A new addition to our MLB product this season is the Recent Batted Ball Luck metric. It looks at the difference between a player’s percentile rank in batted ball distance and fantasy scoring over the past 15 days. “Rec BBL” (as it appears in the Player Models) gives us a high number if a player is hitting the ball far but not producing the fantasy points we would expect.
Lucky (-100 to -51)
Using the FantasyLabs Trends tool, we can analyze the Rec BBL for hitters on FanDuel over the last two seasons. Let’s first take a look at those considered to be ‘lucky’:
Hitters who in the previous 15 days have outproduced their batted ball performance have suffered major regression with a -1.11 Plus/Minus. That’s an ugly number for hitters who have not only high expectations but also high ownership, which Pro Subscribers can review in our DFS Ownership Dashboard.
Somewhat Lucky (-50 to 0)
As we move to those who have been only a little lucky, the sample becomes much larger. There are significant changes in this portion of the data:
In comparison to the ‘lucky’ cohort, these batters have a significantly higher Consistency Rating. Their ownership, however, is comparable.
Somewhat Unlucky (1 to 50)
Now we start to get into the good stuff. Look at all those green numbers:
The raw production and the Plus/Minus have increased, and the ownership rate has notably decreased. Again, these are players who have recently been on the negative side of variance. It’s not surprising that recency bias in the market would diminish their ownership.
Unlucky (51 to 100)
Here are the unluckiest hitters in the league in terms:
The final trend is exactly what we are looking for. Recently unlucky players have the lowest expected points, the most points scored, the highest Plus/Minus and Consistency Rating, and the lowest ownership rate. This is the cohort we want to focus on when using Rec BBL. It’s rare to find productive hitters who have historically had low ownership, but this metric helps us do it. This is something to keep in mind when using our Lineup Builder as you create your DFS rosters.
What Does It All Mean?
Most DFS players are not looking at a metric like this, which concretely enables us to be contrarian by investing in players with lower ownership and negatively variant short-term production. While Rec BBL is useful, it should not be the only metric on which you rely. When used in combination with other Labs statistics and Vegas data, Rec BBL is likely to offer you a significant edge.