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
Domingo Santana (DK – 3800 FD – 3000)
The Brew Crew will be overlooked in this matchup with Steven Brault, who gets killed by right-handed hitters. Santana enters the matchup with an EV14 of 88.48, .373 xOBA, and .258 ISO, yet he’s grossly underpriced on both sites. I love him in all formats, and don’t be afraid to stack some of his buddies as well.
Mike Zunino (DK – 3700 FD – 2600)
Zunino should always be on our radar vs LHP due to dong potential. His EV14 of 87.53 is big time, and he’s solid in xOBA (.355) and ISO (.250). There are very few great hitting environments left with cool weather moving in everywhere, but Arlington remains. This should be a popular game for bats, and Zunino will be overlooked. I prefer him at his price point on FD.
Joey Gallo (DK – 3700 FD – 3900)
When we see guys priced higher on FD, something is messed up. DK hates Gallo today in this lefty-lefty matchup with Ariel Miranda. Here’s the thing – Gallo projects remarkably well vs LHP, in particular, against lousy dudes like Miranda (ERA over 6.00 on the road).
His EV14 of 96 MPH is insane! Couple that with a .298 ISO and 60% HV14 rate, and he’s an absolute lock on DK tonight. Same rule apppies as with Zunino – target hitters in Texas now more than ever. TEX will be chalky, but Gallo won’t be due to his lefty-lefty misconception.