KBO DFS: The Argument for Suk-min Park

When we stack the NC Dinos, the targets are usually the same: Eui-ji Yang and Sung-bum Na at top of our lists, followed by leadoff man Min-woo Park, sometimes the ultra-cheap number-two hitting Myung-gi Lee, and the familiarity of American free-swinger Aaron Altherr. Yang, Na, and Altherr supply the big-time power, Park the .341 average and 20 steals, and Lee one of the best offensive batting order slots in the KBO.

The problem with this approach is two-fold: (1) we get over-exposed to Lee; and (2) we turn Altherr into a de facto one-off, on an island in the eight-hole.

It’s understandable. We stack NC because of their situation. And the situation is best for Yang and Na, so building around the makes sense. But stopping at Na in the sequence ignores Suk-min Park, who deserves more looks. For the Tuesday morning slate, Park should be among the lower-owned Dinos, making him an elite play in a great matchup at a reasonable $4,500.

Suk-min is a 34-year-old grizzled veteran, playing 3B in his 15th season in the KBO. He often comes in fourth, fifth, or sixth in ownership on the team in any given slate, hitting fifth—at the very cusp of no man’s land for most stacks. With the first four Dinos being so easy to stack together, adding Altherr gets even easier and voila, the stack is set.

Suk-min is only hitting .268 since 2019 and hasn’t hit more than 19 HRs since 2016, but 2019 was a sneaky comeback year for him, starting a ride he has continued into 2020. He leads the Dinos with 24 HRs since 2019 in only 519 PAs. Sure, the batting average is lower for a KBO target, but his 14.3% walk rate also leads the team for an impressive .389 OBP and .486 SLG% to close out the slash. Among qualified players, he is only behind (overall KBO-leader) Yang on the team in wOBA (.398) and wRC+ (140).

Tomorrow, Suk-min and the Dinos host the SK Wyverns (something about dragons, right?). Starting for the Dragons is Seung-won Moon.

Moon is bad.

Since 2019, Moon has allowed a slate-high 1.37 HR/9 in 164.2 IP. To add, his 4.15 ERA is fine, but that is largely because his low 1.97 BB/9 limits the baserunners for when the ball leaves the yard. We need to keep our eyes on the prize of that 1.37 HR/9.

I recommend neglecting Atherr for the slate. His $5,400 price tag is too steep for hitting in the bottom-third, against a right-handed pitcher. He is far inferior against righties than lefties. The .186 ISO against righties this season is still very good, but the .275 wOBA is abysmal. We can do better with the 3/4/5 hitters of Yang/Na/Suk-min.

With Yang/Na/Suk-min, we’re better off directing our attention to Min-woo at the top of the order and lock in our stacks with the number-six-hitting 1B/OF Jin-Sung Kang or number-seven-hitting 2B/SS Jin-hyuk No.

No is my primary target of the two because Kang plays two primary positions to fill with established power. Kang has a .375 wOBA versus righties since 2019, but the sample is small. That said, he is slugging 539 overall in 172 PAs, so the power may be big. Still, we can find power over larger samples at those positions in our second stack.

No, on the other hand, has flexibility at two positions where hitting is difficult to find. And this guy can hit. For power.

A left-handed hitter, No has a .213 ISO against right-handed pitching on top of a modest .351 wOBA. But none of that is modest at middle infield. Especially for only $3,100. He’s basically free.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, I learned as a young boy watching “ALF.” There are also many ways to stack the NC Dinos. Don’t forget about Suk-min.

MARGINAL NOTES

— Don’t sleep on the LG Twins. They face Tae-in Won, who has the second-highest home run rate on the slate since 2019 (0.98). If Ramos plays, he’s only $4,000. A steal in all formats.

— I may fade Kiwoom for some Doosan action. It feels dirty to play NCD, Doosan, and Kiwoom on the same slate. Gotta take a stand somewhere. And with the lack of true-true gas cans on the slate, I like to leverage gamble with a share or two against Odrisimer Despaigne (first try, did I get it right?). I’m not 100% on this.

— In 9.1 IP, I can’t say what Min-ho Lee is, but he has 91 mph of average velocity on his fastball, but only 86 on the high-frequency slider. If there is more behind the slider as the fastball indicates, he can miss bats. Worth a whirl at $5,000 against the terrible Samsung Lions.

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