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
Tommy Joseph (DK – 3200 FD – 3200)
My man Tommy crushes left-handed pitching, and recently he’s been scorching hot. EV14 92.77 is insane, and his .321 ISO is off the charts. Although the sample size is small, a Hard Contract rate (HC14) of 100% sounds good, right? Adam Conley struggles against righties, so the Phils RH actually look good tonight. TJ is an incredible value on DK, and nobody will own him tonight. Well almost nobody…
Josh Reddick (DK – 4200 FD – 3400)
Reddick has been slumping, but his EV14 of 89.99 puts him at an elite level. This stat proves he’s been running into some tough luck lately. His xOBA (.354) is good, but his ISO (.234) makes him an elite power threat looking to break out tonight. All Houston players look good vs Sam Gaviglio (2.08 HR/9), but Reddick will be under-owned and ready to explode.
Corey Seager (DK – 4900, FD – 4000)
We’ve targeted Seager in this article before, and the numbers are so stacked in his favor, we cannot ignore him vs RHP. Both EV14 (90.35) and 2017 EV (92.2) are among the highest in MLB, and his WiseTake grade of 88 looks pretty solid as well. Need more statistical data to back up Seager as an exceptional play in all formats? How about xOBA .404 and Hard Contact % 52.94. Insert fire emoji here…
Daniel Murphy (DK – 5100 FD – 4200)
We have also discussed Murphy in recent articles, and he’s sitting in another great position tonight against Jesse Chavez. His EV14 of 91.24 is one of the highest on the slate, and his xOBA (.381) and ISO (.237) back up the play. With Kershaw going tonight, I won’t be playing him in cash, but Murphy makes for a excellent GPP play.
Austin Barnes (DK – 3400 FD – 2700)
Barnes should draw the start with Kershaw on the bump, and he’s an exceptional value on FD. His EV14 is the best on this slate – 99.67, and his ISO .212 proves he’s bringing some pop to the lineup. I’m hoping he’ll be batting in the middle of the order again.
Yunel Escobar (DK – 3600 FD – 2800)
I love his EV14 90.98 and his match-up vs Edwin Jackson, who allows 3.6 HR/9. His HC14 of 52.38 is great for righty-righty matchups, and with all the awesome 3B options on this slate, he’ll go completely under-owned. I love the value on FD if you’re playing Kershaw.