JAYWALKER’S POWER STATION
The Power Report is back for this split slate Wednesday, with a look at the four game early slate and the 11-game main slate gems.
First a recap of the metrics we are looking at here:
Expected Power, which is a Baseball HQ/Baseball Data Solutions metrics that looks at hard hit percentages, line drive and fly ball rates, and shows what that batters’ rating is on a 100 is average scale.
Actual Power, which is the metric that displays the production that players has actually produced.
GAP: The difference between the two. Positive gaps mean they have underproduced to their metrics, whereas negative indicated regression could soon be coming.
The purpose of the exercise is to see who is legit, who has been lucky or relatively so, and who has been unlucky and perhaps due for bounce back. Or maybe it is a hitter that has been in a slump, but is showing signs of above average hard contact/power.
These help us identify who might be off the radar and can be exploited for our success in tournaments today!
EARLY SLATE GEMS:
Alex Avila, C, DET (193 EP, +76 GAP): Good thing it was not an actual guarantee last night that Avila played, as the Tigers went with James McCann even after catching a marathon game. Surely NOW, with the day game after last night’s game, Avila gets the call here in a solid matchup, at home, against RHP Dylan Bundy.
Staying with the Tigers, I decreased the Expected Power leaders to 10AB for the last 30 days so we can see some guys who are getting new playing time, like J.D. Martinez, OF, DET (263 EP, -92). Martinez has been a staple of my Power Reports for three seasons now, as his consistent hard contact and fly ball rates indicated him as no fluke long before he was accepted as a consistent power hitter. He has come back from injury and, while overproducing so far numerically, has re-positioned himself as an elite power hitter.
Finally, Justin Upton, OF, DET (194 EP, +12 GAP) and Ian Kinsler, 2B, DET (119 EP, +63 GAP, 90% Contact Rate) show that things might be difficult today for Bundy. Kinsler’s elite 90% contact rate is important when measuring GAP and expected power – he is not just swinging for the fences, but makes unreal contact with hard contact and fly ball/line drive rates, so his GAP is likely to close faster.
Chris Davis, 1B, BAL (191 EP, +23 GAP) Like JD Martinez, Davis is consistently high on my seasonal Power Report charts due to his own elite fly ball rates and hard contact. Against Jordan Zimmermann, Davis has an RHP that he can crush.
NOTE: The BAL/DET game is great in terms of air density, but there is forecasted to be an extreme headwind of 28 mph blowing into the stadium. This does not mean HRs are impossible, especially for guys like Martinez, Upton or Davis, but worth watching and may make a play like Kinsler more valuable.
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, WAS (176 EP, -59 GAP) Zimmerman has overproduced, for sure, but his rise in hard contact and fly ball rate has validated the stories of changing his approach to launch angle, etc. Important to note that Zimmerman is one of the few leaders in expected power to maintain his contact rate above 80%, and will keep him more consistent throughout the season. Today, he faces Tyler Glasnow, who has had his struggles this season.
Also in Washington, check the lineups and if Matt Wieters, C, WAS (175 EP, +88 GAP, 75% contact) gets the start, he would be an interesting catching play at $3,500 on DK. I do not like when they bat him eighth, but seventh would be acceptable in tourneys, as he would see more RBI/scoring ops in that slot.
Robinson Chirinos, C, TEX (214 EP, +22 GAP) He should get the call today behind the plate in a solid matchup/weather conditions in hot, humid Texas today. Chirinos has a nice contact rate to go with his consistent hard contact and fly ball rates, making him a nice play in a 10 run total game.
MAIN SLATE GEMS:
Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA (191 EP, +102, 80% Contact) Going against one of softest SP on the slate in CWS Dylan Covey, Seager is at home against a RHP, which has always been a sweet spot for him and now has been making excellent, hard contact and is backlogged in output. Sounds like a great spot for the highest priced 3B on the night slate.
Oakland got shut out last night by the mysterious Christian Bergman, and now gets another unknown in BOS RHP Velazquez. What can I say other than Khris Davis (221 EP, +106 GAP), Ryon Healy (195 EP, +67 GAP), Yonder Alonso (189 EP, -48 GAP) and Matt Joyce (178 EP, +52 GAP) are all on the expected power leader list and Jed Lowrie (146 EP, +52 GAP, 84% contact rate) is on the owed power list, too. Stacking these guys is obviously a risk, especially at home, where the air density drives carry rates down and the scores with it, but one off from this list, especially at their usual low, low prices, can be a solid play.
Another soft pitcher on the slate is MIA SP Edinson Volquez, who has a 38% hard contact rate given up and only a modest 16.8% soft contact rate. Looking at the Dodgers tonight, at home, who do a great job against RHP, Chase Utley, 1B/2B, LAD (161 EP, +84 GAP, 83% contact) pops on our list after getting additional playing time due to injuries in LA. He would be an interesting part of a late night Dodgers stack, for sure, depending on his lineup slot, and his $3,400 price on DK is solid value here.
Sal Perez, C, KCR (153 EP, +50 GAP, 81% contact) Perez has been a favorite one off KC bat for me, as his contact rate is above 80% and is making consistent hard contact in the middle of the Royals lineup. His matchup against Jordon Montgomery is a tougher one, but if you are looking for a different play than Gary Sanchez or Yasmani Grandal, you could go for Perez, as long as the weather allows the game to play.
Here is the full table of top expected power hitters and another table for leaders in Most Owed Power. Enjoy!
There is a lot to find in there, so fire away with any questions – find me in the Premium Slack Chat (@jaywalker72). I hope you find all the power today – good luck! – JW
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