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
Manny Machado (DK – 5400 FD – 4200)
On a Coors slate I’m always looking for pivot plays, and Machado fits the bill tonight. The Orioles have been raking lately, and they’re back home against a terrible lefty in Marco Gonzalez (.554 xOBA, 8.1 HR/9 with very limited sample size). Manny’s EV14 of 86.24 ranks highly on the slate, but he checks the other boxes as well – .388 xOBA, .214 ISO, and his season average EV of 92.2 is top 10. BAL is implied over 5 runs in this contest, and I’m betting they do much better. I’ll be loading up here in tournaments.
Kendrys Morales (DK – 3400 FD – 2400)
Morales still ranks highly in avg EV at 91.6, so he’s constantly on my radar. It’s tough playing a guy who just stops hitting bombs, but that’s what happened here. However, Morales broke out Saturday, and I’m hoping his luck has changed. His 90.46 EV14 is elite, and the rest of the stats add up as well – .367 xOBA, .207 ISO, and 50% HC14. I love him tonight on both sites simply due to his price, despite a tough matchup with Drew Pomeranz. He’s basically a free square on FD and allows us to roster some Coors hitters – if you can stomach using 1B as a punt position.
Mark Trumbo (DK – 4300 FD – 3600)
I’m looking at an EV14 of 90.88 and HC14 of 50% vs LHP, and Trumbo allows cheaper exposure to this incredible matchup with Gonzalez. I’m not afraid to roster him in cash or tournaments, but as with Machado, I love the play more in tournaments as a Coors pivot. I’m calling a Trum-bomb tonight!