KBO DFS: The Argument for Spending Up at SP2

Five of the better pitchers in the KBO are on the Thursday, June 17 slate. Chang-mo Koo, Odrisimer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson are all at least $8,200 and we should be spending up for two of those three on DK.

Not because they’re so lights out, we shouldn’t pass on the oozing greatness (OK, we should ooze over Koo), but because the red flags on every pitcher under $8,200 make them unplayable for their price. Or unplayable, as a whole.

This exercise in deductive reasoning will start easily at the bottom:

Yoon-dong Heo ($5,800) — The price is right on Heo to take a gamble. But the red flags are clear: only 18-years old and making his third start, only one K in ten innings, and he’s facing Doosan. He is a lefty and Doosan is sneaky not-so-good against LHPs, but, still, it’s Doosan. We don’t pitch against Doosan.

Shi-hwan Jang ($6,800) — The 8.41 K/9 since 2019 is awesome. It is the tempting force to stop writing and start from scratch with a new article. But (of course, there’s a but) his 6.06 RA/9 screams, hell no. Why all of the runs, though?

Jang’s issues with run production aren’t bad luck. He walks a lot of guys and coughs up a bunch of dongs. His 4.65 BB/9 is straight putrid and he’s given up 0.94 HR/9, dating back to last season. And this is nothing new. He’s 32-years-old and has allowed over 4.00 BB/9 every season since 2016. That’s up to 6.83 through 27.2 IP this season.

But wait! There’s more! He’s also given up four HRs in those 27.2 IP. This is a bad pitcher getting worse with age.

I’m gonna interrupt this broadcast to inform you that I’ve just named all two of the SPs under $7,500 on the slate.

Seong-ho Lee ($7,500) — Since we’re spending at least $7,500 on our SP2, we have to get a little nitpicky because we’re only $700 away from Wilson. Unlike Heo, Lee has a decent matchup in Lotte. Unlike Jang, he isn’t a gas can. But, still, only 5.86 K/9 is way too low to sacrifice 3.86 BB/9 and 0.86 HR/9 since 2019. Without the Ks to offset, the 1.52 WHIP is gonna kill us.

Dan Straily ($7,600) — Straily is historically a massive flyball pitcher. He had a 0.72 GB:FB ratio in MLB and he has a (wait for it) 0.74 ratio through 47 IP in The O. He faces Kiwoom and their second-highest 43 HRs. Flyball pitcher against Kiwoom? No, thanks.

Hui Kwan Yu ($7,700) — 2.43 BB/9, so good control. 0.53 HR/9, even better. But there’s a 0.86 jump from his 3.41 ERA to his 4.27 FIP because of his 3.45 K/9. At $7,700, 3.45 is unplayable.

Jong-hoon Park ($7,700)Park is my homeboy. He’s made me a butt-ton of scrilla this season. He’s a new pitcher this year and what’s good is probably sticky. His 9.45 K/9 is third in The O, his 17.0% K-BB% ranks ninth, but the red flags still exist: over 3.00 BB/9 and 0.90 HR/9 is straight scary at this price against KT, who is just behind Kiwoom with 41 HRs this season. And most of those 41 HR came with Baek-ho Kang out of the lineup.

We can rest on this: Kang missed Wednesday with a sore hammy. If he’s out of the lineup, Park is marginally playable, but—still—I hate the matchup for him. I’d want a discount and just don’t feel we’re getting it here only $500 away from Wilson.

Drew Gagnon ($7,800) — Here we come to the league leader in K/9 and 10.04, who’s second only to Koo with his 2.54 FIP. Snap-play, right? I don’t blame you if you do it, but a hard rule on fading the NC Dinos and their league-leading 55 HRs is probably the best course of action. They may be the best team in KBO history.

Gagnon and Park aren’t unplayable. They’re low-exposure tournament plays, which begs the question: should we be playing high volume in KBO DFS?

Prize pools are swinging wildly, as DK is trying to figure out what to do, and they try to get their stuff together, while also introducing NPB DFS. We have a ceiling on our rewards should we play an MME game, therefore, eliminating Gagnon and Park from our player pools.

Bringing us back to the top. Koo is an autoplay under $10,500 and he’s only $9,400. Despaigne has a 3.49 FIP and draws SK, which is probably the second-worst offense in The O.

And, in my effort to bury the lede throughout this whole post, Wilson draws the pitiful Hanwha.

We’re playing Koo and Wilson and just figuring out how to save on bats from there.


— Jang faces LG. Stack ‘em. Roberto Ramos may be back from the IL. Stack ‘em. If Ramos is out, stack ‘em.

— Kiwoom, stack ‘em. Straily should go overowned given the weird-ass pricing. In cases like these, the public gravitates toward the cheapest they can stomach. That’s probably Straily. Byung-ho Park just went on the IL. This could all repress Kiwoom ownership. It could be a leverage play.

— This post is no way a substitute for Andy Means’ daily posts. What he does is invaluable toward us thinking the game in order to produce. This post is just to pound it home as to why we should play Wilson. Sometimes the signal just requires quieting the noise.

About the Author

  • Alex Sonty (AlexSonty)

  • Alex Sonty is a professional DFS and poker player, while contributing to RotoGrinders and FanGraphs, as well as serving as a part-time political science professor in Chicago, IL. He’s been playing fantasy sports since 1996 and entered the DFS realm in 2014, currently playing high-stakes MLB and NFL cash games and GPPs. He is a Chicago Tribune and SB Nation alum, while holding a J.D./M.A. and L.L.M. from DePaul University.


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