it should theoretically be enough for him to keep runs off the board fairly well. That hasn't happened, however, as he's struggled to a 5.14 ERA. He pitched fairly well early in the season but has been quite poor over his last seven outings, struggling to a 7.64 ERA and 1.73 WHIP while striking out just 22 batters in 35.1 innings of work. The stack listed here features a trio of batters who should occupy the first three spots in the Heroes' order. It includes one of the best young hitters in the league in Jung Hoo Lee alongside a former major leaguer in Craig and an inexpensive leadoff man in Yong Kyu Lee.
As with Shin above, Choi wouldn't necessarily be one of the best pitchers to stack against on many slates, but he's near the bottom of this strong group of pitchers. He's also certainly not helped by the fact that he's pitching in the best hitters' park in the league. The lefty cruised to a 3.58 ERA and 1.25 WHIP last season even while calling Daegu Samsung Lions Park home, but he's been unable to approach that level of success this season. His strikeout rate has plummeted from 19.9 percent to 13.1 percent as his ERA and WHIP have jumped to 5.20 and 1.59, respectively. He's pitched better lately, allowing just two earned runs over his last two starts, but that run comes with an unconvincing 5:3 K:BB, which hardly suggests he's back in peak form. We'll go here with a trio who should hit third through fifth in the Twins' order, featuring the team's two top right-handed bats alongside Kim, who's quite inexpensive for a player who has 1,902 career KBO hits.