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
JD Martinez (DK – 5300 FD – 4100)
I haven’t seen numbers like these all season, and although the sample size is somewhat limited, I’m all over JD-Mart tonight. His EV14 is good at 86.78, but the remaining stats are ridiculous – .523 xOBA, .659 ISO, and 75% HC14 vs LHP. Lets also remember Arizona is returning home to the desert where they seemingly crush everyone. Ty Blach is in trouble tonight – load up on ARI and start here.
Tim Beckham (DK – 4400 FD – 3500)
Beckham has been a revelation since the trade to Baltimore, but should we really be surprised? This guy was drafted first overall because he’s talented, and Tampa never gave him a consistent chance to play. He’s entering this matchup against Porcello with an EV14 of 86.28 and xOBA of .322. He’s definitely cooled off a bit, but it was impossible to keep the pace he brought immediately after the trade. Porcello is volatile, so I like BAL in tournaments tonight. I’ll take a shot at Beck in some GPPs.
Derek Dietrich (DK – 3300 FD – 2700)
Facing a left-handed pitcher in Travis Wood, this play certainly qualifies as contrarian. But we know Wood is a dumpster fire, and probably gives you five innings at best. Dietrich has been killing lefties – his 96.40 mph EV14 is massive, and his .361 xOBA vs LHP is surprising. While Stanton, Ozuna, and Realmuto will be the top plays in this matchup, Dietrich is a sneaky play at a cheap price, especially on FD.