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 w/ Slim Gaede
Tommy Pham (DK – 4200 FD – 3800)
This dude is mashing LHP, well pretty much everyone, but lefties are his specialty. His EV14 is eye popping (91.35), and his HC14 (57%) is elite. The power numbers are staggering – .321 ISO with .366 wOBA – all stats point to a lock play tonight. The only concern is a tough matchup with Robbie Ray (1.51 road ERA) and a team implied run total of only 4.1.
Hanley Ramirez (DK – 4400 FD – 3300)
Jason Vargas has nose-dived since the break, and Hanley has picked up his productivity vs LHP. He might be that guy again – a LHP crusher. He’s rolling in tonight with an EV14 of 86.08, and his xOBA .392 and ISO .259 make him a statistically elite play, especially at home with a team implied run total just south of five.
Cody Bellinger (DK – 5100 FD – 3800)
The Belldozer represents our contrarian play of the day against a LHP – most people will be off of him due to this matchup. But remember – it’s Matt Moore, who’s an absolute gas can on the road (7.61 ERA). The Bell Cow has been killing lefties lately – EV14 86.02, xOBA .355, and ISO .319. These are elite numbers we should look to exploit in tournaments. Don’t forget his overall average EV of 92.1 this year…and his price is always affordable on FD.