The Statcast era of Major League Baseball brought about an entirely new set of statistics (Average Exit Velocity, Batted Ball Distance, Launch Angle, etc.) that go beyond traditional and advanced stats. Exit Velocity (EV) is the most important of these new stats, and it remains underutilized in DFS.
EV is defined as the speed (measured in Miles Per Hour) at which the baseball comes off a hitter’s bat. Every time the ball is contacted EV is calculated, regardless of the result of the contact. A higher MPH means a batter hits the ball harder on average, which generally leads to more hits and more homeruns.
DFS players need to target hitters with high EV, so we roster guys who are hitting the ball hard. This helps us see hitters who might be slumping in average and HRs, but could break out soon because they’re ripping the ball. Conversely, we can see hitters who may have decent numbers lately, but they haven’t been contacting the ball consistently, so we can avoid them.
WiseTake’s Hitter’s Model utilizes EV (final column), which shows the batter’s average EV over the last 14 days and includes handedness. The EV number you see represents the last 14 days vs either a right-handed pitcher or lefty, depending on the starting pitcher the batter is facing today. If you’re looking for consistency – cross reference this number with the hitter’s average EV for the entire season. If both numbers are high, you’re looking at a consistent hitter.
Hitters, Fast and Furious w/ @realslimgaede
Rougned Odor (DK – 4200 FD – 3100)
On a 5 game main slate, the Rangers will be chalky against rookie Reynaldo Lopez. Odor has a team high 87.26 EV14 and HC14 of nearly 41%, and we know what kind of damage he does at home. TEX implied at 5.8 runs means they should be chalky, and I would really prefer seeing Odor hitting higher than 8th tonight. He’s most likely a FD lock for me at 3100.
Joe Mauer (DK – 3600 FD – 3100)
Although I like Carrasco in this matchup, predicted high winds blowing out to right field changes the narrative. Mauer’s EV14 of just under 87 is solid, and his HC14 over 43% is elite. His .391 xOBA is surprising, as he’s a dude rarely rostered in DFS. I like him as a cheap option on DK early slate due to ballpark factors and low ownership.
Nolan Arenado (DK – 5500 FD – 4500)
Facing a rookie at Coors in Lucas Sims, who’s sporting a .433 xOBA against him, Arenado appears to be a lock. His EV14 sits at 86.25 which is solid, but certainly below his normal output. His xOBA and ISO numbers are down. But on a 5 game early slate with his team implied at 6.4 runs, we should strongly consider him. I mean, he’s freaking Nolan Arenado!