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
Justin Smoak (DK – 4600, FD – 4000)
EV14 ranks tops on the slate – 100.38 vs LHP. Add this to a .432 xOBA, .291 ISO, and 57.14% HC14 rate, you’ve got the makings of a top play. He’s been incredibly consistent all season (90.7 avg EV), and we’ve graded him an 83 overall on DK. Solid cash play against CC tonight (.304 lifetime BA with 2 HRs).
Yadier Molina (DK – 3800, FD – 3300)
Molina enters this I-70 Showdown with an EV14 of 89.24, which is elite on this slate. He’s rocking a .415 xOBA against LHP, and I’m looking for the Cards to break out again in this matchup with Jason Vargas. Yadi might be a little pricey on FD if you’re rostering one of the big gun SPs tonight.
Domingo Santana – (DK – 3700, FD – 3400)
He’s beating up on lefties and the stats line up for another big night – EV14 88.48, xOBA .373, ISO .258. Mejia is garbage and struggles against right-handed hitters. Santana grades out well (WiseTake DK rating 86), and he’s one of my favorite plays batting leadoff. Excellent tournament option on both sites, but I like his DK price better.