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
Lucas Duda (DK – 3900 FD – 3300)
Dat Duda has all the makings of a top play tonight – the numbers, the matchup at home with Chris Rowley, and the price. The stats are hot – EV14 87.63, xOBA .383, ISO .283, and HC14 50% vs RHP. My only issue is the Rays flat out suck! They’ve completely fallen apart in their last 35 games, and they’re barely hitting above the Mendoza line as a team in that timeframe. I’m basically done with them, but I can’t look past Duda tonight – always follow the numbers (and WiseTake DK grade of 89).
Scott Schebler (DK – 3600 FD – 2700)
He’s a forgotten man since his injury, but he’s back and crushing the ball again. With an EV14 of 87.21, xOBA .362, and ISO .252 Schebler is back where he was earlier in the season. The bombs will come soon enough, and he’s looking at a juicy home matchup with John Lackey, who’s allowing 2.04 HR/9 in 2017. There will be major ownership in this game, mostly on the Chicago side, so Schebler will go completely underowned. His price combined with his upside makes him one of my favorite tournament options on this slate.
Ketel Marte (DK – 3200 FD – 2700)
I’ll be looking to punt a few spots tonight, and Marte caught my eye as a solid choice. His EV14 sits over 88 mph vs LHP, and he’s facing gas can Tommy Milone. Arizona has major upside in this matchup, even on the road. Marte’s xOBA of .500 can’t be ignored, and he’s shown some power as well (.200 ISO). He’s a nice choice as a punt, but also allows us to roster a cheap hitter in a lineup with the potential to put up a big number tonight.