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 home runs.
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
James McCann (DK – 4000 FD – 2600)
I am not looking to attack CC at home, especially considering Detroit has thrown in the towel. But J-Mac deserves consideration today and going forward with Avila out of the picture. This guy straight up mashes lefties (xOBA .443 and ISO .387), and his EV14 of 86.65 ranks tops today amongst projected starting catchers. There’s no way in hell I’m paying 4K for him on DK, but I love him in cash games on FD. I’m always checking his price when DET faces a LHP.
Anthony Rendon (DK – 4900 FD – 3600)
Rendon has the best numbers on the slate – EV14 92.32 vs LHP with an xOBA .459 and ISO .396. These are monster stats, and he looks poised to bomb out against Chris O’Grady (who?). With Coors Field on the slate, Rendon will definitely be overlooked (as will the Nats entirely), so I love him as a GPP pivot.
Robinson Cano (DK – 3700 FD – 3100)
According to these prices, Robby’s no longer viewed as an elite hitter. I don’t buy into that theory. His power numbers are down a bit, but we’re talking about a guy with EV14 of 88.14, xOBA .385, and ISO .237. Nice numbers, maybe not the most eye-popping on the slate, but let’s remember – he’s facing Nick Martinez in Arlington. I have great respect for this guy, and I’m a believer in this matchup. Don’t be surprised if he goes deep tonight and Seattle throws up a crooked number.