This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
With a brief pause in the MLB schedule between the regular season and playoffs, the KBO is the only game in town, at least on DraftKings. The dawn of a new week sees the KT Wiz holding onto a slimmer lead atop the standings than they've had for some time, though they're still 3.5 games above the Twins and Lions. The Bears, meanwhile, sit comfortably in fourth place, with a somewhat safe 3.5-game margin over the teams occupying the first non-playoff spots. They also sit second in run differential, suggesting that they could be a real threat in the postseason and could even continue to charge up the standings, though they don't have much time to improve their position with just 24 games left to play. There's still quite a battle for the fifth and final playoff spot, however, with the Heroes leading the Dinos and Landers by just a game and a half.
Tuesday's action features three key matchups between contenders, with the Wiz hosting the Dinos, the Twins hosting the Landers and the Heroes hosting the Lions. All five games will be part of DraftKings' slate, which begins at 5:30 a.m. ET.
Dan Straily ($7,100) was dominant last season, riding a 26.4 percent strikeout rate and 6.6 percent walk rate to a 2.50 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He hasn't been close to that guy this year, striking out 21.9 percent of opposing batters while walking 10.1 percent en route to a 4.24 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Even absent any other factors, however, his current numbers make him look like at least a slight bargain at his confusingly affordable price. Those other factors are very much present, making him easily the best value on the slate. For starters, he's facing the last-ranked Tigers lineup, a unit which makes pitchers far less talented than Straily look like strong options. He's also shown signs of turning things around lately, as he's held the second-ranked Wiz lineup scoreless over six frames in two of his last three starts, allowing just three hits in both outings.
Odrisamer Despaigne ($6,800) joins Straily in the confusingly cheap club, and if it were him who got to face the lowly Tigers, it would likely be him who earned top billing here. He doesn't have a particularly tough matchup himself, however, as he'll take on a Dinos team that has plummeted to sixth in scoring after losing four regulars to season-long suspensions for violating health protocols over the break. Despaigne was dominant in the first half, cruising to a 2.45 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, but he's been poor since the break, struggling to a 5.37 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. He looked to be turning things around, as he posted a 2.45 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over a three-start stretch in mid-to-late September, but he flopped hard his last time out against the Bears, allowing eight runs on 14 hits in seven innings of work. He certainly has the potential to ruin your lineup Tuesday, but he's been worth far more than $6,800 in the vast majority of his starts this season.
Eric Jokisch ($8,600) recently had to work through a bit of a rough patch of his own, but his was much shorter and much less severe than the ones Straily and Despaigne dealt with, so it makes sense that his price tag hasn't dropped similarly. Heading into his last outing, he'd allowed 14 runs (eight earned) on 15 hits over 8.2 innings of work over his previous two starts, but he rebounded to look like the pitcher we're used to seeing, tossing six scoreless frames against the Eagles while allowing just four hits. He now owns a 2.73 ERA and 1.17 WHIP on the season, backing those numbers up with a merely average 18.2 percent strikeout rate and a strong 6.3 percent walk rate. He should be in line for another strong start Tuesday, as he'll face a visiting Lions lineup that ranks merely fifth in scoring despite playing half its games at the league's most hitter-friendly park.
Shin Soo Choo ($5,400) hasn't dominated in the way you might expect a hitter with his extensive MLB track record would in his first year at the KBO level, but he's been far from poor, hitting .256/.397/.440 over the course of the year while adding 19 homers and 20 steals, a very impressive total for a 39-year-old. His 16.8 percent walk rate has kept him a premier on-base threat despite a modest batting average. He's been in one of his best stretches of the year over his last 16 games, slashing .355/.474/.565 with four homers and 17 runs scored while walking (14) more than he's struck out (13). Given how well he's seeing the ball, he should be in for a good night against Twins righty Min Ho Lee, who's 19 years his junior and has allowed eight runs in 6.1 innings over his last two trips to the mound.
Sticking with the Landers, few hitters in the league are better than Jeong Choi ($4,900) when he's swinging the bat well. He's doing everything he can to keep the Landers in the race despite the team's significant pitching problems, hitting .316/.378/.579 with three homers and 11 RBI over his last 10 games. That doesn't even necessarily count as a hot streak given the form he's shown all season, as his .970 OPS is his best mark since 2017 and is good for third among qualified hitters. His 30 homers tie him for first in the league and give him 398 for his career. Barring injury, he'll have an easy time becoming the second 400-homer hitter in league history, giving him a shot to catch Seung Yeop Lee's all time record of 467 within the next two years.
Dong Hui Han ($3,800) has been on a tear recently, yet his price tag has remained nearly unchanged. He'll continue to show up frequently here as long as that's the case. Through the end of August, Han was hitting a fairly disappointing .227/.345/.384, but things suddenly changed when the calendar flipped to September. In 29 games since then, he's slashed .379/.450/.600. He remains the cheapest among a largely interchangeable group of Giants bats who are usually good but not great, making him a strong choice at either second or third base against Gi Yeong Im and his 5.08 ERA.
As long as Soo Bin Jung ($3,300) remains the Bears' leadoff man, he'll continue to feature heavily here, as the player who bats first for the league's highest-scoring lineup deserves plenty of attention at this sort of price almost regardless of who he is. Jung really isn't anything special with a bat in his hands, as he's hitting .250/.314/.341 on the season and owns a modest .726 OPS over the course of his 12-year career, but the Bears clearly like him in the role. He's led off in 15 of the team's last 17 games and has thrived in the role, hitting .329/.360/.443 over that stretch while scoring 15 runs. He could cross the plate a few more times Monday, as the Bears could be set to post a big number against Eagles righty Min Je Jang, who owns a career 5.72 ERA and has a 5:6 K:BB in a small sample of 11.1 innings this season.
Stacks to Consider
Heo could be an important part of the Lions' rotation one day, as the team liked him enough to select him with the fifth pick in last year's draft. He posted a passable 4.80 ERA in 11 starts as a rookie last season, but that didn't look remotely sustainable, as it came with an 8.8 percent strikeout rate and 15.2 percent walk rate. He'll be making his season debut Tuesday, as he's spent all year at the Future League level, where he's been fine but far from dominant. His 3.97 ERA is solid but comes with a modest 1.42 WHIP. There's little reason to believe a player who's been decent at best in the minors will have much success at the KBO level. The fact that Heo is a southpaw does give him a bit of an advantage against a lefty-heavy Heroes lineup, but we can still build a strong stack here, trusting Lee to be his usual self regardless of the platoon disadvantage while hoping for a bounceback from Craig and for Park to stay hot.
Enough Twins hitters have started heating up recently that I'm comfortable recommending them less begrudgingly than I have for much of the year, though they'd look like a prime stack option Tuesday even without that recent turnaround. Choi is one of 17 pitchers to start a game for the Landers as they desperately search for options who can keep them in contention. While he's about to make his ninth start of the year, it's highly unlikely he'd reach even that modest total under ordinary circumstances. He owns a 6.47 ERA through 65.1 innings as a swingman this season, a number which looks very much deserved given his 1.82 WHIP and 48:44 K:BB. Things have only gotten worse for him as a starter, as he owns a 7.68 ERA in that role compared to a 5.17 mark in relief. You could go a number of ways with a Twins stack here, but I've gone with a trio of lefties who should bat in the top three spots in the order.