KBO Winning Pitcher Strategy Picks for DraftKings and FanDuel 5/22

What an exciting and wild morning in KBO land! The best pitcher on the slate (by far) got lit up and the two cheapest on DraftKings pitched as good as anyone on the slate. There were also a bunch of players that typically start who sat due to injury or rest. If you were up with us, those updates all went out as the information came in. That’s one of the many things I love about the DFS Army. If there is breaking news/updates, all of it is immediately communicated to our members in slack. Eliminate the unknowns of those changes and join our community today!

😴 ☕️ 😴 Schedule Tip: One of the rhythms I’ve settled into with late KBO locks is to do research, set lineups and use our cheat sheets at the DFS Army to prepare a list of potential subs for each stack/position BEFORE I go to bed. That preparation allows me to sleep, set an alarm for a half hour before lock to tune into breaking news/make final adjustments and then go right back to sleep. Don’t allow your schedule to suffer… find a KBO rhythm that works for you and use it!

KBO Pitchers and Picks for 5/22

If you want a glimpse into my process for identifying pitchers and are looking for ways to fine-tune your process, this article from yesterday is perfect for you. Otherwise, here are some of my favorite plays for the upcoming KBO slate. Many pitchers you see below will be high upside plays even if it involves taking some risks. Please don’t forget to look at the “format” suggested under each pitcher. * indicates a left-handed pitcher. 


Short on time?  At DFS Army, our guru coaches compile key players to watch and add confidence ratings, cash or gpp format, and detailed notes explaining the why behind the play.  Many VIPs use our cheatsheets to accentuate their own process, or to interact with our coaches and learn how to research sports more efficiently!  See tonight’s time-saving cheatsheets here… 5/22 KBO Cheatsheets

Yang Hyun-jong*

Team: KIA @ SK
Price$9,000 | $27
Matchup: BA (9th) | OPS (9th) | SO (9th) | BB (10th)
Notes: SK is an offense that we will continue to pick on until they prove us wrong. In addition to the offensive woes, Yang was an absolute stud last season – 2.29 ERA/1.07 WHIP/163K and only 33BB in 184.2 innings pitched. He was one of the best pitchers (by far) and has settled in this season after a shaky first outing. I did also want to note that SK was especially bad last season against lefties and does not look much improved so far in 2020. Yang is expensive but I like his matchup and strikeout upside. And in case that isn’t enough, FanGraph’s ZiPS projections have him as finishing 2020 1st in ERA and 5th in K/9.
Format: ALL

Lee Yong-chan

Team: DOO @ SAM
Price$8,200 | $20
Matchup: BA (10th) | OPS (10th) | SO (5th) | BB (7th)
Notes: In two starts, Lee has given up 14 hits and 14(!) runs in just 10 total innings pitched. What gives?! I will be climbing aboard the Lee redemption train tonight and here’s why… First, he has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the Korean Baseball Organization and that includes a 12 year sample size. Home runs have been an issue this season but that certainly has not been a career pattern and he gets to face a Samsung team with the worst OPS in the league. In addition to that, ZiPS projects him to finish top 10 in ERA this season which tells me there is even more reason to believe we will witness positive regression. Lee did face Samsung back in September of last year and pitched 7 innings while striking out 8 and giving up only 1 run. On top of all of this, he is the cheapest pitcher on FanDuel and will be heavily favored to win. I like him as a hybrid option on FanDuel and a solid GPP play on DraftKings because of price and differences in scoring between the two sites.
Format: GPP (DK) | ALL (FD)

Kim Young-gyu*

Team: NC @ HAN
Price$5,500 | $23
Matchup: BA (7th) | OPS (8th) | SO (7th) | BB (9th)
Notes: Kim made his KBO debut last season as a starter and was eventually relegated to the bullpen after a few dreadful stats. He seemed to find his rhythm as a reliever and worked his way back into a starting role toward the end of last year and ended the season with a complete game shutout against LG. His 2020 season is off to a solid start – 3.27 ERA/1.09 WHIP/9K in 11 innings of work. Home runs are a concern but the Hanwha offense is 8th in league OPS. I think the key today will be walks. His control this season has been much better than last (has not issued a single walk). If that trend continues I think his success will continue as well.
Format: GPP

Research Station

Want to test your results?  Our backtesting features allow you to learn what went right (or wrong) and adjust your strategies on the fly.  You can also filter by team, statistic, or even position (“Fantasy Points Scored in descending order for only OF eligible players” shown above) to fine tune your practice.  Get better with our KBO Research Station each and every day you play!

Honorable KBO Pitching Mentions

Jake Brigham ($8,400 | $24) – Brigham has upside – specifically when it comes to strikeouts. His matchup against LOT is not very favorable and they strikeout 4th fewest of any team in the KBO but he definitely has the stuff to excel even in a tougher matchup. I think he will be lower-owned of the options in this price range on DK which gives him some extra tournament value. GPP play.

Odrisamer Despaigne ($8,300 | $21) – FanDuel > DraftKings. It is hard to argue against the strong start Despaigne has had in the KBO. Of all qualified (10IP minimum) pitchers in 2020, he ranks top 10 in ERA, strikeouts and WHIP. I do have concerns about the matchup, however. LG strikes out third fewest of the 10 KBO teams and hits for above average power. I think Despaigne will garner a bunch of ownership in this tier because of how good he has been. I like him on FanDuel (2nd cheapest) more than DraftKings but will also have some LG stacks to leverage his potentially high ownership.

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KBO Glossary
OPS (On-base plus Slugging)
SO (Strikeout)
K/9 (Strikeouts per 9 innings)
BB (Walk)
ERA (Earned Run Average)
WHIP (Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched)
QS (Quality Start)
IP (Inning Pitched)
ER (Earned Run)
R (Run)
DK (DraftKings)
FD (FanDuel)
KBO (Korean Baseball Organization)
LHP (Left Handed Pitcher)
BABIP (Batting Average Balls in Play)
Chalky (High Ownership)
RS/9 (Run support per 9 innings)
GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool)