JAYWALKER’S POWER STATION for 5/22/17

The Power Report is back for a sweet spot Monday slate, with nine games to dig into for our power hitters to roster.

First a recap of the metrics we are looking at here:

Expected Power, which is a Baseball HQ/Baseball Data Solutions metric 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 have actually produced.

GAP: The difference between the two. Positive gaps mean they have underproduced to their metrics, whereas negative indicates 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 relatively off the radar and can be exploited for our success in tournaments tonight!

 

MAIN SLATE GEMS:

Those who have read this before and can read the table below obviously know that I am a big fan of the Tigers, typically. With Alex Avila, C (250 EP, +76 GAP), Miguel Cabrera, 1B (214 EP, +116 GAP), JD Martinez (287 EP, -60 GAP), Justin Upton, OF (178 EP, +8 GAP) and Nick Castellanos, 3B (137 EP, +51 GAP), this is a team you can regularly attack with and find plenty of production. However, against HOU and Brad Peacock, it may not be the best strategy. First, Peacock has been excellent in relief, limiting soft contact. Second, he will not go long into the game, pitch count wise, and then Chris Devenski will no doubt come in and he is lights out, too, so it limits the upside of the Tigers. After a series of hitting, and facing an unknown in Peacock, folks will likely swarm to the Tigers also, for all the reasons I have bolded earlier in this paragraph. For all those reasons, I am finding other stacks/targets, but I would understand completely if you take your chances with these studs.

Part of the deal with rostering Chris Davis, 1B, BAL (196 EP, +18 GAP, 54% Contact) is that he is going to miss a lot while he cycles to his next hard contact. Good news is that tonight he faces MIN SP Kyle Gibson, who has a poor 52% first strike rate and misses 9% of bats overall. He also gives up 2.5 HR/9 IP to LHH and a .441 wOBA to LHH as well.

For that reason, go ahead and go with Seth Smith, OF, BAL (124 EP, +31 GAP), who should be getting the first crack at Gibson at the top of the Orioles lineup. Additionally, in Baltimore tonight, the weather should be very humid, which will help the ball carry.

Another pitcher that will be highly targeted will be CLE SP Josh Tomlin, who is in the Great American Ball Park tonight, never a good thing for a guy giving up 1.33 HR/9 IP and allowing 84% contact to all batters. The best hitters on the Reds are Joey Votto, 1B (180 EP, +23 GAP) and Scott Schebler, OF (158 EP, -20 GAP). Tomlin, however, is typically a reverse split pitcher, so to the top RHH bats on the Reds on the chart is Eugenio Suarez, 3B (118 EP, -25 GAP, 74% Contact), Zach Cozart, SS (107 EP, -37 GAP) and Adam Duvall, OF (96 EP, -36 GAP). They have been somewhat average thus far this season, and all three have overproduced, meaning you’ll have to weigh whether you want to go the one off approach or full stack with these guys.

Arizona has been hot, and they now have five players in the top 28 in expected power, three of whom are regulars and are back at home tonight against CWS SP Miguel Gonzalez. Gonzalez limits the hard contact and home runs, but in Arizona, his 85.5% contact rate against may be more than his 20% soft contact rate can withstand. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B (199 EP, +30 GAP), Yasmany Tomas, OF (171 EP, +11) and Jake Lamb, 3B (158 EP, -19 GAP) are the regulars in play and watch for Chris Herrmann, C (169 EP, -43 GAP) and Daniel Descalso, IF (164 EP, +39 GAP) if they break the lineup.

Tampa Bay rakes RHP, with a 117 wRC+ against RHP and a .194 ISO. Amazing. Leading the way is Logan Morrison, 1B (213 EP, +0 GAP) and now Colby Rasmus, OF (171 EP, -34 GAP) has joined the mix. LAA SP J.C. Ramirez has given up a .382 wOBA on the road against LHH and 2.2 HR 9/IP, putting those two hitters plus Corey Dickerson, OF (125 EP, -46 GAP) in a sneaky place tonight.

Finally, folks are going to want to target SF SP Ty Blach tonight, and with solid reason. Blach has a slate high 89.3% contact rate against this season. He also has a 7.51 xFIP, 2.8 HR/9 IP and mind boggling .564 wOBA away from SF this season, and his K-rate drops to 2.7% in that split. Whoa!  Only Miguel Montero, C, makes the list below, so here are the other top bats on the team:

Ian Happ, 2B (128 EP, -147 GAP), Kyle Schwarber, OF (109 EP, +20 GAP), Anthony Rizzo, 1B (109 EP, -3 GAP), Kris Bryant, 3B (105 EP, -97 GAP), Ben Zobrist, 2B (102 EP, -2 GAP, 85% contact rate). NOTE: Those stats, as all listed above, reflect a 30-day span – all the Cubs listed have been above average in EP over the last seven days, especially Rizzo, who is over 200 EP over that span.

Here is the full table of top expected power hitters and another table for leaders in GAP, a.k.a. 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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