JAYWALKER’S POWER STATION for 6/15/17
The Power Report is back for this split-slate Thursday. We have three games early and seven games on the main slate – let’s find our hitters!
First a recap of the metrics we are looking at here:
Expected Power, which is a Baseball HQ/Baseball Info 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. It is to show how “real” their production has been and if they are poised for progression or regression.
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.
The red cells are simply to highlight that they are more volatile due to their low contact rate (Chris/Khris Davis, for examples).
I like to look at last 30 days’ samples to account for adjustments and latest trends. There is a table in the chart for top expected power hitters over the last 30 days with contact rates over 75% for that span, in case you wanted to see a list free from complete windmills like Joey Gallo, Chris/Khris Davis, Alex Avila and the like. Also, I have added a Top Contact table that has all the highest % contact plays with at least the average 100 expected power.
These help us identify who might be relatively off the radar and can be exploited for our success in tournaments tonight!
EARLY SLATE NUGGETS:
Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF, LAD (216 EP, -26 GAP, 60% Contact) High power, low contact bat in the middle of a potent vs. RHP lineup of the Dodgers against below average RHP in Josh Tomlin of the Indians. In a hitter’s park, too.
Miguel Sano, 3B, MIN (161 EP, +13 GAP, 60% Contact) You know the drill with Sano: The top bat when it comes to home run expectancy on the team, has a plus matchup against LHP Ariel Mirando at home this afternoon.
Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA (182 EP, +76 GAP, 83% Contact) MIN RHP Berrios is tough this season, so it is hard to get behind a stack, but as a one-off Seager is the top bat to pick for the Mariners.
Brian Dozier, 2B, MIN (153 EP, +26 GAP, 78% Contact) Love Dozier leading off against a LHP at home, and Dozier has GAP, high contact and above average expected power going for him as well.
Trey Mancini, 1B/OF, BAL (135 EP, +26 GAP, 76% Contact) Against CHW LHP Holmberg, Mancini, filling the Chris Davis spot in the lineup, is a great RHH target, especially sliding him into the OF where he qualifies there.
Jose Abreu, 1B, CWS (122 EP, +30 GAP, 85% Contact) You many not associate Abreu with high contact, but the 85% number does not lie and he appears on our new Top Contact chart in the link below. His power comes and goes, but against BAL RHP Chris Tillman, Abreu, batting third, is a necessary part of going after the Orioles hurler today.
Kiki Hernandez, SS/OF, LAD (141 EP, -11 GAP, 75% Contact) Odd to see him getting the start, but against Josh Tomlin, who does allow a lot of reverse splits home runs, Hernandez will be a sneaky bat, batting fifth in the Dodger lineup today.
Finally, Rich Hill might be a popular play considering his hard to hit stuff today, but if you were trying to get sneaky, Jason Kipnis, 2B, CLE (138 EP, +24 GAP, 82% Contact) makes our Top Contact list and will be super low owned at a thin position.
MAIN SLATE GEMS:
Matt Carpenter, 1B, STL (202 EP, +97 GAP, 78% Contact) Pretty much a lock play, especially on sites like FantasyDraft where rostering him does not cost me another 1B, Carpenter is near the top of both expected power and GAP, as well as gradually increasing his contact rate, with an 85% rate over his last week. Dexter Fowler, OF, STL (153 EP, +32 GAP, 82% Contact) makes a nice 1-2 pairing at the top, at home, in 91 degree temps and against MIL RHP Zach Davies.
JD Martinez, OF, DET (206 EP, -20 GAP, 69% Contact) is at home against TAM RHP Alex Cobb, who has given up some of the most hard contact and zone contact overall on the slate. DET has hammered RHP at home to the tune of a 127 wRC+ over the last 30 days (477 PA) and a .207 ISO in split as well.
Other Tigers to target:
Alex Avila, C/1B (240 EP, +24 GAP, 67% Contact)
Victor Martinez, 1B (145 EP, +59 GAP, 85% Contact)
Ian Kinsler, 2B (105 EP, +44 GAP, 89% Contact)
Nick Castellanos, 3B (138 EP, +24 GAP, 73% Contact)
Kinsler and Victor both hit the TOP CONTACT chart today as well.
The Red Sox will be a chalky selection again tonight in Philadelphia, where they will matchup with PHL RHP Nick Pivetta, who has given up the most contact overall on the slate (84%) and only produced 12% soft contact there. Mookie Betts, OF (132 EP, +17 GAP GAP, 88% Contact) had been popping on our GAP lists and he hit 2 HR last night. He still figures to have some owed production and is near the top of the TOP CONTACT chart with his 88% rate.
Andrew Benintendi, OF (143 EP, +62 GAP, 82% Contact) is also a tremendous play here, as his GAP looms in concert with his cleanup role in the lineup. If the Sox would bat Betts third and Beni fourth, that would be terrific.
The Rays are the #2 team on the road against RHP this season, with a 122 wRC+ and a .240 ISO and an 8.6% walk rate. They are #1 over the last 30 days in the same split (144 wRC+, .304 ISO, 338 PA). They play a name SP tonight on a slate with some other tasty stacks to deploy, but Justin Verlander has struggled this season, allowing 38% hard contact, 81% contact overall (for comparison, Chris Sale has allowed 68%, Michael Wacha, 79%, Alex Cobb 83%). He has been worse against RHH this season, but if I were stacking against Verlander with the Rays, a classic tourney move, then here are the top bats for Tampa:
Logan Morrison, 1B (206 EP, -23 GAP, 68% Contact)
Colby Rasmus, OF (189 EP, +2 GAP, 63% Contact)
Evan Longoria, 3B (100 EP, +7 GAP, 85% Contact)
Mallex Smith, OF (148 EP, +44 GAP, 71% Contact)
Steven Souza, OF (134 EP, -41 GAP, 64% Contact)
Corey Dickerson, OF (127 EP, -49 GAP, 78% Contact)
Derek Norris, C (118 EP, -16 GAP, 72% Contact)
Taylor Featherston, 2B (111 EP, -2 GAP, 91% Contact)
The other sneaky, not sneaky, stack are the Yankees, who have been the sixth best vs. RHP/Road team over the past 30 days (528 PA), with a .189 ISO and 114 wRC+. Sonny Gray has been solid this season, but there are quite a few Yankees that have been terrific in expected power over the last 30 days.
Aaron Hicks, OF (170 EP, +11 GAP, 78% Contact)
Aaron Judge, OF (149 EP, -47 GAP, 66% Contact)
Matt Holliday, 1B/OF (146 EP, +2 GAP, 72% Contact)
Chris Carter, 1B (143 EP, +12 GAP, 64% Contact)
Starlin Castro, 2B (123 EP, +17 GAP, 83% Contact)
Gary Sanchez, C (116 EP, -59 GAP, 75% Contact)
Brett Gardner, OF (110 EP, -40 GAP, 78% Contact
Much to tackle today! Check the tables for more hitters/one-offs from the rest of the slate tonight!
Speaking of which, here is the full table of top expected power hitters, top expected power hitters with high contact rates, and another table for leaders in GAP, a.k.a. Most Owed Power as well as GAP w/High Contact. Feel free to ask about anybody specifically and 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