This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Rain has unfortunately been a major part of the story in the KBO recently, with eight games getting canceled in the past three days. We were supposed to see a four-game make-up slate Monday, but that got reduced to two due to yet more rain. Casey Kelly provided the top pitching performance of the day, holding the Lions scoreless through seven innings while allowing just two hits, but the Lions would go on to score three runs in the top of the ninth to win 3-1. Elsewhere, Won Joon Choi allowed just one run in five innings and Jae Hwan Kim and Seung Ho Kang both homered as the Bears beat the Landers, 8-3.
The rain appears to be gone heading into Tuesday's action, so we should see our first five-game slate since Friday.
Andrew Suarez ($10,000) may be facing the top-ranked Dinos lineup, but his high price tag is justified against any opponent based on how he's pitched thus far. His 1.96 ERA through his first seven starts in Korea could hardly be much better and is backed by a league-leading 30.5 percent strikeout rate. It's perhaps no surprise that he's taken to the KBO so well, as his respectable 4.66 ERA in 202.2 MLB innings is a far better resume than most foreign starters in the league can boast of. Even if the Dinos managed to cross the plate a few times against the southpaw, his strikeout prowess gives him a high floor, as he's struck out at least five batters in every start and has struck out at least eight four times.
Young Pyo Ko ($8,000) may have seen his quality start streak snapped at six in a poor outing against the Lions his last time out, but he still looks like a strong mid-priced option, even against a good Bears lineup. Ko missed the last two years due to mandatory military service but has returned to produce a 4.40 ERA, a number which could be considerably better given his 1.19 WHIP and his excellent combination of an 18.3 percent strikeout rate and 3.3 percent walk rate. Strong numbers in the latter two categories is nothing new for the righty, who produced a strikeout rate above 20.0 percent and a walk rate no higher than 4.0 percent in his two seasons as a starter prior to his absence.
If you're looking to stay cheap at the position, Min Hyeok Shin ($7,000) looks like the best option. While pitching against Suarez may make a win tough to come by, the Twins' lineup has been surprisingly easy to face this season, ranking just eighth in scoring. Shin didn't do much as a rookie last season, finishing with a 5.79 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 42 innings, but he's been excellent this year. In four starts and five relief appearances, he owns a 2.83 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He's actually been even better as a starter, allowing a grand total of four runs across his four starts, producing a 1.59 ERA that he's backed up with a 23.2 percent strikeout rate.
Jeong Choi ($6,000) has earned quite a few mentions in this column lately, but that's going to keep happening given his recent hot streak. While he did go hitless against the Bears on Monday, that followed a 10-game stretch in which he hit .432/.543/.838 with four homers, 11 runs and 11 RBI. The 34-year-old slugger now sits tied for fourth with nine homers. He could add another Tuesday against Tigers rookie Eui Lee Lee, who got off to a strong start but has since gone on to allow nine runs in 7.2 innings across his last two starts.
Baek Ho Kang ($5,100) is another recurring character in this column, but it's not hard to see why when looking at his statline. With 10 hits in his last five games, he's brought his batting average back up to .401. He was showing much more contact than power early in the year (albeit with more than enough contact to keep him as one of the league's best hitters), but he's started to clear the fence more often recently, homering three times in his last seven games and driving in 12 runs over that stretch. He'll get the platoon advantage against Bears right Walker Lockett, whose excellent 2.34 ERA comes with a low 14.7 percent strikeout rate, making him less intimidating than he might seem.
The Heroes could have been one of today's top stack recommendations, as they'll play in the league's most hitter-friendly park against Lions lefty Jung Hyun Baek, whose 4.00 ERA comes with an unimpressive 1.50 WHIP, but the team skews heavily left-handed. Byung Ho Park ($3,500) is the team's top righty and makes for an interesting budget first baseman. Selecting the former Minnesota Twin requires something of a leap of faith, as he's not having a good year this season, hitting just .200 while striking out 31.5 percent of the time. He still has power, however, homering 21 times in 93 games last year, and all it takes is one homer in a homer-friendly park for him to be an excellent inclusion.
Sticking with the Heroes, Dong Won Park ($2,800) makes for a strong choice if you want to stay cheap at catcher. Like Byung Ho Park, he'll get the platoon advantage against Baek in the league's best hitter's park. He's been an above-average hitter in each of the last two seasons and should be one again this season, as he's hitting .253/.361/.458. His numbers have jumped up over his last 11 games, a stretch in which he's homered three times and produced a 1.213 OPS.
Stacks to Consider
Bae's 4.50 ERA and 1.31 WHIP are far from terrible, but even those modest numbers seemingly overstate his ability. The rookie is far from a top prospect, as he was selected with the 42nd-overall pick in the most recent draft. While he hasn't given up a ton of runs yet, his underlying numbers suggest he's about to, as he's struck out just 5.6 percent of opposing batters while walking 12.7 percent. Just two of his five appearances to date have come as a starter, and he's yet to last more than 4.1 innings in either of them.
Not many of the Giants' best bats will get the platoon advantage against Bae (who's erroneously listed as a lefty on DraftKings), but he's still worth stacking against on an overall strong pitching slate. The Giants feature a number of relatively interchangeable hitters, so there are several good ways to make this stack. The veteran Lee has swung a particularly hot bat over his last 14 games, posting a 1.014 OPS with three homers. Jung has moved up to the leadoff role on a regular basis recently, a deserved spot given his .341/.438/.561 line over his last 10 games. Son is having a down year, posting a .624 OPS, but he's shown signs of life lately with four multi-hit games in his last six. He'll get the platoon advantage against Bae and finished second in the league with a .352 batting average last season, demonstrating his upside if his current hot streak continues.
An showed off his considerable potential as a reliever last season, finishing the year with a 3.00 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. The 21-year-old hasn't had nearly that same success upon his transition back to the rotation this year, however. He hasn't been bad, but his 4.62 ERA stands as one of the worst marks among this strong set of pitchers. That number comes with a 1.54 WHIP, a figure that's unsurprisingly high given his 12.1 percent walk rate. He'd be an interesting sleeper on some slates, but the Lions typically light up the scoreboard at their hitter-friendly home stadium and should do so again Tuesday.
This stack features two very expensive bats and one affordable option. Pirela has emerged as one of the top foreign hitters in the league this season and is all over the leaderboard, ranking second with 11 homers and third with a 1.059 OPS. Nine of those home runs have come at home. Koo went very cold over a stretch of six road games last week, grabbing just one hit, but I'm still interested in him back at home. He's hitting a strong .307/.394/.526 on the season and has added nine steals. Oh came over in free agency after helping the Bears to six straight Korean Series. He missed most of April with an abdominal injury and struggled in his first few games back but has since gone on to post a .960 OPS over his last 10 games.