This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
The KBO wraps up its first full week with an exciting five-game Sunday slate that sees its first pitch at 1:00am ET, following a high-scoring Saturday ledger that featured two teams with double-digit run totals. There are some more questionable arms on Sunday's schedule, including some ex-MLBers that proved to have difficulty with both handedness of hitter earlier in their careers.
As customary, I'll highlight what I consider to be two of the safer pitching options at different price points, followed by some one-off hitters across the salary scale that could also prove profitable for cash games and/or tournaments. I'll then break down the two stacks that I trust the most to potentially string some above-average offensive numbers together and pay off for you in tournaments.
Odrisamer Despaigne ($9,800) was a tough-luck loser in his first start of the season, as he allowed just two earned runs on three hits over seven innings to the Twins while recording five strikeouts and compiling 19.4 DK points. His second turn could well result in even more statistical success, as the veteran faces a Samsung squad averaging just four runs and 8.5 hits per game, modest figures by KBO standards. The Lions also have just four homers through seven games, and Despaigne now has a full season of experience facing KBO bats under his belt after going 15-8 with a 4.33 ERA in 2020.
Andrew Suarez ($7,200) enjoyed an excellent KBO debut at the expense of the Wiz, firing six scoreless innings during which he racked up nine strikeouts. The former MLB southpaw posted a serviceable 4.66 ERA during parts of three seasons stateside, so he could well be set to dominate overseas. He draws an appealing matchup Saturday versus a Landers squad that's averaging a KBO-low 3.7 runs and 7.0 hits per game. SSG also has an anemic .227 team batting average through six contests, furthering Suarez's case at a salary that's bound to go up in coming games.
Sung Bum Na ($6,500) didn't come through for us Saturday in a good matchup, but we'll go right back to the well with the prodigious veteran Sunday in another solid scenario. Na is still averaging 15 DK points per contest despite a 1-for-4 effort Saturday, and he'll face former Athletics starter Daniel Mengden, who allowed a .333 wOBA, 5.09 xFIP and 1.3 HR/9 to lefty bats during his MLB career, including a .378 wOBA during his final season in 2020. Na is averaging 12.5 DK points on the road thus far, and I like his chances of bouncing back to a potential double-digit DK-point tally Sunday.
Jae Gyun Hwang ($5,300) is off to an unusually slow start this season, slashing .217/.333/.348 across his first six games. However, as was emphasized with respect to some of the hitters recommended in yesterday's article that were underperforming early, it's important to remember how extensive Hwang's track record of KBO success extends. The veteran came into this season with five straight campaigns of more than 20 homers, driving in 88 runs or more in four of those seasons. He's also sporting a 13-season streak of double-digit steals – an excellent supplement to his overall fantasy production – and he's already hitting .667 with runners in scoring position across his first 27 plate appearances this season. Hwang also draws an appealing matchup Sunday against left-hander Jung Hyun Baek, who allowed three earned runs over four innings in his first start of the season and pitched to a 5.19 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 2020 while allowing 30 extra-base hits over 59 innings.
Byung Ho Park ($4,400) carries a very reasonable salary for a player with his massive power upside, one that's manifested itself in a pair of 50-homer seasons and another with more than 40 during his KBO career. Park is averaging 10.7 DK points per game in the early going, posting double-digit fantasy-point totals in five of seven games. He'll face a potentially vulnerable right-hander in Enderson Franco, who surrendered 1.7 and 1.9 HR/9s in his last two minor-league stops stateside, and who gave up three earned runs over five innings in his KBO debut against the Dinos on Tuesday.
Hoon Jung ($4,200) is sporting an impressive 1.054 OPS and averaging 12.2 DK points per contest over his first six games, making him quite the value play at his current salary. The veteran is already hitting .571 with runners in scoring position after posting a .357 figure in that category over a full-season sample in 2020, a year in which he produced a very well-rounded line that included 19 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 58 RBI, 56 walks and 11 steals. Opposing pitcher Won Tae Choi was impressive in his first turn of the season while producing a quality start over six innings, but the right-hander pitched to a 5.07 ERA and surrendered 16 homers a season ago.
Si Hwan Roh ($3,100) continues to carry a minuscule salary, although it did go up from the sub-$3K level overnight despite Roh going 0-for-4 Saturday. The 20-year-old is one of the few bright spots for a struggling Hanwha squad, slashing .381/.409/.857 with four doubles, a pair of homers and nine RBI across his first five games. While opposing arm Won Joon Choi is a solid pitcher, Roh doesn't have to do much to offer a justifiable return on investment.
Stacks to Consider
As mentioned in Park's entry, Franco is a KBO rookie who had some trouble keeping the ball in the park against minor-league hitters while with the Giants organization in MLB, and he therefore sets up as a good target for some solid Kiwoom bats that he's unfamiliar with.
Kim kicks off our stack with a four-game hitting streak in tow, and he's a well-rounded hitter with excellent speed that's stolen at least 20 bases in three straight seasons. The five-year pro also has at least six triples in each campaign during that span and has raised his batting average over that of the prior year in each of the last three seasons as well.
Lee is an excellent hitter who's off to a bit of a quiet start by his lofty standards, but he's still slashing .286/.394/.429 and is coming off a 2020 campaign when he set new career highs in doubles (49), home runs (15) and RBI (101) while also recording double-digit steals (12) for the fourth straight season.
Park was already highlighted earlier, while Seo is slashing .308/.438/.462 with two doubles and a pair of RBI in his first six games. Seo is another member of the Heroes who's excellent on the basepaths, racking up 24 stolen bases in 2020, his seventh campaign with double-digit swipes. While he doesn't offer much power, Seo can rack up doubles and triples with regularity thanks to his speed.
Carpenter is a southpaw that made 15 MLB appearances (14 starts) for the Tigers during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, a stretch during which he allowed a .422 wOBA to lefty bats and a .419 wOBA to right-handed hitters while posting a 2.9 HR/9 overall. He was impressive in his KBO debut against a weak-hitting Landers squad (25 DK points over 5.1 innings), but the Bears are much stiffer competition despite not yet quite hitting their stride yet.
Heo already boasts a .400/.400/.440 line over his first six games, and although he only has one extra-base hit thus far, he racked up 33 last season, including seven homers. Heo also is an excellent contact hitter who's struck out only 64 times in 1,027 total plate appearances over the last two seasons, and he also entered 2021 with a three-season streak of double-digit steals.
Fernandez was mentioned yesterday as a slugger likely ready to break out of his early-season funk, and he responded with 29 DK points on the strength of a three-double, three-RBI effort. He gets a same-handed matchup Sunday, but as already pointed out, Carpenter was victimized by lefty bats during his time in MLB, while Fernandez hit .263 against lefties during his one MLB campaign.
Park is averaging 10.8 DK points over his first six games, posting 18 DK points Saturday for his third double-digit fantasy-point tally of the year. That put his season slash at .375//.400/.708 and drove his average with runners in scoring position to .333.
Finally, Kim also came through handsomely Saturday after starting the season in sluggish fashion, breaking out for 26 DK points with the help of a homer and four total RBI, along with two walks and two runs. The veteran is another lefty bat facing Carpenter, but we've already established that's not a prohibitive matchup by any means. Having broken out of his slump Saturday, Kim has the talent to carry that momentum into Sunday.