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.
Fast and Furious by Jason Gaede
Kris Bryant (DK – 5100 FD – 3700)
Bryant possesses all the makings of a top play tonight (WiseTake Overall 89) – with an EV14 of 89.74 vs LHP, Hard Contact rate of 80%, and a history of crushing lefties. His xOBA of .470 and ISO of .338 put him in prime HR potential status. Wade Miley continues to be ripped by right-handed hitters (xOBA .357), and Camden Yards is a launching pad. I prefer Bryant on FD at a discount price.
Daniel Murphy (DK – 4900 FD – 3800)
Murph-dog has been raking vs RHP, but this Castillo kid has been surprisingly tough. We can’t ignore an EV14 of 91.24, especially in this lineup at The Great American Ballpark. xOBA of .381 and ISO .237 are elite statistics, so the numbers match up to an excellent play in all formats.
Corey Seager (DK – 4600 FD – 3800)
The EV numbers for the younger Seager scream elite play – Overall 92.3 for the season and EV14 – 90.35. He’s been destroying RHP with an xOBA of .404 and ISO.188. A WiseTake grade of 88 says top play as well, but we can see this based on EV alone.
Nelson Cruz (DK – 4800 FD – 4300)
Targeting Mike Pelfrey has been frustrating in 2017, so Cruz is questionable here, especially at his price tag on both sites. But the numbers are the numbers, and they generally pan out. Cruz’s 2017 season average EV of 93.3 is truly elite, and his EV14 of 90.46 confirms he’s still raking, although slightly lower than his average. His ISO and xOBA numbers are popping now as well, but my concern is his price today.
Yulieski Gurriel (DK 3600 FD 3400)
You could argue every Astro is an elite play on every slate – they’re putting up crooked numbers nightly. But this kid looks special, and his EV14 of 90.59 and season EV 91.9 put him in elite status. His HC14 of 52.63% confirm the EV stats, and a .209 ISO confirms he’s turning hard contact into power. I really like his DK price today, and I’m not at all worried about a matchup with Ervin Santana.