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
Andrew McCutchen (DK – 3700 FD – 3600)
This is a numbers game, and the matchup with lefty Brent Suter highlights Cutch’s stats – EV14 of 89.89, .412 xOBA, .356 ISO, and HC14 of 50% – these are the strongest numbers on the board tonight, and DK has severely underpriced Cutch. Easy cash game play on DK, but I’m not paying 3600 on FD.
Austin Barnes (DK – 3600 FD – 2200)
The Dodgers have the nuts matchup here – facing a pitcher in Nick Pivetta who’s allowing a .412 xOBA and 1.91 HR/9 in a small ballpark. Assuming Barnes is catching Kershaw tonight, we need to pay attention to him at 2200 on FD. His 99.67 EV14 is tops on the slate, and his .352 xOBA vs RHP is solid. LA should smash this dude tonight, so I’ll look for some cheap plays here.
Tommy Joseph (DK – 2900 FD – 1700)
FD intrigues me every time Kershaw pitches with super cheap hitters going against him. You know my boy TJ hits lefties well, and in his home ballpark he could definitely drop a bomb here. His EV14 of 92.77 and .291 ISO are both elite stats in his favor, and Kershaw hasn’t been great since returning from injury. I have no problem with a high upside punt play here.