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
Here are players to consider today based upon EV:
Salvador Perez (DK – 3900 FD – 3500)
Salvy comes off the All Star Game hot with an EV14 of 88.65 against Martin Perez, who struggles against right-handed hitters. Salvy mashes LHP – .235 ISO and .394 xOBA. Rule of thumb is always target RH vs Martin Perez, and Salvy is the man in KC’s lineup. His overall WiseTake DK rating of 80 makes him look even better tonight.
Trey Mancini (DK – 3800 FD – 2900)
Manicin’s EV14 stands at an elite level – 92.13, and we know he destroys LHP. His season EV of 90.7 is among league leaders, so we’re seeing a great deal of consistency here. Although Montgomery is tough, Mancini owns a solid .178 ISO and .355 xOBA – he’s the top target for Baltimore in this matchup. His FD price makes him a great value there as well.
Jae-gyun Hwang (DK – 2600 FD – 2300)
Hwang lead all 3B with an EV14 of 89.73, and looks like one of those guys who will continue owning LHP. We should remember the small sample size here, but he also boasts WiseTake’s top 3B grade of 88. His numbers explode off the page – .547 xOBA and .273 ISO. Recall we always want to target RH vs Clayton Richard ( .354 xOBA against) – the stats all point to Hwang as a top value play on both sites.
Christian Yelich (DK – 3400 FD – 3400)
The model of consistency, Yelich is a great cash play nightly on DK, where he’s always undervalued. Exploring EV backs this up 100% – Yelich’s avg EV for 2017 is 91.8 and his EV14 mirrors his season – 91.83. These numbers tell us rostering this player provides a consistently safe play for cash.