Daily Fantasy Baseball: Positive Batted-Ball Regression Candidates for Week 12
Recent batted-ball data can be very useful in MLB DFS, allowing us to notice the players who are seeing the ball well and hitting the ball with authority yet coming up short on results.
Remember, your fantasy opponents may only be paying attention to counting stats like homers and RBI and ratios like batting average and slugging percentage, which hardly tell the complete story of a hitter's performance. This is a major market inefficiency in daily fantasy, and one that is easy to exploit with a look at the underlying stats.
In this article, we'll examine recent batted-ball data to highlight players whose surface results are lagging behind their actual skills metrics (per FanGraphs and Baseball Savant), potentially putting them right on the edge of a productive hot streak that could pay huge dividends for daily fantasy players who roster them at a relative discount.
Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox
The underwhelming season continues for Mookie Betts, who has thus far struggled to live up to his reputation as one of the more bankable young studs in fantasy. The Boston Red Sox outfielder carries a pedestrian .758 OPS over 72 June at bats, but his skills profile remains sharp, with the 26-year-old smacking 40.8% hard contact and 20.4% liners while remaining a plate-discipline dynamo (19.4% walks, 4.5% swinging strikes).
Now is the time to roster Betts as a discount, with the dynamic outfielder's salary on FanDuel cratering in the low $4000's and the back end of the Toronto Blue Jays rotation on tap over the weekend.
Khris Davis, OF, Oakland Athletics
A major contact slump has Khris Davis floundering in the month of June, with the power-hitting Oakland Athletics outfielder slashing .226/.273/.403 on the back of 34.8% strikeouts. Some outrageous batted-ball trends underwrite those poor results, though, with Davis crushing 51.3% hard contact and 33.3% liners across his last 66 at bats.
Daily players have to like Davis' chances to get into a couple as the Athletics host a generous Baltimore rotation to start the week. The 31-year-old's high-$3000's FanDuel salary looks like a modest price to pay for some serious power upside.
Wil Myers, OF, San Diego Padres
A dreadful .347 slugging in 58 June at bats shows Wil Myers to be lacking in the power department. Perhaps Myers is being too patient at the plate, drawing 15.5% walks on the back of just 65.5% swings at pitches in the zone.
As one of the liner-rate leaders over the course of June (a 35.5% rate is good for seventh in the majors), you have to think that the San Diego Padres outfielder is leaving some extra-base power on the table, especially with most of his hits trending towards center field and the pull side. If Myers can begin to turn things around in Week 12, his mid-$3000's FanDuel salary might start to look like a bargain.
Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers
You wouldn't be blamed for doing a double take over Rougned Odor's plate discipline metrics for the month of June. The notoriously free-swinging Texas Rangers infielder (career 5.3% walk rate) has posted 13.8% free passes against 21.5% strikeouts across his last 65 at bats. Of course, the sample is too small to declare the 25-year-old a changed man, but the last two weeks have seen a strong bat skill resurgence from Odor (22% liners, 40.5% hard contact) even as his results continue to underwhelm (.713 OPS in June)
Still, a grand slam over the weekend should give a hint at Odor's offensive upside. Daily players might want to get in while the going is still cheap, as Odor and his low-$3000's FanDuel salary are to tee off on some very bad Chicago White Sox pitching over the weekend.
Cesar Hernandez, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
Cesar Hernandez may be looking like one of worst everyday players in baseball in the month of June (.130/.186/.241 in 59 at bats), but rest assured that a player with 87th percentile sprint speed and just 29.2% fly balls has no business whatsoever toting a .128 BABIP in that span.
Bat control remains the name of the game for the Philadelphia Phillies infielder, whose 6.1% swinging strikes in June is among the stingiest in the majors. With his elite contact skills in tow, Hernandez should find better luck sooner or later, providing a cheap avenue for counting stats at a sub-$3000 salary on FanDuel. He'll be tough to roster against the murderer's row of Washington Nationals pitching to start the week, but give him a look as a cheap roster filler when the Phillies host an inconsistent Miami Marlins rotation over the weekend.
Tom Whalen is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tom Whalen also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username whalentc. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.