This article is part of our DFS KBO series.
Offense soared on the fourth day of KBO action Friday, with teams scoring a season-high 6.3 runs per game. The Wyverns vs. Giants contest, in particular, was a thriller, with the Giants winning 9-8 on a walkoff wild pitch in the 10th inning. If you found the correct stack for either of those teams, or the Wiz or Dinos, who scored 12 and 13 runs, respectively, you were likely in for a good time. Scoring has a good chance to remain high on Saturday's slate as teams trot out their fifth starters. That is, if the slate happens at all; rain is in the forecast Saturday, and in a small country such as South Korea, that could potentially threaten cancellations across the entire league. Only the Eagles at Heroes matchup, which takes place in the covered Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, is entirely safe. I'll be writing up recommendations as if the full slate is happening, but it would be wise to check the weather reports late in the day and pivot heavily into just Eagles and Heroes if the weather remains threatening.
Note: FanDuel is using Team Starting Pitchers rather than individual starting pitchers, presumably to guard against last-minute changes which could occur at hours of the night when most reasonable Americans won't be checking their fantasy lineups.
Pitching is understandably rough on this slate, as each team's fifth starter takes the mound, so it might be wise to stay cheap at the position and hope for the best. Hyun Hee Han ($4,000 DraftKings, $24 FanDuel as "Kiwoom Starting P") looks like a comparably safe choice, especially on DraftKings, where he's tied for the cheapest pitcher. He converted to the bullpen in 2019 and recorded a strong 3.41 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. He's been a starter in the past, though, so this looks like a legitimate start and not an opener for a bullpen game. He'll face an Eagles offense which ranks third-last in runs scored this season.
Yong Chan Lee ($8,800 DraftKings, $27 FanDuel as "Doosan Starting P") is priced at an entirely different level than the rest of the pitchers on the slate, especially on DraftKings, but he may be worth it as a safe option in a sea of uncertainty. He maintained strong performances through the KBO's offensive explosion and has a career 3.73 ERA over 11 seasons. He did see his ERA rise from 3.62 in 2018 to 4.07 last year even as league-wide offense cratered, but even if that latter number is an accurate representation of who he is at this point, that still makes him more trustworthy than most other pitchers on the slate.
How scared would you be to start a pitcher against the Detroit Tigers if the Tigers had led the league in runs through the season's first four games? That's essentially the question regarding Tae Hoon Kim ($6,700 DraftKings, $25 FanDuel as "SK Starting P"), who faces a Giants team that leads the way with 32 runs this season after finishing last in that category in 2019. The lefty has spent the majority of his career in the bullpen and did not make a single start last season, so it's unclear how deep he'll go. That being said, he's a good bet to produce strong innings for however long he's allowed to pitch, as he recorded a 3.88 ERA and 1.26 WHIP out of the pen last season, posting a very high (by KBO standards) 25.7 percent strikeout rate.
Jose Fernandez ($5,600 DraftKings, $17 FanDuel) has earned his high price this season. The contact-hitting designated hitter (who's eligible at both first and second base on DraftKings) has nine hits through four games, making a push to lead the league in that category for the second straight season. It shouldn't be too tough a task for him to keep the hits coming against Wiz starter Min Kim, who posted a 4.96 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP last year.
Eui Ji Yang ($5,100 DraftKings, $12 FanDuel) is the name to know if you want to shell out for a top-tier catcher. That applies only on DraftKings, as FanDuel lumps catchers in with other infielders, but Yang has the bat to compete with that broader field. Last season's MVP runner-up hits cleanup for a Dinos' lineup that's second in the league in runs scored, and he's hitting .312 through four games after reaching .358 and .354 the last two seasons, respectively.
Sung-bum Na ($4,000 DraftKings, $11 FanDuel) has seen his price slowly rise after he entered the season as an unbelievably cheap option on Opening Day, but he's still firmly in bargain territory. The left-handed slugger with MLB ambitions has gone just 2-for-18 to start the season, though that's probably just the product of small sample size and not the effects of the terrible knee injury which cost him most of the 2019 season. He's seeing the ball well, walking four times while striking out just twice. He could get things going against Twins righty Chan Gyu Lim, who recorded an unimpressive 4.97 ERA last season.
Tae Hoon Kim was mentioned as a starter to target based on the fact that the Giants' offense has significantly over-performed compared to last season, but if you want to place a cheap bet on the Giants' hot streak continuing, Chi Hong An ($2,700 DraftKings, $8 FanDuel) is worth consideration. The no. 5 hitter hasn't done much this season, going 3-for-17 at the plate, but he hit .315 or better in each of the last three campaigns. As a right-handed bat, he'll get the platoon advantage against Kim.
STACKS TO CONSIDER
Kim's numbers in eight starts and three relief appearances as an 18-year-old rookie last season look decent enough on the surface, as he finished with a 4.26 ERA. Dig a little deeper, however, and you'll find an incredibly low 8.8-percent strikeout rate and 12.3-percent walk rate. With this game being the only one that's guaranteed to be safe from rain, as it's taking place in a dome, it's hard to pass up the chance to stack against him.
As usual, cleanup hitter Park headlines the Heroes stack. The former major-leaguer hit his second homer of the season Friday as part of a three-hit performance. He has four runs, five RBI and six hits through four games.
Lee, who bats right in front of Park in the lineup, makes for a great pairing. He homered Friday as well, his first of the season. The left-handed bat has tied Park with six hits through four games, adding five runs and five RBI of his own.
Either leadoff hitter Seo or no. 2 hitter Ha Seong Kim ($4,900 DraftKings, $14 FanDuel) makes for a good third member of the stack, with Seo getting the edge due to his much cheaper price and platoon advantage. Seo has struggled to start the season, going just 3-for-18 at the plate, but his career .315 batting average matters more than that small sample does at this point. He's worth including as long as he's leading off for one of the league's hottest offenses.
Jang's awful 7.98 ERA last season came in a tiny sample of just 14.2 innings, but nothing in the 36-year-old southpaw's recent track record suggests it wasn't a fair reflection of his current abilities. The veteran posted several strong seasons early in his career but hasn't recorded an ERA below 5.61 since all the way back in 2014. He's been bitten by the home-run ball over that stretch, allowing 1.6 HR/9 over the last five years.
Facing a shaky lefty should be great news for the Wyverns' top bats, a pair of righties who have been good but not quite dominant this season. Romak, the team's Canadian cleanup hitter, has yet to homer this season but has three doubles. He finished in the top three in home runs in both 2018 and 2019 and has a good shot to open his account against Jang.
Choi, who bats right in front of Romak, does have a homer this season but has gone just 3-for-14 overall. The veteran slugger has averaged 37.5 homers over the last four seasons and is a good bet to go deep against a homer-prone lefty.
Kim rounds out a Wyverns stack as a more modestly-priced option. He's only started once this season, but that came the last time the Wyverns faced a lefty. The veteran outfielder led off in that contest and will be a good value if he does so again Saturday.