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.
The 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 by Slim Gaede
Justin Smoak (DK- 5300 FD – 3700)
Smoak’s numbers jump off the page despite a tough matchup with Sean Manaea. His EV14 is the highest we’ve seen – 100.38, and his other stats all back him as a top play (.453 xOBA, .291 ISO, 66.67% HC14). We hate the Blue Jays, as they’re statistically the worst offense in the AL. But Smoak is a stud, and he’s affordable on FD in the all day slate.
Daniel Murphy (DK – 5400, FD – 3900)
Murphy looks primed to torch Michael Blazek in the first game of the day. EV14 of 91.28 is huge, and he’s smoking RHP with an HC14 58.82, xOBA .379 and ISO .250. The Nats have been frustrating lately, but I believe his jack last night helped him get back on track. Only tough part is his price tag on both sites.
Jose Bautista (DK – 3900 FD – 3300)
Rostering Joey Bats today puts your full belief in EV and should be considered a high risk tournament play only (DK). We’ve always known him as a lefty masher, but his stats vs LHP are too embarrassing to list here (considering he’s following me on Twitter, I can’t do that to the man). However, his EV14 of 89.35 gives some hope he might actually crush a laser into the seats today. A glimmer of hope…