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
Notes: First off, I have to apologize as I am not going to be able to get as in-depth as I would like in this article as I had some family stuff to attend to today (happy wife, happy life, right?!) but hopefully you all saw my sheet I put up on twitter and in the group earlier to give you a head start on thinking about the slate. Jokisch has been a stud in his time in the KBO and tonight he gets an LG team who doesn’t scare me a ton, certainly not against Jokisch. Joker had a stellar 3.13 ERA that was supported by a 3.17 FIP last season and while he didn’t K guys at an insane rate (7 per 9), his Whip is 1.13 was minuscule. Most importantly, he limited the damage with .4 HR/9 in 2019 and that should continue this season if his 2.13 groundball to flyball ratio keeps up. Cant allow homers if you’re not allowing flyballs! Despaigne should be one of chalkier pitchers of the night and rightfully so as he gets a punchless Samsung team who are down a couple key players. Despaigne has been brilliant so far in his first couple KBO starts, not allowing any homers through them, barely walking anyone and sporting an exceptional 11.4 K/9 and 1.00 WHIP. Even more, his BABIP of .357 suggests those numbers could be even better! Additionally, he too is allowing minimal flyballs with a 2.14 groundball to flyball ratio. Speaking of studs, Brooks has looked like Nolan Ryan through his first two KBO starts, not walking a single batter and not allowing a single homer. If he were facing any other team, I would be 100% on him, but tonight he gets Doosan which makes him a little bit of a risk. I will have some, but won’t go nuts there.
Top Three KBO Plays by Position
Eui Ji Yang (NC)
Dong Wong Park (Kiw)
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)
Byung Ho Park (Kiw)
Dae Hoo Lee (Lotte)
Min Woo Park (NC)
Jin Hyuk No (NC)
Hoon Jung (Lotte) *If you need salary relief, you can go Chi An (Lotte) for cheaper as both play for Lotte.
Suk Min Park (NC)
Jae Gyun Hwang (KT)
Kwang Min Song (Han)
Ha Seong Kim (Kiw)
Woo Jun Sim (KT)
Outfield (6 for good measure):
Rojas (KT) *Can use Kang as well if you need the salary)
Jun Jeon (Lotte)
Jung Ho Lee (Kiw)
Sung Bum Na (NC)
Ah Seop Son (Lotte)
Top KBO Team Stacks (both sites, no order)
- I am going to list my preferred player stack, but these aren’t the only guys I would use as there may be some others that offer us salary relief.
NC (Suk Min Park/Sung Bum Na/Jin Hyuk No/Eui Yang/Altherr) – NC should be one of the most popular stacks of the night. I like them, but I am more apprehensive on them than others out there. With that said, they are as explosive as anyone and get so-so pitcher Seung Geon Baek. Baek is a converted reliever who wasn’t all that great last season (FIP more than 2 runs higher than his ERA and more than 5 walks per 9) and has seen mixed results thus far. The Dinos have been one of the best offenses in the league with 14 homers (good for second) and the scary thing is that you can make the argument that they have under performed! Altherr has an ISO of just .103 which is surely due to see positive regression as he has just a .235 BABIP. Yang as well has been a major disappointment thus far and if he and Altherr can right the ship, this offense could be catastrophic for opposing offenses.
Lotte (Jeon/Dae Ho Lee/Machado/Byung Hun Min/Son) – So last night we were one of the only ones on Kia and it paid off handsomely. In KBO dfs, the pool of players is so small that we need to find an edge in any way we can and that edge will usually be ownership. We need to find those stacks that are off the beaten path but do have potential. Sure, we can play every single team in the league until they hit, but that is -EV thinking…we still have to make sure the contrarian play we are making is actually worth it. With that said, tonight’s Lotte stack could be the Kia stack from last night. Lotte gets Min Woo Kim and his sexy 2.43 ERA…so why would I suggest a stack against that? Because I think it is a sham! This is a guy that finished the season with an ERA over 6 last season, a HR/9 of .7 and a walk rate of a hair under 4 per 9. He had the highest WHIP (1.6) of any starter on the slate last season. Anyway, back to that ERA of this year. His FIPis over 2 runs higher than his ERA, he is allowing 1.62 HR/9 and his microscopic BABIP of .083 and bloated LOB rate of 96% says that this guy should have gotten absolutely slaughtered in his first two starts but happened to get lucky. The batted ball data supports that too as he is allowing the second lowest groundball to flyball ratio on the slate at 1.00. Allowing flyballs in the KBO is a dangerous recipe and when you have guys with flyball rates of 50% (Son), 45% (Jeon), and 60% (Dae Lee), you are playing with fire.
Kiw (Jung Hoo Lee/Byung Ho Park/Ha Seong Kim/Ji Young Lee) – I was truly torn between this stack and KT and will definitely have some exposure to KT, but ultimately had to narrow it down and decided on the Heroes. I think both are in good spots, but I do think that KT will be the highest owned stack on the slate so I am hoping I can get a little bit of an edge if I am underweight on them. The Heroes were one of the best offenses in the league last season, but have sputtered here a little in the early going. Thats because two of their mashers, Byung Ho Park and Ha Seong Kim, have really struggled to ISOs of .179 and .095 respectively. These guys are too good to continue that trend and a matchup with a guy who allowed a 1.43 WHIP and .86 HR/9 last season could be just the medicine.
- Yes, I did not list the Doosan Bears. The matchup with Brooks is less than ideal so as good as they are, I just think there are better places to spend. And again…full disclosure, I am going to play a KT stack somewhere to cover myself against the chalk!
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!