KBO DFS: The Argument for Seung-won Moon on DK

Chang-mo Koo is the mega-chalk on FD under $29, as he should be. He’s the chalk SP1 on DK, as he should be.

Ki-young Im was 60% owned in a slate where his team was rained out yesterday, so here he is pitching today. Likely as the chalk SP2. And not so sure he should be.

Im is a fantastic play in a vacuum, especially against LOLwha. He has 7.43 K/9, 2.54 BB/9, and a 12.5% K-BB% since 2019. This season, he’s lighting it up for 8.10 K/9, only 1.45 BB/9, 0.42 HR/9 with a robust 18.2% K-BB% and an elite 3.13 FIP. But he did give up 1.29 HR/9 last season, inflating his FIP to 5.01.

Looking at Im’s numbers from this year only ignores that he isn’t far removed from being really bad and is, therefore, a vulnerable play as chalk. Looking elsewhere from Im is the better play. That play is Seung-won Moon.

At only $7,700, Moon flashes the same upside as Im this season. Since the argument for Im is his 2020 numbers and the matchup. Let’s look at Moon’s 2020 and the Samsung Lions he will face on Wednesday morning’s slate.

Moon has 8.83 K/9, 2.04 BB/9, 18.4% K-BB%, and a 3.38 FIP this season. Im has a clear advantage, but the numbers are still great at what should be a fraction of the ownership.

Samsung is nowhere near as terrible as Hanwha, but it’s still a very good matchup for an opposing pitcher. Their .722 OPS is below average. Their 5.06 runs per game is about average. Their 43 HRs are just below the median. Their .329 OBP is only .019 better than Hanwha.

Moon doesn’t throw the Korean Kryptonite sinker, but he does have a wicked slider that he’s thrown nearly 30% of the time since 2019. It’s only hit the zone 37.9% of the time this season, but he’s induced swings a whopping 53.5% of the time. This amounts to a hefty chase rate.

The first thought could be, what happens when hitters lay off the slider? The answer is probably that he throws it just enough to slay, but not too much to make for easy anticipation and reads. But that’s pure conjecture.

An interesting tidbit about his slider is that it’s about six mph, on average, slower than his 89.5 mph fastball. The disguise isn’t that his slider comes out like a fastball but maybe that it comes out like his 80.5 mph change. That the two pitches with his curve serve as total contrasts in velocity to the fastball.

Back to Moon’s season, the game logs have few flaws, Andy Means writes today:

“After a so-so first four starts of the 2020 season, Moon has apparently flipped some sort of switch over the course of the last five. And even in those first four starts, two of them resulted in seven-K performances and the matchups were terrible in three of them (NC, Kiwoom, Doosan).[…] The recent stretch of five starts has resulted in seven-eight strikeouts in four of the starts, while he has gone six-plus innings and given up zero-to-two earned runs in all of them.”

And after it all, Moon has an elite standing in the league. That K/9 ranks seventh, the BB/9 is eighth, the K-BB% is tied for third, and his FIP ranks seventh. I’ll concede that Im is underpriced at $8k, but so is Moon at $7,700. We should price enforce the lower owned pitcher, even if he is a half-notch worse with worse matchup when we can do so with a pitcher is a top-eight pitcher with a top-three matchup.

MARGINAL NOTES

— Don’t worry. You’re not the only individual who took it up the ass when Hanwha-Kia was postponed. Again, Im was 60% owned. 100% owned on my end. It happens. Manage your bankroll well and it’s not a big deal to shake it off.

— KT Wiz is the lit tonight, as the zoomers might say. The first pivot off of Im will be Moon, but the next man up will be Woo-chan Cha. Cha-Im could be the combo that Koo-faders take and that’s a mistake. KT is powerful and Cha—though very good with Ks— gives up a lot of walks and HRs. Perfect setup for KT to blast off.

— Be careful going righty-heavy down the lineup with the NC Dinos. It could be a bullpen game they’re facing, where LHP Won-sam Jang is serving as the opener.

About the Author

  • Alex Sonty (AlexSonty)

  • Alex Sonty is a part-time political science professor at the City Colleges of Chicago and a professional DFS player. He’s been playing fantasy sports since Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith paved the way to a rookie championship in 1996. He started playing DFS in 2014 and currently specializes in MLB and NFL cash games, dipping his toes into GPP play. He’s been writing for the Chicago Tribune, SB Nation, and Rotogrinders blog networks since 2010. He holds a J.D./M.A. and L.L.M. from DePaul University.

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