JAYWALKER’S POWER STATION for 7/26/17
The Power Report is back for a Wednesday split slate, with four games on the 1pm slate and 10 games at 7pm
First a recap of the metrics we are looking at here:
Can’t stress enough to go through the tables and get used to what you are seeing there in addition to the specific write-ups I do in this report – folks are getting an edge with the data, for sure.
We released a video with me explaining the charts, how to use them, use cases, etc. at the link below:
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, a Top Contact table that has all the highest % contact plays with at least the average 100 expected power.
Finally, I added one last table to the report and that is a quick look at the expected power over just the last seven days, with a high contact (75% contact) and 10 at-bat filter applied.
These help us identify who might be relatively off the radar and can be exploited for our success in tournaments tonight!
MAIN SLATE GEMS:
DETROIT TIGERS vs. Ian Kennedy
This is a risky stack. We know the Tigers can lay an egg at any time and Ian Kennedy has been, hold your nose, good over the last 30 days. But the fly ball rate is still there and the Tigers have a number of hitters that carry high EP and GAP.
Victor Martinez, C/1B (154 EP, +82 GAP, 86% Contact)
Nick Castellanos, 3B (130 EP, -9 GAP, 77% Contact)
Mikie Mahtook, OF (128 EP, +34 GAP, 80% Contact)
Miguel Cabrera, 1B (112 EP, +51 GAP, 79% Contact)
Ian Kinsler, 2B (103 EP, +39 GAP, 89% Contact)
CHICAGO CUBS at James Shields
James Shield is bad, with a 6.32 SIERA, -1.0% K-BB%, 43.8% FB rate, 2.1 HR/9 IP and 51% First strike %. Terrible. Now here come the Cubbies, #2 in WRC+ against RHP on the road in a park that really favors LHH power.
Willson Contreras, C, OF (122 EP, -59 GAP, 78% Contact)
Jason Heyward, OF (110 EP, +31 GAP, 87% Contact)
Addison Russell, SS (101 EP, -21 GAP, 72% Contact)
Anthony Rizzo, 1B (100 EP, -25 GAP, 85% Contact)
Kyle Schwarber, OF (99 EP, -75 GAP, 70% Contact)
ST LOUIS CARDINALS vs. Jeff Hoffman
After a good start, Jeff Hoffman is now terrible and it does not matter what side of the plate you hit from, he is serving it up. The Cardinals have been a top team against RHP at home since June 1st (707 PA) and sport a 116 wRC+ and solid .178 ISO in split with a .350 wOBA
Randal Grichuk, OF (219 EP, -1 GAP, 68% Contact)
Matt Carpenter, 1B/2B (170 EP, +103 GAP, 88% Contact)
Harrison Bader, OF (224 EP, +14 GAP, 71% Contact) – First four at bats in the major leagues.
Yadier Molina, C (147 EP, +89 GAP, 83% Contact)
Thomas Pham, OF (127 EP, -15 GAP, 71% Contact)
Jedd Gyorko, 3B (114 EP, -2 GAP, 76% Contact)
OAKLAND A’S at Marco Estrada
We will see where this goes but the A’s are the #5 team against RHP on the road and playing in Rogers Centre where LHH especially have had fun. The A’s draw Marco Estrada, who has posted a terrible 21.2% walk rate, 58% FB rate and 7.02 SIERA in the last 30 days, covering 391 pitches thrown.
Khris Davis, OF (187 EP, -48 GAP, 62% Contact) – It feels like May seeing Khursh Groove back up here.
Matt Chapman, 3B (164 EP, -71 GAP, 63% Contact) – DK finally decided to move him up from 2K min price, but still a decent price power punt.
Bruce Maxwell, C (153 EP, +60 GAP, 72% Contact)
Jed Lowrie, 2B (121 EP, +42 GAP, 75% Contact) – Speaking of May, look who is back above average in power, with GAP and 75% contact? Now if we can just get his salary back below 3K….
Marcus Semien, SS (105 EP, +24 GAP, 74% Contact)
TOP EP AT EACH POSITION:
Yadier Molina, STL – Matchup at home in hot/humid temps – tons of GAP – cheap catching
Willson Contreras, CHC – Going against James Shields in the middle of the Cubs lineup
Evan Gattis, HOU (167 EP, -55 GAP, 77% Contact) – Tough, tough, tough matchup against Nola – he is here because his EP insists it’s mentioned
Matt Carpenter, STL – There could not be a Power Report without Carp, or so it seems. Inexpensive power at 1B.
Victor Martinez, DET – Tons of GAP, but batting lower in the order hurts.
Carlos Santana, CLE (136 EP, -27 GAP, 77% Contact)
Justin Smoak, 1B, TOR (224 EP, +52 GAP, 71% Contact) – Tremendous spot here against OAK RHP Blackburn.
Chase Utley, LAD (174 EP, +53 GAP, 80% Contact)
Jed Lowrie, OAK (121 EP, +42 GAP, 75% Contact)
Brian Dozier, MIN (L7: 211 EP, +93 GAP, 80% Contact)
Justin Turner, LAD (202 EP, +65 GAP, 88% Contact)
Mike Moustakas, KCR (148 EP, -14 GAP, 87% Contact)
Luis Valbuena, LAA (206 EP, +48 GAP, 73% Contact) – If you think Carrasco is not going to pitch well, Valby is a nice power play against him.
Matt Chapman, OAK – Call back to the Oakland stack, cheap, below 3K power against Estrada.
Andrelton Simmons, LAA (138 EP, -2 GAP, 81% Contact) – Has had high contact throughout the season, spiking in power occasionally – tough matchup with Carrasco here.
Corey Seager, LAD (173 EP, +22 GAP, 65% Contact)
Paul DeJong, STL (181 EP, -26 GAP, 69% Contact) – Somewhat inexpensive power at a tough position and batting in the middle of the lineup.
Ryan Braun, MIL (185 EP, +14 GAP, 82% Contact)
Shin-Soo Choo, TEX (143 EP, +69 GAP, 78% Contact)
Joc Pederson, LAD (134 EP, -30 GAP, 79% Contact)
Randal Grichuk, STL
Giancarlo Stanton, MIA (166 EP, -88 GAP, 73% Contact)
Jay Bruce, NYM (174 EP, +45 GAP, 69% Contact) – If Chacin, then the Mets LHH are great plays.
Yoenis Cespedes, NYM (120 EP, +59 GAP, 84% Contact) – More GAP to close here
EARLY SLATE NUGGETS:
Three stacks emerge in this four game slate:
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS vs. Aaron Blair
Aaron Blair has not sorted out his control issues in AAA (over 4 BB per 9 IP) and trends toward fly balls. This is quite the 2017 debut the Braves have planned, putting Blair in front of the frisky Diamondbacks in Chase Field. Will be the most popular stack of this short slate, by a hair over the next one, but not worth punting.
AJ Pollock, OF (183 EP, +16 GAP, 86% Contact)
Jacob Lamb, 3B (153 EP, -44 GAP, 66% Contact)
Chris Herrmann, C/OF (140 EP, +41 GAP, 65% Contact)
Daniel Descalso, 2B/OF (139 EP, +38 GAP, 72% Contact)
Chris Owings, SS/OF (120 EP, +3 GAP, 70% Contact)
Paul Goldschmidt is in a massive slump, underlined by a 73% ground ball rate over the past seven days and 58% GB rate over the last 30 days. His contact rate has also slipped badly, down to 60% over the last 30 days and 42(!)% over the last seven days.
NEW YORK YANKEES vs. Homer Bailey
Bailey has struggled overall since his return to MLB, with a 5.03 SIERA over the 449 pitches he has thrown over the last 30 days. The Ks are not really there, with a 15.1% K rate and a 8.4% walk rate. Hard for that type of thrower to come into Yankee Stadium and get out alive, as we saw a more dynamic Luis Castillo struggle yesterday. No Aaron Judge today will help Bailey, but it makes the Yankees stack a wee bit sneakier than if the auto-roster Judge were in there.
Clint Frazier, OF (192 EP, +10 GAP, 71% Contact)
Todd Frazier, 3B (139 EP, +8 GAP, 73% Contact)
Gary Sanchez, C (121 EP, +34 GAP, 70% Contact) – One of the first times all season Sanchez has been both above average in EP and have positive GAP.
Brett Gardner, OF (102 EP, +24 GAP, 78% Contact)
Didi Gregorius, SS (L7: 167 EP, =21 GAP, 100% Contact)
BOSTON RED SOX at Andrew Moore
Andrew Moore grades out as the worst performer over the last 30 days on this early slate, with a 6.02 SIERA, 52.4% FB rate and 3.13 HR per 9 IP over that span. Yes, the Sox are not good against RHP this season (we miss you, Papi!), but there are more than enough bats to make life hard (again) on Mr. Moore.
Mitch Moreland, 1B (146 EP, +100 GAP, 74% Contact) – What in the name of Matt Carpenter is going on with Moreland having so much GAP? After batting cleanup most of the spring, Moreland’s poor output has slid him down the lineup but the culprit is a .200 BABIP, as his other metrics are completely fine.
Mookie Betts, OF (107 EP, +19 GAP, 87% Contact) – Also a 47% FB rate and fantastic trending over last seven days, with a 151 EP (+98 GAP) and 46% FB rate with the same elite contact (86%).
Hanley Ramirez, 1B (91 EP, -40 GAP, 82% Contact)
Jackie Bradley, OF (88 EP, +2 GAP, 72% Contact) – 111 EP with +79 GAP over last seven days
My man, Andrew Benintendi, has fallen on hard times again, with a 60+% GB rate and lower hard contact. The Sox have not helped things by moving him up and down the lineup as they overreact to his results. He is in the 60s in expected power over last thirty and last seven days.
TOP EP AT EACH POSITION:
Mike Zunino, SEA (164 EP, +2 GAP, 61% Contact) – Excellent one off play against Sale. If you dare.
ARIZONA CATCHERS – Herrmann would be a no-brainer, but Mathis or Iannetta rate highly as well.
Gary Sanchez, NYY – As stated, has above average EP and positive GAP for the first time all season.
Tyler Flowers, ATL (157 EP, +39 GAP, 70% Contact) – Middle of the lineup backstop here with exceptional power
Mitch Moreland, BOS – Tons o GAP and a great matchup
Freddie Freeman, ATL – Lefty on lefty play in Chase, love the guest side at Arizona, typically, and Freeman is one of the best.
Sean Rodriguez, ATL (161 EP, +23 GAP, 50% Contact) – Small sample upon return, but part of an interesting stack of Braves today.
Daniel Descalso, ARI – If playing and batting sisth or higher, a good bat against Blair.
Scooter Gennett, CIN (124 EP, -31 GAP, 77% Contact) – Tough matchup against Severino, but the Yankee Stadium right field target is prime for Scoots.
Jacob Lamb, ARI – See metrics in the stacks piece and the sweet potential matchup with Blair.
Todd Frazier, NYY – REVENNNNNGE against the Reds, continued….
Dansby Swanson, ATL (124 EP, +71 GAP, 62% Contact) – I swear, I am not advocating a Braves stack, but well….
Chris Owings, ARI (120 EP, +3 GAP, 70% Contact)
Didi Gregorius, NYY – Did you know he came up with the Reds organization? REVEENN…never mind.
Clint Frazier, NYY
AJ Pollock, ARI
Nelson Cruz, SEA (172 EP, +57 GAP, 72% Contact) – A +141 GAP over last seven days, Cruz, even more so than Zunino, is a non-Sale one off play.
Mookie Betts, BOS
Brett Gardner, NYY
And that’s the list!
Tons and tons of other great one-offs in the tables – please check them out and if you have any specific asks, feel free to @ me in Slack and check the tables for all updated bats in preparation for today’s slate!
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. Speciality charts on Top Contact and Last Seven Days are in there as well. 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