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
Howie Kendrick (DK – 4300 FD – 2600)
Facing a lousy lefty in Chris O’Grady, who he just bombed on, and carrying an EV14 of 87.47 and xOBA .472, Kendrick stacks up as a great play tonight. O’Grady has an xOBA of .433 against him, and I expect him to get hit hard. Also, Kendrick should hit 2-hole, so he’ll see plenty of pitches to hit in front of Harper. With his FD price I’ll consider him in cash games, since we’ll need some value to roster Mad Max.
Zack Cozart (DK – 3400 FD – 3100)
Just off the DL, playing in his home ballpark, and matching up with Jhoulys Chacin – did DK forget about this guy? His price is criminally low for a dude who crushes at home and hits in front of Votto. He’s sporting an EV14 of 88.45 and ISO .236 – which also leads me into loving him in all formats tonight, especially at his DK price.
Anthony Rendon (DK – 4500 FD – 3300)
Rendon boasts the highest EV14 among projected starters – 92.22, along with an xOBA north of .450 and ISO .396. He kills lefties, and we’ve already discussed how our boy O’Grady will get torched in this matchup. Roster with cash confidence!