Although rain threatened play in all five contests slated for Friday, only one succumbed to the elements:

As stated in the tweet, Kiwoom and the LG Giants will match-up in a doubleheader on Saturday which affects any DFS play. This means two seven inning games so there will be fewer at-bats possible for whichever game DraftKings puts on the slate. Another thing to monitor in the early KBO games is bullpens. Leads can evaporate and runs litter the landscape as games move to the high leverage innings. One standout thus far gets covered in this column:

Cubs fans may remember Jin-young Kim. Kim is back in the KBO after a rough 2019 campaign and off to a fast start in 2020. He’s retired nine of the 14 batters faced with a strikeout (64.3 strikeout percentage), including the last six Kim’s faced. Hitting 87 MPH on the radar with his fastball and touching 90 MPH, Kim hopes to anchor the Hanwha bullpen for a return to the playoffs. However, most relievers nibble in the KBO and this prompted some research. Entering game play on Friday, here’s how the bullpens stack up so far:

  • Doosan Bears - 31.2 IP, 9.09 ERA, 2.02 WHIP, 14.6 K%, 8.9 BB%
  • Hanwha Eagles - 19.1 IP, 5.60 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 23.5 K%, 12.9 BB%
  • Kia Tigers - 31 IP, 5.81 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 20.3 K%, 15.4 BB%
  • Kiwoom Heroes - 33.2 IP, 3.47 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 17.5 K%, 4.4 BB%
  • KT Wiz - 28.2 IP, 8.47 ERA, 2.02 WHIP, 11.1 K%, 11.8 BB%
  • LG Twins - 33.1 IP, 3.78 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 13.9 K%, 7.3 BB%
  • Lotte Giants - 31.2 IP, 5.67 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 16.2 K%, 7.7 BB%
  • NC Dinos - 27.1 IP, 4.62 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 16.5 K%, 11.6 BB%
  • Samsung Lions - 28 IP, 2.25 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 18.9 K%, 13.1 BB%
  • SK Wyverns - 26 IP, 6.92 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 21.2 K%, 9.7 BB%

As can be seen, most bullpens yield runs in bunches late in contests. In fact between the ten teams, 44 home runs against their relievers highlight the volatility. This not only affects which hitters to target in DFS match-ups, it also can point to which teams can close out wins with better bullpens behind them. There’s time for statistics to settle in but it’s worth noting.

During Friday’s action, the NC Dinos closer of the day, Chang-min Im issued four walks leading to the tying run scoring with two outs on a bases loaded free pass. That is less than optimal. Im’s team bailed him out scoring four runs in the top of the 10th against SK Wyverns beleaguered bullpen for their eighth win in nine games. Hanwha’s Woo-ram Jung notched his third save of the season preserving his team’s fourth win of the season.

Also, another team lost two players to the new KBO injured list and it could affect its status going forward

Imports often determine how a team fares in the KBO. Hanwha’s off to a rough start with three wins over the first nine contests. Now, it potentially loses Nick Kingham in the rotation and one of its most productive hitters in Jared Hoying. Last year, Hoying hit .284/.343/.460 with 18 home runs and 22 stolen bases in 124 games.

As for the games on Friday, the Doosan offense continues to flourish reaching at least seven runs for the fifth straight game. Only one hitter has eclipsed 200 hits in KBO history but Jose Miguel Fernandez continues his quest to become the second. Fernandez recorded 197 hits in 2019 and he’s off to a scorching start to the 2020 season with 17 hits over his first 34 at-bats prior to Friday. He then went 3-for-4 with two singles to right field (his pull side) and a double to left-center raising his average to .526 on the season while on pace for an unsustainable 320 hits over 144 games. He’s also notched multiple hits in seven of his first nine contests for Doosan. Here’s the rest of the action around the KBO on Friday.

Starting Pitcher Spotlight

During a no-decision, SK’s Seung-won Moon recorded the most strikeouts on the slate with seven over six innings on 96 pitches giving up seven hits, two earned runs and a walk.

Jae-hak Lee of the Dinos turned in a quality start working six innings allowing two hits, one earned run and a walk with four strikeouts. He lost a chance for his second win when his bullpen took a walk on the wild side.

Ee-whan Kim of Hanwha registered his first win tossing six innings yielding seven hits, one earned run and a walk with two strikeouts.

It was a not so great day for Dan Straily . He only pitched 4.1 innings on 96 pitches giving up seven hits, two earned runs and three walks with four strikeouts. It is important to note the KBO does not require all mounds on its ballparks to be set at the same height. This could be a factor for pitchers working on the road if their arsenal does not translate to certain parks.

Last, but not least, Doosan’s Hui-kwan Yu evened his record with his first win tossing five innings allowing four hits, two runs (zero earned) and four walks with two strikeouts. Sometimes those bonus points for wins matter in DFS.

Hitter Highlights

KT Wiz

Exploded for 14 runs on 16 hits in a blowout win over Samsung on Friday. Here’s the hitters of note from the Wiz:

  • Woo-jun Sim (SS) - Went 3-for-4 with two runs, a triple, an RBI, walked and stole a base to stuff the stat sheet. 
  • Baek-ho Kang (1B) - Doubled and knocked in three runs while scoring a run in his five at-bats. 
  • Hang-joon Yoo (DH) - Launched his second home run driving in two. 
  • Mel Rojas Jr. (OF) - Getting to his home park sparked Rojas to two extra-base hits with a double and his second home run. Rojas finished 2-for-4 with two runs, an RBI and walked. 
  • Kyung-soo Park (2B) - Also hit his second home run among his two hits with two runs and two RBI. 

Doosan Bears

  • Jose Miguel Fernandez (DH) - Just another multiple hit game for the KBO’s leading hitter (.526) with three hits, a run, a double, two RBI and hit-by-pitch in five plate appearances. 
  • Jae-il Oh (1B) - Went 2-for-5 with two RBI. 
  • Se-Hyuk Park (C) - Racked up three hits in four at-bats with two RBI and reached via a hit-by-pitch. 
  • Kyoung-min Hur (3B) - Despite hitting eighth, Hur remains productive in a deep Doosan lineup going 2-for-5 with two runs, his first home run and two RBI. 

Samsung Lions

  • Sang-su Kim (2B) - Notched three hits from the lead-off spot and scored two runs in the Lions loss. 
  • Ja-wook Koo (OF) - Went 2-for-5 with a run, double and an RBI. 

NC Dinos

  • Min-woo Park (OF) - Recorded four hits in six at-bats with a double and two RBI. 
  • Tae-goon Mim (C) - Filling in for NC’s star catcher, Mim went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. 

Kia Tigers

  • Chan-ho Park (SS) - Finished with two hits in four at-bats with two runs and a walk. 
  • Preston Tucker (OF) - Another two-hit day with a double and an RBI in four at-bats. 

SK Wyverns

  • Jun-hyeok Oh (OF) - Launched his first home run with an RBI and a walk over three plate appearances. 
  • Jamie Romak (1B) - Went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Keep tabs on his power upside since he’s heating up. 

Process all the information and once again track the weather heading into Saturday’s slate. Also remember Kiwoom and the LG Twins will play a doubleheader (seven inning games) with imports Jake Brigham matching up with Casey Kelley in Game 1. Hanwha sends ace Warwick Saupold to the mound to face the Lotte Giants as well in an attempt to move closer to .500 on the season.

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