clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Advanced MLB DFS: Batted ball profile

We continue our breakdown of the basics for MLB DFS. In this section, we look at batted ball profile, with definitions and some basic strategy.

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees hits batting practice prior to Game 6 of the ALCS between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, October 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images

If you have reached this level, you’ve likely been playing some form of fantasy baseball for a while now. We might think about fundamentals as applicable to beginners, but there are fundamentals even an expert level player can learn — or at least brush up on. For DFS, that means understanding how the batted ball profile statistics can help you build your lineups.

Batted ball profile

Definition

Batted ball profile is made up of multiple statistics, with the basic three being ground ball percentage, fly ball percentage and line drive percentage. There are also Statcast statistics like exit velocity, launch angle, batted ball distance, etc, which are all ways of profiling every ball a hitter puts into play.

Strategy

Hitters

We want line drive and fly ball hitters in DFS, as those statistics add up to more power numbers. Finding hitters who keep the ball in the air versus on the ground is a big part of finding consistent offense. And, if a hitter has been hitting more ground balls than his average, he should be cheaper than usual and a possible value play.

Pitchers

We want pitchers who strike out batters primarily, so looking at their ground ball to fly ball rate is usually more important for hitter matchups. But, if a pitcher has been getting unlucky compared to average with fly balls going out of the park, he could be a value play. That statistic is HR/FB, which is another stat that you can use for batters and pitchers to find out if a player has been lucky or unlucky on fly balls.

More advanced batted ball statistics

There are many Statcast numbers that are interesting and helpful, but we also need to limit our exposure to this avalanche of information, as it can cloud our ability to cut through the noise. Knowing if a player is a fly ball or ground ball pitcher or hitter is the basic information we want. Then, we can dig down to see how a player has been compared to his average. Maybe a player who is hitting consistent line drives with extreme exit velocity is on some sort of hot streak, but so far, research hasn’t shown that to be the case.