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
Yang (Kia) – See note below for an alternative
Notes: So tonight we actually have a really interesting slate in that we can maybe take a break from playing the top two offenses in Doosan and NC as it feels like we have been smashing the submit button with them in our lineups for the past two weeks. I listed Hyun Jong Yang and frankly, I am not sure I will have a lot of him (if any), but it is an interesting tourney target. Yang is a southpaw and will be facing a lineup full of lefties, and their best hitters in particular. Fernandez leads the league in slugging and it seems like he has been an instant plug when he takes the field, but against the southpaw tonight, he may have some issues. Since we don’t have enough data this season to use his splits, looking at his last year in the majors, he had a .53 ISO against left handed pitching compared to .134 against righties. As well, he had a 30% flyball rate to righties but against lefties, it seems all he was doing was killing worms with an exceptionally high groundball rate and paltry 13% flyball rate. As well, Oh and Kim, their second and third best hitters, also bat from the left side and may have a tough time. Yang allowed an absolutely stellar .29 HR/9 last season to go with his 2.29 ERA and miniscule 1.07 WHIP so I think he will be fine here, but he is pricy for a scary opponent. I would reserve him for tourneys and if I do play him, I will throw in a small Doosan hedge line just to cover myself. Brigham is kind of in the same boat against the Heroes and has almost identical numbers to Yang but the difference between the two is a tad bit of salary relief with Brigham. Both are great arms facing dangerous offenses and we have seen good arms get hit early on so if you are truly feeling gutsy tonight, you can fade both Yang and Brigham in a tourney setting and roll with Saupold and Tae Hoon Kim in place of them. Kim is again in almost an identical spot as them, facing a great offense in the Dinos but sporting great numbers of his own (.52 HR/9, a 9.82 K/9, and 1.26 WHIP) and his BABIP of almost 100 points higher than his BAA suggests that his numbers could even be a little better. The major difference between Kim and Brigham/Yang is the price as Kim is the second lowest priced pitcher on the slate so if he completely busts, it doesn’t sting as much as a guy over $9k.
Top Three KBO Plays by Position
Eui Ji Yang (NC)
Yong Hwan Baek (if in)
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.
Baek Ho Kang (KT)
Ja Wook Koo (Sam)
Min Sang Yoo
Sang Su Kim (Sam)
Kyung Soo Park (KT)
Kwang Min Song (Hanwha)
Jae Gyun Hwang (KT)
Sung Kyu Lee (Sam)
Sun Bin Kim (Kia)
Sun Jin Oh (Han)
Woo Jun Sim (KT)
Outfield (6 for good measure):
Jamie Romak (SK)
Han Joon Yoo (KT)
Ji Wan Na (Kia)
Jin Ho Jung (Han)
Top KBO Team Stacks (both sites, no order)
- I am going to list my preferred stack, but these aren’t the only guys I would use as there may be some others that offer us salary relief.
KT – (Kang/Rojas/Hwang/Yoo)- I think KT will be tonight’s Doosan in that they are where all the ownership will fall and it is almost obvious. Sung Hwan Yoon is a 38 year old arm who has had an ERA over 4.2 each of the last four years. Last year he sported a 1.50 WHIP and a 4.77 ERA while only compiling a K rate of 4.03 per 9. That is just not going to cut the mustard against this KT team who ranks third in homers with 13 this season. Hwang feels a little overpriced given that he has started the season a little slow but that may help to keep his ownership down a little which makes him an integral part of the stack for me.
Kia (Kim/Tucker/Choi/Sang Yoo) – Kia is another stack that I think will be pretty popular but they’re a tough fade for me so I will just eat it. The Doosan Bears have been by far the worst pitching staff in the league so far this season and that will not get any better tonight rolling out Yong Chan Lee. Lee had an ERA of 4.07 last season and allowed a HR/9 rate of .91/9 which is pretty high given that there was a “de-juiced” ball they were playing with. There are rumblings that a juiced ball was added back in this year due and if that is the case, Lee will have a rough go of it this season. Tucker is 5th in the league in slugging so he is the first piece I plug in.
Samsung (Lee/Koo/Sung Gyu Lee/Song Su Kim) – It isn’t often we will list Samsung on here, but tonight is a special occasion with Min Kim on the hill for KT. Kim had a whopping 1.59 WHIP last season to go with a brutal 4.91 FIP, .96 HR/9, and that seems to have continued into this season as he allowed 7 runs through 4 in his first start. Samsung hasn’t been great to start the year, but they still rank 5th in homers with 8 tied with the daunting Heroes so the Lions aren’t completely useless.
- A couple notes: I don’t want to be like other articles out there and list over half the slate as stacks so those three above are my “go-to”, but I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on a little GPP/MME strategy. Tonight might be the lowest ownership all season that we can Doosan so it might be worth it to throw a little small dollar Doosan line in a tourney if you have some loot you don’t care about. I wouldn’t recommend them if you are just playing one or two lines, but it won’t be often that you can get the best offense in the league at (I think) suppressed ownership. KBO is such a small player pool that there isn’t a lot of edge that we can get – our biggest edge comes via ownership so they may be worth a flier if you have money to burn. SK may be popular, and rightfully so as they are facing a gas can in Gyu Kim who also allowed two homers in his first start, but I might just run a small two man Romak/Choi mini-stack along with the above. I’ve usually been stacking 4-4 in tourneys, but tonight may be a 4-2-2 or a 4-3-1.
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!