JAYWALKER’S POWER STATION for 6/8/17
The Power Report is back for this 12-game Thursday split slate. We have four games early at 1230p EST and the rest are on the regular main slate. We’ll have some Early Slate Nuggets of goodness and then the Main Slate Gems so let us enjoy!
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. I added 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.
These help us identify who might be relatively off the radar and can be exploited for our success in tournaments tonight!
EARLY SLATE NUGGETS:
I must start with the much-maligned stack of the Detroit Tigers. They have a plus matchup here at home, where they are still ranked second, third and second over the last 30, 14 and seven days against RHP. JC Ramirez takes the hill for the Angels and he has been getting crushed by LHH over his last 30 days. In that split, vs. LHH, Ramirez has faced 60 batters, given up 50% hard contact, seven home runs, struck out only eight and was still somewhat protected by a .191 BABIP. Alex Avila, C/1B (265 EP, +5, 61% Contact) and Victor Martinez, 1B (178 EP, +65 GAP, 86% Contact) have to be licking their chops. But MAKE SURE they are in the lineup, as this is a day game after night game and Brad Ausmus is just awkward enough to take his two best LHH bats out against a guy that is so greatly struggling against them, while maintaining solid numbers against RHH. UPDATE: YES! Avila and Victor are in the lineup. Cancel further rants.
Last night two of our top GAP guys, Matt Carpenter and Kyle Seager, both went deep and helped the profit cause. Today, Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, ARI (238 EP, +79 GAP, 77% Contact) is at home vs. a LHP (SD’s Clay Richard), which is a magic split for Goldy. Richard got pummeled in AZ his last time out, which followed a strong start at home against the Diamondbacks. I expected history to repeat itself and Goldy to start to close that GAP.
Another AZ bat on our chart is Yasmany Tomas, OF (183 EP, +71 GAP, 72% Contact) who has slipped from view but maintains that excellent EP and has plenty of GAP to close. Due to the short slate, I imagine both will be popular targets, but not sure that should dissuade you from rostering them.
Another couple of Power Report faves, Joey Votto, 1B, CIN (173 EP, +44 GAP, 85% Contact) and Scott Schebler, OF, CIN (186 EP, +37 GAP, 82% Contact) are in great spots at home against STL SP Mike Leake. The former Reds hurler is crafty, but the contact rates on these guys are too good to ignore in a great ballpark.
On the Cardinals side, Dexter Fowler, OF (155 EP, +29 GAP, 78% Contact), Matt Carpenter, 1B (185 EP, +118 GAP, 74% Contact) and Jedd Gyorko, 3B (138 EP, +69 GAP, 78% Contact) are the top bats there and should be hitting in the top four.
It can be easy to overlook the Padres because they are constantly targeted by us with SPs. We should note, however, that the Pads now have three bats on the EP leaderboard:
Wil Myers, 1B (185 EP, +62 GAP, 63% Contact)
Ryan Schimpf, 2B/3B (181 EP, -6 GAP, 54% Contact)
Hunter Renfroe, OF (177 EP, -31 GAP, 71% Contact)
One thing that list shows is exactly why they’ve been a target – such awful contact rates. You can add Franchy Cordero, OF (137 EP, +22 GAP, 57% Contact) onto that list as well in a limited number of at-bats, but leading off currently.
Against a relative unknown SP in MIL (Paolo Espino), San Francisco has a couple of high contact, high expected power bats to target in Buster Posey, C/1B (146 EP, +35 GAP, 93% Contact) and Brandon Belt, 1B/OF (136 EP, +10 GAP, 76% Contact).
MAIN SLATE GEMS:
Let’s begin the main slate by heading to Seattle, where our new landlords of the EP chart, Kyle Seager, 3B (193 EP, +83 GAP, 78% Contact), Robinson Cano, 2B (159 EP, +34 GAP, 90% Contact) and Nelson Cruz, OF (140 EP, -8 GAP, 83% Contact) are ready to take on the Twins and Kyle Gibson.
Gibson has been surprisingly high in Swinging Strike rate over the last 30 days, registering a 12% total and 71% contact rate overall over that span. But a closer look shows that he is getting a lot of that from out of the zone swings and the Mariners are second best at that plate discipline.
Baltimore at home against RHP has not been as much of a thing, but they have been rising lately, going from the 20s in split to 13th/14th over the last 7, 14, 30 days. Chris Davis, 1B (210 EP, -25 GAP, 52% Contact) remains the main power threat there, but Trey Mancini, OF (146 EP, +44 GAP, 76% Contact) and Seth Smith, OF (130 EP, +24 GAP, 68% Contact) are high over the last 30 days as well. Adam Jones, OF and Manny Machado, 3B are next on the BAL list in expected power. WAS SP today is Joe Ross, who has been getting hit hard since his return to the Nationals rotation.
Against SEA SP Christian Bergman, who has been giving up crazy production to LHH, Max Kepler, OF, MIN (129 EP, -1 GAP, 80% Contact), Eddie Rosario, OF (147 EP, +53 GAP, 77% Contact), and even master windmill Miguel Sano, 3B (214 EP, +7 GAP, 56% Contact) are solid plays.
Daniel Santana, OF, ATL (224 EP, +51 GAP, 77%) has been sneaky solid and should be taken note of here – over the last few seasons he has popped on my charts with expected power, and he is not someone you normally notice.
Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, CHC (162 EP, +68 GAP, 85% Contact) has been leading the Cubs out of the vs. RHP doldrums, along with Kyle Schwarber, C/OF (163 EP, +7 GAP, 67% Contact) and have made the Cubs no longer a target for opposing RHPs.
Tampa is at home against LHP Derek Holland, and has a sneaky bat in Daniel Robertson, SS/3B (138 EP, +58 GAP, 72% Contact) as well as stalwart Evan Longoria, 3B (106 EP, +17 GAP, 83% Contact)
Miami sends two good LHH against PIT SP Gerrit Cole in Justin Bour, 1B (188 EP, -48 GAP, 78% Contact) and J.T. Riddle, SS (131 EP, +24 GAP, 79% Contact).
Much to tackle today! Check the tables for more hitters from the rest of the slate tonight!
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