KBO DFS: The Easy Argument for Chang-mo Koo

Chang-mo Koo is one of the best pitchers in the KBO and maybe the best for DFS purposes and he could go lower-owned because of his price and opponent.

Since 2019, Koo has elite numbers (min. 120.0 IP). He’s first with 9.82 K/9. Next, of those still in the league has 8.51. He has a 26.5% K rate; next, currently in The O, rests at 22.9%. There is no question who is the best, most proven strikeout pitcher in The O. His run prevention is up there with the best, as well. His 2.83 ERA ranks sixth.

His 0.74 HR/9 is about average.

He is a walk machine, dishing ‘em out at a rate of 3.27 BB/9, but he prevents baserunners, overall, only allowing a 1.12 WHIP, ranking fourth. He also ranks third with a 17.7 K-BB%.

There’s something a bit Nolan Ryan about his numbers. And he’s 23.

This fireballer is exactly what we want from our pitcher in DFS.

The problem is that everyone should want a piece of him, but there are a couple of elements that could control ownership. They won’t push ownership down too far, but they can push it to a point of control.

(1) Koo is the first $10k pitcher on FanDuel and (I believe the first) $28 pitcher on FanDuel. Sticker shock is always and ownership repressed. Even if he’s 48% owned tomorrow, remember that that number is repressed had the price been $9500 and $26. That said, the sites could do better here and go $11k/$30. Pricing is so easy to deal with on both sites that every night is Play Whomever You Want Day.

(2) Koo faces a top-two or -three offense in the Doosan Bears. Going into Tuesday, they lead The O in runs per game (7.45), total bases (223), and OPS (.915), while sitting in second with 17 HR only to the NC Dinos’ 18. The big one: under 6.0 Ks per game.

To offset the worries I just laid out before you in Doosan, Koo is a lefty and three of Doosan’s four best hitters—Jose Miguel Fernandez, Jae-il Oh, and Jae-hwan Kim—are lefties, giving Koo the best platoon advantage a pitcher can get.

(3) Touts are saying to fade him, using this rationale. Andy Means writes the “Pitching Primer” article here at Rotogrinders.

“How do we treat guys like that in the MLB in the worst possible matchups that are priced efficiently?” Means wrote in this morning’s article. “We probably go elsewhere in cash games and target that ceiling aggressively in tournaments. Ultimately, I think that is the play with Koo tonight as well.”

(4) White guys are pitching on the slate and DFS players love starting the white guys. Between Dan Straily, who’s lighting it up at the ridiculous price of $23 on FanDuel, Chris Flexen, Tyler Wilson, and Drew Gagnon, there will be plenty of ownership to go around. And even better price per dollar plays, given the tag on Koo.

It should be fine to play Koo tonight, as there are enough variables to keep his ownership down. Like, under 20% “down.” I understand Means’ point, but if I can get an elite arm with a massive platoon advantage at 10-15%, I want to play him.


— Why in the hell is Seung-ho Lee $8100 on DraftKings? Is this dome pricing? Just stack Kiwoom against the lefty. That’s what we do with him. Byung-ho Park and Ha-seong Kim are the best bats on the slate. Don’t forget about Keon-chang Seo. Kim isn’t the only speedster and we shouldn’t worry about the lefty-lefty matchup. He’s 30 and slower than his old self, but can still steal and hit in front of Kim and Park.

— My white guy note was denoting that racism is a reason for giving ownership to white pitchers. Ownership is given to white pitchers because former MLB players perform well in The O. Speaking of, Straily and Wilson are both great plays. Wilson scares me less because he faces Samsung, but Straily has the highest ceiling on the slate. Probably even higher than Woo.

— The hardest part of differentiating in this game is that there are about ten really good starters, eight terrible ones, and about 25 meh starters who only give up 0.47 HR/9. So ownership concentrates for a reason. Faulting people for being chalky is poor taste. Forgive the mishaps. We’re all in a learning curve here.

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