Daily Fantasy Baseball: Batted-Ball Positive Regression Candidates for Week 9
Recent batted-ball data can be very useful in MLB DFS as it allows us to see who is hitting the ball hard but not getting results. These are the kind of players who should come at low ownership in tournaments and could pay big dividends if they continue to crush baseballs.
Russell Martin, C, Toronto Blue Jays
Over the last seven days, Russell Martin has a 47.1% hard-contact rate and 47.1% medium-contact rate -- which leaves only a 5.9% soft-contact rate. On his last 17 batted-ball events, Martin's average exit velocity is a whopping 97.0 miles per hour (MPH). Martin had a big game yesterday, hitting a home run, double, and driving in three runs, but those are his only two extra-base hits in the last week. This could change in his upcoming games, and at only $2,800 on FanDuel, Martin makes for a great target in tournaments until he stops tearing the cover off the ball.
Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins
Christian Yelich owns a 0.0% soft-contact rate in the last week, while smacking his last 14 batted balls at an average exit velocity of 95.3 MPH. He has a 36.2% hard-contact rate on the season against righties, and tonight he gets to face Vincent Velasquez, who is allowing a 32.6 hard-contact percentage to lefties this season. While we don't love Marlins Park for hitters, Yelich is an affordable $3,5000 on FanDuel, and he is hitting squaring up the ball nicely in recent games.
Nelson Cruz, OF, Seattle Mariners
Nelson Cruz has no extra-base hits in his last four games, but the ball is still jumping off his bat in the last week at a 93.2 MPH clip. He'll face a lefty tonight (Tyler Anderson) at Coors Field, so he won't be low-owned, but he makes for a phenomenal play even though he isn't seeing great results lately.
Danny Valencia, 1B, Seattle Mariners
Cruz's teammate Danny Valencia is also crushing the ball with an average exit velocity of 94.2 miles per hour in his last 19 events. He owns 42.1% hard-contact rate and 52.6% medium-contact rate in the last week. Valencia ($3,300) will be playing in Coors Field against a lefty at a stacked first base position, making him an awesome tournament play.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers
Anyone who stacked the Detroit Tigers over the last week probably lost money, but their best hitter, Miguel Cabrera, has been pretty unlucky. In his last 22 batted balls, he owns an average exit velocity of 93.6 MPH, and he has only a 4.8% soft-contact percentage over that time. Miggy will face a lefty tonight, and he is crushing lefties with a 50.0% hard-contact rate and .435 WOBA. The hot streak for Cabrera is coming soon, and we should look to target him sooner rather than later.
Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar, Milwaukee Brewers
Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar have been locked in lately, with average exit velocities of 91.7 MPH and 92.9 MPH, respectively, over the last week. The hard-contact percentages over that time look solid, as well, with Shaw at 41.2% and Aguilar at 45.5%. These advanced numbers look great, but they only combined for three extra-base hits in that span. They are both hitting lots of line drives and deep flyouts, and those could easily turn into doubles or home runs tonight against a soft-tossing righty Tyler Pill.
The middle of the Atlanta Braves lineup has been hitting the ball well in the absence of their superstar Freddie Freeman. Over the last seven days, they have four players with average exit velocities of over 90 MPH -- Nick Markakis (92.7), Matt Kemp (92.7), Tyler Flowers (92.5), and Matt Adams (90.3). While it's hard to argue for a stack in Angel Stadium, the Braves will head to Cincinnati on Friday, making them a great target if they continue to crush the ball like this.