This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
Tuesday's KBO slate featured three aces who had been somewhat shaky lately, but they all wound up with good performances. Eric Jokisch allowed just one run on four hits over seven frames as the Heroes beat the Lions, 8-2, while Odrisamer Despaigne allowed two runs in seven innings in the Wiz's 4-4 tie with the Dinos. Elsewhere, Dan Straily held the Tigers to two runs over six innings in the Giants' 13-3 win. That game also provided excellent stacking ground, though nearly all the production came from the Giants' final four hitters, who combined for 11 hits, two homers, eight runs and 12 RBI.
Wednesday's DraftKings KBO slate will feature just four games, with neither half of the Landers-Twins doubleheader included. Even with a reduced number of games to choose from, the available pitching options are quite strong.
Woo Jin An ($7,100) is easily the top value on the slate, and there's a real case to be made that he'd be the top option even if all pitchers were priced equally. The 22-year-old could possess an MLB future, as he certainly has big-league velocity, with his fastball checking in at 94.1 mph and his slider averaging 87.3. He missed the start of the second half due to a suspension for violating the league's COVID-19 protocols, but he hasn't looked remotely rusty since his return, allowing one run on eight hits while striking out 18 and walking just two in 11.2 innings across a pair of starts. His hot streak really covers almost the entirety of the season at this point, as he owns a 2.25 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over his last 13 starts after struggling to a 6.14 ERA and 1.91 WHIP over his last four. He's looked like one of the best pitchers in the league for most of the season, so it's a mystery why he's so inexpensive here against a mid-tier Lions lineup.
Drew Rucinski ($8,200) is surprisingly affordable as well, making him a strong choice even with a tough matchup against a strong Wiz lineup, though that unit has slipped to fourth in scoring after averaging just 2.8 runs across the last 13 games. For his part, Rucinski has been as steady as ever, with his 2.85 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 22.7 percent strikeout rate all representing personal bests across his three-year KBO career. He's allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of his nine second-half starts and allowed an acceptable four runs in the other two, leading to a 2.29 ERA and 0.89 WHIP since the break. He'd be a solid choice even if he cost $1,000 more than he will here.
An and Rucisnki are underpriced to the point that they're the clear top two options Wednesday, but there are plenty of other arms who are still justifiable selections, especially if you're trying to avoid the crowd. Nick Kingham ($9,300) is a strong choice if you're willing to spend a bit of cash and aren't too concerned about a matchup against a Bears lineup that sits tied for first in scoring. Kingham is in the middle of a second half that looks quite similar to Rucinski's, as he's allowed four runs in three of 10 starts since the break while allowing no more than two in each of the other seven, good for a 2.76 ERA and 1.06 WHIP overall. On the season as a whole, Kingham's 23.1 percent strikeout rate and 6.5 percent walk rate are both excellent, good for sixth and fourth, respectively, among pitchers who've thrown at least 100 innings.
Aaron Altherr ($4,500) has had his issues making contact this season, with his 27.3 percent strikeout rate ranking second-worst among qualified hitters, but he produced a very strong .897 OPS last season despite finishing with an identical strikeout rate. His OPS this season was as much as 63 points lower than that as recently as Sept. 24, but he's since gone on a tear at the plate, hitting .393/.452/.857. He's homered in each of the last four games of that stretch, giving him 28 for the year, good for third in the league. He'll try to make it five games in a row against Wiz righty Je Seong Bae, who's been good for most of the season but just got rocked for seven runs on 10 hits in just three innings in his last trip to the mound.
There haven't been many Tigers worth paying attention to this season, but what Sun Bin Kim ($4,200) has done lately is worth taking note of, especially given the shallow pool at the shortstop position. He's struck out just three times in his last 18 games, helping him to a .369/.455/.523 slash line. He has minimal power, homering just five times all season, though two of those have come over the aforementioned stretch. Even that small amount of power might not stick, but the elite contact ability should last, as his 6.6 percent strikeout rate ties him for second among qualified hitters. He'll have a good chance at a multi-hit day Wednesday against Se Woong Park, who's struggled to a 9.19 ERA over his last three starts.
On a short slate full of strong pitchers, you'll probably have to select a few players who are facing pitchers you might normally prefer to avoid. Selecting a Hero or two against David Buchanan seems like a decent idea, as he's slumped to a 5.16 ERA and 1.69 WHIP over his last five starts. Yong Kyu Lee ($3,700) leads off for the Heroes and provides an inexpensive way of grabbing a piece of any rallies the team manages Wednesday. He hits for less power than almost anyone else in the league, homering just twice over the last four seasons combined, but good contact skills and a discerning eye make him a good fit for the leadoff role, as his .286/.380/.337 line indicates. He's been seeing the ball particularly well over his last nine games, going hitless just once while slashing .355/.459/.516.
Sticking with the Heroes, Byung Ho Park ($3,600) is back to deserving consideration as a budget option at first base after looking unplayable for an extended period. His strikeout issues are even worse than Aaron Altherr's, as his 28.2 percent strikeout rate is the highest among qualified hitters. That's unsurprisingly suppressed his batting average, which sits at just .224, but he still has decent power, clearing the fence 17 times. He's been on a run of good form over his last 14 contests, slashing .333/.358/.549. That's seen him move up to the cleanup spot for his last seven starts, which makes him a decent option here against Buchanan.
Stacks to Consider
The Giants have surged into a tie for first place in runs per game after scoring 24 runs across their last two games to stretch their undefeated streak to six and bring them to within three games of a playoff spot. That hot streak should continue here against Yoon. Yoon may have a strong 3.05 ERA in 56 innings as a swingman this season, but his 21:21 K:BB doesn't give much confidence that he'll maintain such a number. An 8.6 percent strikeout rate means he's allowing far too much contact, so his ERA should rise soon along with his .272 BABIP. The righty isn't a pitcher who comes with much pedigree, as he was merely a ninth-round pick back in 2018 and didn't make his KBO debut until his age-26 season this year. Son is the most obvious inclusion in this stack as the Giants' lone standout left-handed bat, but how you fill out the rest of the stack depends on your budget and positional needs, as the Giants are deep in hitters who are good but not great. I've gone with Jeon and Han here, as they've been some of the team's hottest hitters of late.
Choi joins Yoon as a clear outlier among an otherwise very deep group of starting pitchers and stands out enough to justify stacking the ninth-ranked Eagles lineup. The 20-year-old lefty has only tossed 6.1 career KBO innings, all of which have come in relief this season. He's allowed four runs on seven hits, striking out five without issuing a walk. He's looked very unreliable in 25.1 innings at the Futures League level, struggling to a 5.68 ERA, a 1.93 WHIP and a 13:16 K:BB. His own numbers probably don't matter too much in this contest, however, as it's likely to be a bullpen game for the Bears since Choi just pitched in relief Sunday. Facing long relievers as early as the second or third inning doesn't diminish the appeal of an Eagles stack, however. Feel free to ignore the platoon advantage given that Choi shouldn't pitch too deep into this one, but I've gone with a right-handed trio here nonetheless. These three batters have hit fourth through sixth in the Eagles' last two games and all have an OPS north of .800 over their last 10 games, with Roh's coming in at 1.055.