The Triple T: Tim’s Top Three
Hey everyone, with the lack of major professional sports due to coronavirus, it doesn’t leave a lot for us to play.
::KBO Baseball has entered the chat::
Yes, that’s right…Korean professional baseball has arrived on the scene and we will have to make do with it until our beloved MLB returns. DISCLAIMER: I am the farthest thing from a KBO expert and I am not going to pretend to be one, but I love baseball and analyzing statistics and just plain writing and putting something out for you guys so I figured I would try to throw something informal together for you so that we can have fun with this together! This article will absolutely NOT be as in-depth as my usual Triple T due to the lack of advanced metrics available, but will hopefully help to steer you in the right direction. For those unfamiliar with my article, I will be listing my three favorite MLB players at each position – I tried to list a guy in each pricing tier if possible as it does no one any good to list all of the most expensive, popular plays at each spot. Please note that these are NOT the only plays I like, but I can’t list everyone and truly try to narrow down the KBO field as much as possible.
Use these KBO plays along with your own research! Remember, this is a GPP-style article so I take some more chances than others. The format for this article is not set in stone so if there is something you want to see or would like me to consider changing, please let me know. After all, this site is for YOU. Let’s dive in!
Is MLB here yet?!
* Please make sure these guys are in the lineup! KBO lineups don’t get released until about 30-60 minutes before lock, so make sure you set your alarm to double-check lineups and weather!
The Top Three
Dan Straily (Lotte)
Jae Hak Lee
Hyeong Jun So
Notes: Before I looked at the forecast, I was assuming that Straily would be a free square. He has been amazing as though his first two starts – he has a stellar 1.42 ERA, has had exceptional command, and has averaged over 10 K/9. He’s only allowed his opponents a .140 average which is exceptional, but is it ALL roses? Maybe not. His .185 BABIP and 92% LOB rate says that some regression may be coming, though it may not be that bad as long as he maintains that low walk rate. He has the best matchup on the board against lowly Hanwha who have only managed to break 3 runs twice since the start of the season. They are a relatively punchless lineup. Back to the forecast…keep an eye on it as there is a 35% chance of rain in this game and that may be the only thing that keeps his ownership in check. If there were no weather, he would be a free square. Without the weather, my guess is he would be pushing 70% ownership and at his absurdly low price of $7,000, we would just have to eat it. Fading him at such a low price and such high ownership wouldn’t do us a ton of good in my opinion because if he puts up a 30-spot or more at 70% ownership for $7k and you don’t have him, you are pretty much toast. However, if he were to bust at 70%+ and you had him, it wouldn’t bury you as you’d still be relatively even with the field. Look for other areas to get cute. With that said, the forecast may bring the ownership down a tad and it also may warrant a fade if you are running multiple lineups. Jae Lee’s K/9 last season was lower than I would like at 6.3 K/9, but he also had a great .4 HR/9 to go with a decent 3.75 ERA. He didn’t put a ton of people on base which is what I look for in these KBO pitchers as they’re all relatively wild so getting one who can minimize baserunners is half the battle. The matchup with SK is a scary one because of Romak and Choi sitting there in the middle of the order but in reality, they are not that imposing if Lee can work his way around them. Paying down is a viable strategy in this league so if you don’t want to pay Lee’s price (I don’t blame you), you can take a chance on Hyeong Jun So. There isn’t a lot of tape on So since he is 18 years young and just made his first KBO appearance last time out. In that start, he looked very sharp, pitching 5 innings against the Bears while allowing only 2 runs while striking out 2 and walking just one. Against the best offense in the league, you really can’t ask for much more than that and tonight he gets a MUCH easier matchup against Samsung, right down there with Hanwha vying for the worst offense in the KBO.
Top Three KBO Plays by Position
Eui Ji Yang (NC)
Se Park (Doo)
Sung Woo Jang (KT)
*You also have the option to completely punt with a close-to-minimum catcher but you should wait until lineups are confirmed to plug one in.
Dae Ho Lee (Lotte)
Jae Oh (Doo)
Notes: Ramos’s price hasn’t caught up to his production yet and he, along with a punt somewhere else in your lineup, allows you to spend up on pitching or load up with stud batters. Not the biggest LG fan, but he is cheap enough where we can still plug him in and feel okay about it even in a so-so matchup.
Min Woo Park (NC)
Hoon Jung (Lotte)/Chi Hong An (Lotte) – Pick whichever one you have the salary for – both only 2B eligible on Lotte
Notes: Min Woo Park has hit safely in every single game this season for the Dinos.
Suk Min Park (NC)
Jin Hyuk No (NC) – also has 2B eligibility
Jae Gyun Hwang (KT)
Woo Jun Sim (KT)
Jae Ho Kim (Doo)
Notes: Jae Ho Kim has a seven game hitting streak going – He doesn’t have a ton of power but he is a paltry $2300 and playing on the team with the highest implied total on the board, Doosan! I will probably have 100% exposure on him. I will try and leave $200 in my lineup just on the off chance he doesn’t play and I need to swap last minute to Sim.
Outfield (6 for good measure):
Baek Ho Kang (KT)
Jae Hwan Kim (Doo)
Joon Woo Jeon (Lotte)
Byung Hun Min (Lotte)
Sung Bum Na (NC)
Ah Seop Son (Lotte)
Notes: Baek Ho Kang has hit safely in all 8 games he has played this season and both he and Rojas are fine options. I didn’t want to list both high-priced OFs from the same team so I sided with Kang because he has been hot and because he has a tad more power than Rojas. If I am playing a KT stack, I am getting both in there.
Top KBO Team Stacks (both sites, no order)
Doosan Bears – Not reinventing the wheel here, they should be the mega industry chalk and rightfully so. Just have to eat it facing Im who had an ungodly 5.72 ERA and 1.29 HR/9 last season and hasn’t started this season much better. It seems like we are just plugging in Doosan every night but you have to stick with what is working. One way I think you can differentiate is by fading Fernandez. Of course it all comes down to your builds and available salary, but his price has gotten absolutely outrageous for a guy that has only broken 19 once. Fernandez is available at either first or second base and at first, we can get similar or better production from Jae Oh for almost $2k more! Fernandez is obviously the top play on arguably the best team on the slate so I am not telling you to fade him, but it is indeed a way we can separate from the field.
Lotte – I have two issues with Lotte tonight. First is weather. That could either be a blessing or a curse. It could be a blessing because it coud keep their ownership way down, but on the flipside, we are playing with fire whenever we mess with these weather games. People may shy away from this game after the fiasco with weather a few nights ago. If you are willing to get up in the middle of the night, it could give you a nice advantage if you are watching it closely. The second issue I have with this team is deciding who to play from them. If I had to list them in order of priority, I would go Machado/Jeon/Lee/Son.
NC – Disappointed sorely last night, but facing Moon tonight who had the worst HR/9 on the slate last season at a whopping 1.4 HR/9. If the rumors are true and the juiced ball is indeed back this season, that 1.4 HR/9 could explode even higher.
KT – Squaring off against one of the worst pitchers on the slate, Won, who sported an awful 4.82 ERA, .96 HR/9 and paltry 5.46 strikeouts per 9. They have a couple mashers like Kang, Rojas, and Hwang who could do some serious damage against him.
As always, remember to make sure these players are indeed in the lineup, that weather is okay, and keep an eye on vegas odds. Don’t forget that baseball is by far the highest variance sport but by truly digging in to the numbers and turning over every stone, we can mitigate that variance. Please follow Top Flight Fantasy Sports on Twitter and Facebook if you haven’t already and good luck!