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
Tommy Pham (DK – 4300 FD – 3800)
From a numbers perspective, Pham is the man tonight. He’s entering with an EV14 of 91.35 vs LHP with a .366 xOBA and massive .321 ISO. I don’t love targeting hitters against E-Rod, but we’ve gotta follow the stats on this one. I prefer this as a tournament play, as there are safer cash plays at this price point.
Zack Cozart (DK – 4100 FD – 3300)
Cozart’s 88.45 EV14 ranks elite on tonight’s slate, and his HC14 is over 41%. John Lackey sucks this year, and the Reds should blow up. I always like targeting a pitcher with a high HR/9, and Lackey is terrible at 2.04 HR/9. Votta has the most power potential here, but Cozart’s .236 ISO is pretty damn solid. Don’t be afraid to utilize him in all formats on both sites.
Yulieski Gurriel (DK – 4300 FD – 3500)
His 90.59 EV14 makes him a top play in terms of EV, but Yuli’s power numbers are down lately. Houston finally broke out yesterday, so they should be more popular today. Gurriel will be overlooked, as he’s not the first HOU player you’re looking to roster. Couple this with diminishing power, and he’ll be very low owned. Don’t forget with this EV stat – he’s been hitting the ball hard and not getting results. Eventually, it will turn around for him, and a matchup with a big time fastball pitcher like Tijuan Walker might be exactly what he needs.