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/ Slim Gaede
Kyle Schwarber (DK – 3800, FD – 3100)
Schwarber has been all over the place in 2017, but this matchup against Taijuan Walker looks prime for a Schwar-bomb. The stats align in his favor – EV14 88.58, HC14 47.37% to go along with a .362 xOBA and .248 ISO. Walker is a fastball pitcher, and he’s growing into a good one, but Schwarber can handle anyone’s fastball. Perfect matchup for him in the desert, and he’s priced right for all formats.
Xander Bogaerts (DK – 3800 FD – 2800)
He’s been struggling this year – we know the power numbers are down, and he’s no longer a 3-hole hitter. But he’s been hitting left handed pitching hard – his EV14 of 87.29 proves this. He’s too good of a player hitting in a great lineup to continue this slump. I think BOS will succeed against Jaime Garcia, and despite this slump, XB is still hitting over .280.
Matt Olson (DK – 2500 FD – 2000)
I love him as punt play today against Ubaldo, who allows 2.1 HR/9. Oakland should have success in this spot, and Olson boasts the top EV14 on the slate at 96.85. Nobody will be on this guy, as most people don’t look Oakland’s way on a large slate. Remember this – he’s immensely talented, and Billy Beane traded Yonder Alonso to clear a spot at 1st for Olson to play.