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
Kris Bryant (DK – 5300 FD – 4300)
Bryant has play of the day potential here (EV14 – 89.74, xOBA – .455, and ISO – .289), and the Cubs will be popular coming off 17 runs last night and facing rookie Sean Newcomb. My only concern here is the wind situation at Wrigley. At publication I’m showing the wind blowing in from center between 15-20 mph. Be cautious.
Ryan Zimmerman (DK – 4200 FD – 3500)
Zim enters this matchup against Zach Davies with and EV14 of 87.6, a solid .372 xOBA and .256 ISO. The stats look great, but Vegas is demonstrating a great deal of respect for Davis – WAS is implied only 4.1 runs, and Gio is actually an underdog here. I’m on WAS tonight, well at least Turner and Zim. I have no problem playing him in cash or tournaments.
Rene Rivera (DK – 2500 FD – 2000)
Rivera’s numbers suggest an exceptional punt play – 88.83 EV14 and massive .313 ISO vs LHP. He should get another start tonight against Newcomb, and he’s minimum price on FD. He had a nice game last night in the same spot, but remember the “wind stuff” referenced above with Bryant.