Look, I don’t live under a rock. I know that some folks, especially stodgy, old, crusty baseball guys, hate exit velocity. If you’re one of those people, you may want to shield your eyes because I’m about to rock your stubborn world.
Exit velocity, along with other batted-ball data, can be very predictive of a player’s future success. This is especially true for DFS, where we can gain some large edges just by looking at how hard a batter is hitting the ball or how hard a pitcher is allowing his opponents to hit the ball.
Tonight, there are three pitchers on the slate who encompass the two ‘poles’ of recent exit velocity differential. This statistic looks at a pitcher’s exit velocity allowed over the past 15 days compared to what he’s allowed over the past calendar year.
Using the Trends tool, we can see just how good or bad players who fit these requirements have done since the 2015 season.
Let’s start out with two pitchers whose data will likely scare you away from rostering them tonight.
As you can see, pitchers who had been getting rocked recently have been really bad historically. It’s like old Isaac Newton said, “A pitcher who has sucked recently tends to continue to suck.”
The two pitchers who fall into this extreme are Alex Wood and Chris Stratton. At $5,900, Stratton was probably not going to garner that many buyers in the first place as he hopes to limit a potent offense in Philly.
Wood, however, is of course coming off a career year. He hosts the D-backs tonight, and at $7,600 could definitely catch the eyes of those looking for value on the short slate. However, with that historical Plus/Minus of -3.20 points on DraftKings, as well as a mediocre 40.2% Consistency Rating, these two guys should likely be avoided unless you feel strongly about them for other reasons.
For comparison’s sake, all other pitchers who have not fit in that exit velocity range have posted a Plus/Minus of +0.05 and a 52.1% Consistency Rating.
There is one fella tonight who has essentially been the opposite of those two aforementioned pitchers: Joey Lucchesi.
Lucchesi has limited opposing hitters to just an 86 MPH exit velocity over his past two starts, which is six MPH fewer than he has allowed over the long run. Pitchers on this end of the spectrum have been very reliable, as you can see by the numbers. It’s like old Isaac Newton said, “A pitcher who hasn’t sucked recently tends to continue not sucking.”
He faces a Nationals squad with a dangerous lineup, but at just $7,200 he is in a solid spot to provide value.
Just so you get a visual gauge of how this statistic has been at predicting value…
It has been a very linear trend, with almost all data points to the left of zero in the green and every data point to the right in red. The ranges I used were within the top 3% of each end of the spectrum.
* All Sir Isaac Newton quotes are paraphrased from ancient Latin text and may or may not be 100% accurate.