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
Mike Zunino (DK – 3100 FD – 2100)
The Mariner’s right-handed hitters look great today in a matchup with Wade Miley, and Zunino gives us a cheap option with great upside. He’s coming in with an EV14 of 87.53, xOBA .355, and .250 ISO vs LHP. Miley’s xOBA against is terrible at .384, which makes me love Zunino in all formats, especially on FD at near minimum price.
Kendrys Morales (DK – 4000 FD – 3100)
Toronto is the most frustrating team in DFS this year – no matter how great the matchup, they always seem to let us down. Blake Snell enters with a .358 xOBA against, and Morales’s EV14 of 90.46 ranks among the best on the slate. Don’t forget his season avg of 91.3 also puts him in elite company. These corresponding numbers show how consistently hard he’s hitting the ball. I like his odds in this matchup.
Jorge Bonafacio (DK – 3400 FD – 2800)
Boni enters this game with an 88.72 EV14 and .376 xOBA vs right-handed pitching. Chris Smith has been ripped so far (.736 xOBA), but most people will play KC’s studs – Moose and Hos. Boni actually hits RHP better, and he will be completely overlooked tonight. We should see him in the 2-hole, and KC should have a big offensive night. I love him as tournament value, especially on FD at 2800.