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
Hunter Pence (DK – 3800 FD – 2900)
In looking for some one-offs on this slate, Pence immediately jumps off the page. He’s killing lefties – 92.45 EV14 and .353 xOBA – and he’s facing one of the worst LHP in MLB in Travis Wood. Good tournament play on both sites.
Delino Deshields (DK – 3500, 3200)
He should be leading off against Dallas Keuchel, who’s been excellent his last three starts, but despite the difficult matchup, DD’s EV14 of 86.99 is among the best in today’s main slate. I prefer his price on DK, and I’m only looking at him in tournaments.
Xander Bogaerts (DK – 4100 FD – 3500)
Bogaerts has struggled in comparison to last year, but he’s still a consistent player. Boston should hit well against JA Happ, although I’m not counting on it, as the Sox generally handle lefties well. Another GPP only play here, but his EV14 of 87.29 is a number I can’t ignore on an underwhelming slate. Happ has been extremely inconsistent, and he’s allowing 1.73 HR/9. There is potential for BOS to right the ship tonight.