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
Robinson Cano (DK – 4400 FD – 4000)
Robby has all the numbers in his favor tonight, beginning with an EV14 of 88.49. His xOBA entering this matchup against Folty is .389, and his HC14 is 40%. We know he’s not the power hitter he once was, but SunTrust is a launching pad, which is another reason he scores a WiseTake DK grade of 80 tonight. I prefer his price on DK, and he’s safe in all formats with HR upside.
Andrew McCutchen (DK – 3800 FD – 3100)
Cutch has been killing lefties, and although Alex Wood has been great all season, he’s not missing bats as often. With an EV14 just under 90 mph, a .356 ISO, and HC14 of 50%, I can’t ignore this dude even against a good pitcher. I will take advantage of his price discount on both sites. Cutch is one of my favorite tournament plays on the slate.
Corey Seager (DK – 4700 FD – 3700)
Gerrit Cole has been tough at home, but Seager has an elite EV14 of 90.35 vs RHP to go along with his elite season average. His HC14 of 45% ranks very high on the slate, and he’s sporting a .399 xOBA. I don’t love the matchup or DK price, so I’ll most likely leave him as a FD only play, but you can trust him. Major upside as always, and the Dodgers will be at full strength again.