This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
The Dinos earned a 5-0 victory in Game 5 of the Korean Series on Monday, moving to within one win of securing their first-ever title. The expected pitchers duel between Chang Mo Koo and Chris Flexen did play out that way through four scoreless innings, but the Dinos would go on to score five runs over the next three frames, crossing the plate three times against Flexen and twice more against the Bears' bullpen. Koo finished with seven scoreless innings, striking out five while allowing five hits and two walks. The usual suspects provided the offense for the Dinos, with Sung Bum Na and Eui Ji Yang combining for five of the team's seven hits and three of the team's five RBI. On the opposite side, the Bears' lineup has now gone scoreless for two straight games.
Tuesday's Game 6 could be the final KBO game of the season, and also the final DraftKings KBO Showdown contests of the season. For Showdown games, you'll select six players in any combination of pitchers and hitters. One player will be designated as your "Captain," who will cost 1.5 times as much as the rest of your team but who will also earn 1.5 times as many points as your other players. Lineups must contain at least one player from each team. You are under no obligation to select a pitcher, though you could even theoretically attempt to squeeze in both starters.
I'll be shaking up the format for these previews to account for the unique nature of the Showdown format. I'll present a quick breakdown of both pitchers, followed by a pair of high-priced hitters from the team I'd rather build around as well as a few bargain bats to consider from both teams. The prices listed for each player are their price if used in the UTIL slot.
Raul Alcantara, Bears ($11,800): Alcantara was the best pitcher in the league during the regular season, at least according to the voters for the Choi Dong-won Award, the KBO's Cy Young equivalent. It's hard to say he was an undeserved winner, as he finished the year with a 2.54 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, numbers he backed up with a 20.9 percent strikeout rate and 3.4 percent walk rate. He was even better than that in October, cruising to a 0.79 ERA and 0.68 WHIP in five starts. He's looked almost unrecognizably mediocre in his three postseason starts, however. In 17 innings, he owns a 5.82 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, striking out just eight batters. He was reportedly dealing with a stiff neck early in the playoffs, which could explain his struggles but doesn't offer any reason to think they'll suddenly end.
Drew Rucinski, Dinos ($10,800): A win for Rucinski and the Dinos in this one would complete a historic Korean Series for the American righty. He wasn't dominant in Game 1 but did enough to secure the win, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits in 5.1 innings. He then pitched out of the bullpen on three days' rest in Game 4, retiring the final eight batters without allowing a single hit to record the save. He's now set to throw again just three days later, though he threw just 39 pitches in his relief appearances, which amounts to little more than a lengthy bullpen session, so he should be able to go fairly deep in this one. Rucinski wasn't quite at Alcantara's level during the regular season, but his 3.05 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 20.8 percent strikeout rate were all quite strong.
The Verdict: Lean Dinos. If this were late October, there wouldn't be anyone I'd rather have on the mound than Alcantara. Whether it's still injury-related or not, though, his recent slump is quite discouraging. With the Bears' lineup floundering and failing to score for 19 straight innings, it's hard to justify stacking their side of this one, especially as Rucinski is one of the best starters in the league in his own right.
Sung Bum Na ($9,400): The likely future MLB slugger has featured here quite a bit during this series, but there's no reason to stop selecting him now. He finished the regular season second in runs (115), third in homers (34) and fourth in OPS (.989), and he's shown no sign of slowing down in what could be his final games for the Dinos. Thus far in the Korean Series, he's driven in six runs in five games while going 10-for-20 at the plate. He'll get the platoon advantage against Alcantara and went 3-for-3 against him in Game 1.
Eui Ji Yang ($9,800): You might have to get creative to fit in both Yang and Na alongside Rucinski in this one (potentially deliberately selecting a minimum-priced bench player to make the budget add up), but the pair has been so far above the rest of the pack all series that it's worth trying to make it work. The veteran catcher closed the regular season in excellent form, hitting .357/.425/.760 with 15 homers in his last 35 games, and he's carried that momentum into the Korean Series. Through five games, he's gone 7-for-18 (.389) with a homer.
Suk Min Park, Dinos ($6,200): Hee Dong Kwon ($5,000) returned to the lineup for Game 5, and he's worth mentioning as the likely cheapest Dino in the starting nine, but I'll write up Park here rather than mention Kwon yet again. Park also sat out Game 4 but returned for Game 5, reaching base once on a walk and scoring a run. The veteran third baseman hit a modest 14 homers during the regular season, but his overall .306/.437/.466 slash line was quite strong.
Soo Bin Jung, Bears ($5,600): Jung remains the cheapest Bear likely to start this one, so he'd be worthy of consideration on his price alone. He has more going for him than merely being a budget-friendly option, however. He'll get the platoon advantage against Rucinski and has hit second for four straight games, though there's a chance the Bears shake things up given their anemic performance at the plate recently. That hasn't necessarily been Jung's fault, however, as he's gone a solid 6-for-19 (.316) so far during the series.