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
Jake Marisnick (DK – 4600 FD – 2400)
The DFS world took notice after a double dong game the other night, but outside of that game, the numbers are alarming. With an 89.33 EV14 and .314 ISO vs RHP, and matchup with Austin Pruitt, Jake should be on our radar today. No way I’m paying 4600 for a 9-hole hitter on DK, but for 2400 on FD I love him as a cheap tournament play and borderline cash play, which allows us more money to load up on Colorado bats.
Corey Seager (DK – 5500 FD – 3600)
Obviously he’s a solid play against most RHPs, but his EV14 90.35 is actually rising again and closing in on his season average of 91.7. His current ISO is slightly under .200, but with an xOBA .401, HC14 of 44.4%, and three career bombs in 9 ABs against Teheran – he will be a cash game staple for me on FD tonight. Let’s not forget Teheran in this equation – he’s terrible at home (7.05 ERA) and allows well over 2 HR/9 IP at SunTrust. The Dodgers are a nice pivot from Coors, and it starts with the younger Seager.
Austin Barnes (DK – 4100 FD – 2400)
Speaking of Dodgers…if Barnes starts tonight I’m taking a long look at him on FD. Although a smaller sample size, his EV14 is tops on the slate at 99.67. I’m also looking at an HC14 of 42.86 and xOBA .345. He’s got a great opportunity for damage in a small ballpark with baserunners all over the place. We’ll have to watch the lineup card on this one.