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
Lucas Duda (DK – 3500 FD – 2800)
Duda has been nothing short of terrible lately, but a matchup with Ubaldo Jimenez can help any player break out of a slump. The raw numbers vs right-handed pitching look awesome – 87.63 mph EV14, 50% HC14, .383 xOBA, and .283 ISO – if I threw these stats at you without a name attached and told you this player is facing Ubaldo, you would consider him in cash tonight. He’s definitely worth a look at these prices.
Josh Reddick (DK – 4600 FD – 3700)
Reddick’s EV14 of 89.99 is top 5 on this slate among outfielders, and the matchup with Garrett Richards isn’t the worst. His .207 ISO is serviceable, but I think he’s slightly overpriced on both sites. Either way, I’m looking his way for tournaments.
Nick Williams (DK – 3400 FD – 3100)
This contrarian matchup with lefty Sean Newcomb explodes of the stat sheet. Tricky Nick is sporting a top EV14 of 96.0 with a .431 xOBA and .615 ISO against LHP! The lefty-lefty matchup drives his price down today, but I believe in these numbers, so I’m not afraid of playing him in all formats.