This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Friday's KBO slate featured a fair number of potentially shaky starters, but the day wound up being fairly low-scoring, with just two teams crossing the plate more than five times. The Bears led the way with 11 runs in their blowout win over the Wiz, with Kyoung Min Heo and Kun Woo Park both grabbing three hits while Ariel Miranda struck out eight batters in seven innings of work. The Giants managed seven runs against the Lions despite grabbing just five hits, with Ah Seop Son homering and driving in four runs while Enderson Franco held the visitors to one run in seven innings. Elsewhere, six shutout, one-hit innings from Woo Chan Cha and a pair of homers from Hyung Jong Lee helped the Twins past the Tigers, 5-0, while Jin Ho Jung's walkoff double helped the Eagles beat the Landers 4-3 in 10 innings. The final game of the day began as a pitchers' duel, with Myung Gi Song throwing six shutout innings and Woo Jin An allowing just one run in six frames, but the Dinos eventually scored four more runs off Heroes' relievers to secure a 5-0 victory.
Saturday's slate will feature just four games, with neither half of the Bears-Wiz doubleheader included. It doesn't look like we'll have any rain, but we may have a fair number of runs, as the day features plenty of unreliable arms.
It's not often that an Eagle takes the top billing in this section, but Min Woo Kim ($8,800) seemingly deserves the honor here. Among starters who don't have to face the league-leading Dinos lineup like Jake Brigham does, Kim is the most expensive and the highest-scoring. Kim was a decent budget option at times last season, as his mediocre but acceptable 4.34 ERA came with a 20.9 percent strikeout rate. He's trimmed his ERA to 4.04 this season while cutting his WHIP from 1.45 to 1.29 and maintaining a very similar strikeout rate (20.4 percent). He's coming off a poor outing against the Wiz his last time out but should bounce back here against a Landers lineup that ranks a modest fifth in scoring.
Most starters are worth consideration against the struggling Tigers, who are the only team scoring less than four runs per game this season. That makes Chan Heon Jeong ($7,900), who's interesting enough in his own right, arguably the top option on the slate. Jung has spent the bulk of his career as a reliever but moved into the rotation last season, producing a 3.51 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 19 starts while frequently receiving extra rest in an attempt to manage his workload. He's pitched on normal rest most of the time this season but has continued to produce similar numbers, posting a 3.83 ERA and 1.26 WHIP through 10 starts. Jeong's 12.6 percent strikeout rate caps his upside, but the matchup against the Tigers gives him a high floor.
Min Hyeok Shin ($7,500) didn't do all that much in his debut last season, struggling to a 5.79 ERA and 1.67 WHIP through seven starts and 10 relief appearances. Those numbers didn't seem like much of a surprise given his low 13.3 percent strikeout rate and the fact that he was merely a fifth-round pick back in 2018. The 22-year-old is reaching another level this season, however. He's again been used in a swingman role, starting nine games and pitching out of the bullpen in five more, but he's had far more success, recording a 3.59 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. That improvement comes with a big jump in his strikeout rate, which sits at 18.5 percent. He's not a frontline starter, but his mid-tier price should be justified against a Heroes lineup which ranks seventh in scoring.
Hoon Jung ($5,300) may have gone hitless Friday, but one poor game doesn't mean he's suddenly gone cold. Heading into Friday's game, he'd grabbed at least one hit in 13 straight games, hitting .466/.475/.552 with 19 RBI over that stretch. That hot streak has dragged his season OPS up to .876, his best mark since he posted a .960 OPS in 41 plate appearances back in 2011. He'll bat in the heart of the order Saturday and will get the platoon advantage against Lions lefty Jung Hyun Baek, whose 2.88 ERA is entirely unsupported by his 42:32 K:BB.
The Eagles easily could have been one of the day's top stacks against Landers righty Yeong U Jo and his 7.63 ERA, but they narrowly missed out due to a shortage of reliable bats. Eun Won Jung ($4,600) remains my favorite Eagle to grab even as his price has started to creep up, as he still slots in nicely as a mid-priced option at either second or third base. The most notable thing about Jung is his elite 19.6 percent walk rate, a number which leads all qualified hitters and has helped him to a .437 on-base percentage. That walk rate must come almost entirely from his excellent eye, as pitchers ought to have little reason to fear a player with just three homers on the season. Jung is still just 21 years old, however, and two of those three homers have come in his last six games, so it's possible more power will be on the way soon.
On a short slate like this, you might have to select some hitters who face fairly decent pitchers. With that in mind, I like Yoo Seom Han ($3,500) for lineups that don't include Min Woo Kim, who he'll be facing Saturday, as Kim isn't too intimidating even if he's one of the best options on the slate. Han showed big power in an injury-shortened campaign last season, homering 15 times in 62 games. He'd homered just five times in his first 47 games this season, but he seems to have found his power stroke again, adding four more homers in his last eight contests. That's a lot of upside for a player in his price range, making him a strong choice even given his mediocre .258 batting average.
Hui Dong Kwon ($2,700) returned from a hamstring injury Friday and immediately slotted into the second spot in the Dinos order. The fact that he's so inexpensive and occupies a key spot in the league's best lineup is the main reason to be interested in him, though at a price this cheap he's still plenty interesting even without those external factors. He owns a strong .874 OPS on the season despite a .222 BABIP holding him to a .240 average, as he's walked at an 18.4 percent clip and owns a .250 ISO after hitting his seventh homer in 41 games Friday. He doesn't have the easiest matchup against Jake Brigham, though Brigham owns an unremarkable 4.63 ERA over his last four starts. A lineup as good as the Dinos' should be able to get to Brigham when he's not at his best, and their number two hitter should be right in the middle of most of their rallies.
Stacks to Consider
The Twins sit atop the standings despite a lineup which ranks eighth in scoring. That lineup should play well above that ranking against Min Woo Lee, however. As his 9.00 ERA and 1.87 WHIP suggest, Lee probably wouldn't be starting games for the Tigers if not for injuries to both Aaron Brooks (arm) and Daniel Mengden (elbow). He may not deserve an ERA quite that high, but it's not as if he's been a strong option at other points in his career, as he owns a lifetime 6.51 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 240.2 KBO innings. He's coming off his best start of the season, allowing just two runs in five innings against the Giants his last time out, though even that start came with a 5:4 K:BB, so it's tough to say he's turned things around.
We'll lead with a pair of left-handed bats here against the right-handed Lee. Kim is included here despite the fact that he has just one hit in his last four games, as he's typically the team's best bat when he's on his game. His eight homers (putting him on pace for 19) and .308 average are both down slightly from his .331 average and 22 homers last season but are easily enough to justify his second-tier price tag given the matchup. Hong emerged from obscurity to produce a .411 on-base percentage last season and has only gotten better this year. He's gotten on base at a .466 clip this season thanks to a .313 batting average and an 18.3 percent walk rate. Hyung Jong Lee won't get the platoon advantage Saturday but is a strong budget option, especially as he typically bats second in the order, sandwiched between Hong and Kim. He hasn't been at his best this season, with a .241 BABIP keeping his batting average at just .221, but he's coming off a year in which he homered 17 times in just 81 games, so his two-homer day Friday is a very encouraging sign.
Na broke into the league as a catcher, but it's no surprise that the Giants elected to move him to the mound, as he hit just .123/.193/.183 in 416 plate appearances over his first three years in the league. He spent last year learning how to pitch in the Futures League and got to make his pitching debut at the KBO level in early May this season. While he's had more success pitching than he ever had catching, he doesn't appear to be particularly good in his new role, either. Through five starts and four relief appearances, he's struggled to a 5.27 ERA and 1.65 WHIP. A 14:12 K:BB hardly suggests he deserves much better. His last two outings have been quite poor, as he allowed five runs in three innings in both. He could be in line for a similar performance here.
The stack listed here features a trio of lefties against the struggling righty, skipping the excellent but expensive Jose Pirela ($6,000) for budget reasons, though Pirela is certainly worth a look for those with money to spare. Koo is certainly capable of leading a stack on his own now that he's back from an extended slump. His 1.004 OPS over his first 30 games was followed by a .423 OPS over his next 20, but he's now riding a seven-game hitting streak, homering three times over that stretch. Oh continues to enjoy his time as a Lion after a long and successful career as a Bear. His .921 OPS is his best mark since 2017, while his nine homers in 40 games are the equivalent of a would-be career-high 32 over a full season. Leadoff man Park doesn't have the same pop in his bat but sets the table well for the likes of Pirela, Koo and Oh. He owns a .377 on-base percentage this season and has boosted his fantasy value with 21 steals, the second-best mark in the league.