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 – 3300)
Howie crushes left-handed pitching, and I’m not afraid of Alex Wood in this matchup. He’s been ripping (HC14 – 55.56% and EV14 – 87.47), and his .472 xOBA ranks elite on this slate. I prefer is FD price for tournaments as there are much better cash game plays.
Christian Yelich (DK – 4000 FD – 3900)
Miami possesses one of the better matchups on the board tonight against Zach Davies, but we should be careful attacking him, as he’s had some nice performances in the second half. Yelich is generally overlooked in cash games, as the focus for most players is Mr. Stanton. CY checks in with an EV14 just under 90 MPH and his .358 xOBA is highly respectable. I think he’s overpriced on FD, so DK only play for me.
Matt Davidson (DK – 3300 FD – 2100)
FD punt play of the day! He’s been fairly lousy lately, thus his near minimum FD price. However, his EV14 of 87.09 and .285 ISO vs RHP show he’s been a bit unlucky. Davidson dropped 22 FD points last game, and he’s got a plus matchup with Anibal Sanchez here (.384 xOBA, 1.96 HR/9). If paying up for Sale, I like pairing him with a punt or two, and Davidson is that guy for me.