The state of DFS prior to KBO has been basically Esports like League of Legends or various SIM games either hosted by the gaming website like DraftKings and SuperDraft or by the sports leagues themselves like MLB. The turn off for many DFS players has been the lack of any ability to prepare; to gain an edge on the competition. While various resource sites have raced to try and provide additional information about the different Esports and their players the bottom line is that it is just too foreign for traditional DFS players to embrace.
KBO is like the states reopening because first and foremost, it is baseball. We know baseball – the game is universal; 9 players, 9 innings, 3 outs, 3 strikes, and so on. Second, the stats behind the game are universal; batting average, strikeouts per 9 innings, slugging percentage, and so on. Third, the teams have “American” players which provide a foothold for many to utilize when diving into the games. And finally, there are only 10 teams, not 30 which feels “slow” for those use to researching 30 teams and possibly 600 players per day.
FanDuel and DraftKings have both embraced the KBO and with ESPN broadcasting several games a week as well there are a lot of DFS players warming up and working towards playing on both sites. So let’s take a look at each site and see how they have structured their contests.
KBO on FanDuel
FanDuel is fairly straight forward with a simplified version of their MLB games. You construct a lineup comprised of 1 starting pitcher, 2 infielders, 2 outfielders, and 2 utility players. FanDuel has also removed all of the relief pitchers from the equation.
The scoring remains the same from the MLB games.
KBO on DraftKings
DraftKings is basically the same as their MLB product. You construct your lineup by selecting 2 pitchers, 3 outfielders, and one of each of the infield positions, including catcher. Like FanDuel the scoring remains the same for DraftKings from their MLB product.
The biggest and most important difference between the two sites is the use of pitchers. FanDuel went simplistic with 1 starting pitcher, that’s it. DraftKings went the other direction and went simplistic by keeping their MLB format across the board. You can choose 2 pitchers – that means you can choose 2 of the 10 starting pitchers or you could get creative and choose a relief pitcher or even 2. That is where familiarity with the KBO and dependable resources will be invaluable. I personally do not recommend this strategy unless you are mass entering a huge contest.
KBO – what to know
The basic information about KBO that all players need to know going in is fairly simple. The KBO is a hitter’s league. It is not a power league averaging less than 1 home run per game whereas the MLB averages 1.4 home runs per game. Likewise, there is less power in the pitching. There is an average of 6.8 strikeouts per nine innings in the KBO versus nearly 1 per inning in the MLB. Thus as we begin we should focus on pitchers securing the win bonus as well as those few hitters who have power in addition to their contact rates and using them around your preferred stack. In short, remember this Hitting > Starting Pitching > Bullpen > Fielding.
Here are some resources to help you become more familiar and help you set your lineups:
- KBO’s official site (in English)
- Dan Kurtz’s site mykbostats.com
- Baseball Refernce’s 2019 KBO statistics
- FanGraphs has KBO ZiPS translations, plus an archive of content
- RotoRadar has gone 100% free during the pandemic
Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!