KBO: Week 5 Power Rankings

KBO: Week 5 Power Rankings

This article is part of our KBO Power Rankings series.

At the start of Week 5 of the KBO season, it's time to have a bit of fun by introducing my KBO Power Rankings. While these are mostly here for fun and debate, they're also fantasy-relevant, as they represent my impressions of the relative strengths of each team. Obviously, for any given player you're considering selecting for your DFS lineups, you should care most about the strength of the lineup or starting pitcher he is facing, but the overall strength of the team does matter in a few ways, such as contributing to the likelihood of a starter recording a win. Since I'm trying to keep this list as fantasy-relevant as possible, I'm focusing heavily on how strong I believe each team is right now. As such, I'll be discounting teams that are currently without star players due to injury, even if I like how those teams will look when fully healthy. Feel free to tell me how biased I am against your favorite team in the comments section at the bottom!

Without further ado, here are my power rankings after the first four weeks of the season.

1. NC Dinos 

Record: 18-5
Run Differential: +60 

The Lowdown: Two losses to the lowly Lions aren't enough to bump the Dinos off the top spot. They lead the league in both runs scored and runs allowed and look even more dangerous now that Aaron Altherr's bat is starting to come alive. 

DFS Name to Know: Jin Sung Kang, who is listed as a catcher on DraftKings despite only playing one inning there in his KBO career, had essentially no track record heading into this season. However, he has broken out and owns a 1.363 OPS with five homers through 20 games.

2. LG Twins

Record: 16-7
Run Differential: +35

The Lowdown: Second is the natural spot for the Twins , who sit a clear second in both record and run differential. They haven't lost a series since dropping two of three to the Bears in the first series of the season, though they could be in for a rough stretch if Roberto Ramos' back injury is more serious than it initially appeared. 

DFS Name to Know: Roberto Ramos, who's been mysteriously underpriced on DraftKings, has been the MVP frontrunner through four weeks, posting a 1.263 OPS while hitting 10 homers – three more than anyone else in the league.

3. Doosan Bears

Record: 14-9
Run Differential: -9 

The Lowdown: There's an argument to be made that the Bears deserve to be much lower on the list, as the league's worst run prevention has them sitting seventh in the league in run differential. I'll give the benefit of the doubt to a side which has made five straight Korean Series for now, however.

DFS Name to Know: Jose Fernandez led the league in hits last season and has a six-hit lead on the field up to this point. Oh, he is also batting an absurd .486.

4. Kiwoom Heroes

Record: 12-12
Run Differential: +12

The Lowdown: Last year's Korean Series runners-up rank third by run differential, but getting outscored 26-11 over a three-game sweep by the Dinos last week keeps them stuck in fourth place for now. They could move up the rankings if they can find a quality bat to replace their waived foreign hitter, Taylor Motter, who struggled to adjust to life in Korea and was released following 10 very ineffective games.

DFS Name to Know: Jung Hoo Lee was a contact hitter with very little power in his first three KBO campaigns, but the 21-year-old already has four homers this year (two shy of his career high) to go along with a .359 batting average.

5. Kia Tigers 

Record: 12-12
Run Differential: -6

The Lowdown: The Tigers have looked overall like a very mediocre side, with their third-ranked pitching so far cancelling out their seventh-ranked offense. The fact that their pitching has been that good even with Hyun Jong Yang looking rather mediocre is a cause for optimism, however.

DFS Name to Know: Preston Tucker has cooled off a bit following an incredibly hot start, but he's still hitting .326 with six homers and a league-leading 25 RBI.

6. SK Wyverns

Record: 7-16
Run Differential: -35

The Lowdown: The Wyverns played each of the five teams ranked above them in consecutive series from May 12 to May 28 and went an awful 3-12, but they then went on to sweep the Eagles over the weekend. This team is worse than the Wyverns squad which finished tied for the league's best record last season, but they're better than they've been so far and have a shot at a playoff spot once they wake up, which they're finally starting to do.

DFS Name to Know: Jeong Choi, a veteran who hit .292 with 29 homers last season, opened the year with an awful .494 OPS through his first 17 games. However, he posted a 1.490 OPS over six games last week.

7. KT Wiz

Record: 10-13
Run Differential: +9

The Lowdown: The Wiz would probably rank fifth or higher if I wasn't trying to make this a very present-focused list, as they're still a couple weeks from star slugger Baek Ho Kang's return from a wrist injury. Still, it's hard to see their solid run differential and not think that they have a good shot at making the first playoff appearance since the franchise was formed in 2015.

DFS Name to Know: Mel Rojas Jr. has done more than pick up the slack in Kang's absence, hitting .409 with six homers, 21 runs and 20 RBI.

8. Samsung Lions

Record: 10-14
Run Differential: -8

The Lowdown: The Lions seemed to have a very good case for one of the last two spots in these rankings before surprisingly beating the league-leading Dinos twice in their weekend series. Injuries to Ja Wook Koo (thigh) and Ben Lively (side) definitely hurt, but this team deserves some respect for posting a better run differential than the Bears through four weeks.

DFS Name to Know: David Buchanan's ERA sits at a subpar 4.50 after getting blown up by the Twins for 10 runs in mid-May, but he held the potent Bears and Dinos offenses to a combined one run over his last two starts.

9. Lotte Giants

Record: 11-12
Run Differential: -17

The Lowdown: The Giants may sit sixth in the standings, but their eight-place ranking in run differential is probably a more accurate reflection of their talent. They fall behind the Lions here after losing twice to them earlier in the week, part of a stretch that's seen them go 6-12 since their surprising 5-0 start.

DFS Name to Know: Dan Straily has taken to the KBO quite well, posting a 2.70 ERA and a 26.4 percent strikeout rate through six starts.

10. Hanwha Eagles

Record: 7-17
Run Differential: -41

The Lowdown: (7-17, minus-41): Last in the standings, last in offense and last in run differential, not much has gone right for the Eagles this season. Eight straight losses is a surefire way to end up on the bottom of these rankings, and there's not much reason to have any optimism about the team on days when Warwick Saupold isn't pitching.

DFS Name to Know: Warwick Saupold is just about the only Eagle worth considering, and even he is less interesting than his 2.65 ERA would suggest, as he owns just a 12.4 percent strikeout rate.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Halterman
Erik Halterman is an MLB staff writer at RotoWire. He also covers KBO, NPB and CPBL daily fantasy contests.
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