X
Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

X

Receive free daily analysis

NFL
NBA
NHL
NASCAR
CFB
MLB
MMA
PGA
ESPORTS
BETTING

Already have an account? Log In

X

Forgot Password


LINEUP RESOURCES

Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Batted Ball Distribution (Hitters)

Fly balls can turn into home runs. Ground balls never do. It would seem as though fantasy owners want their batters to hit nothing but flies, yet this is not always the case.

Why would this be? The answer, of course, comes down to batted ball distribution and the manner in which batters make contact. The league average batted ball distribution in 2019 was 21.4% line drives, 42.9% ground balls, and 35.7% fly balls. Most individual players vary from this standard breakdown, providing insight into their fantasy viability.

In this article, we'll continue evaluating the most effective ways to use sabermetrics to get an edge in your fantasy baseball leagues.

Featured Promo: Want a free RotoBaller Premium Pass? Check out these sports betting promo offers from the top sportsbooks! All new sign-ups get a free bonus offer on their first deposit, and a free year of RotoBaller's Premium Pass for all sports ($450 value)! Sign Up Now!

 

The Value of Line Drives

Let's first look at how all major leaguers fared on each of the major types of batted ball in 2019. Grounders generated a BABIP of .236. Flies were not as productive, posting a .118 figure. This makes sense, as pop-ups almost never fall in, cans of corns to the outfield are only slightly better, and homers are considered out of play and do not count toward BABIP. Line drives turned into base hits far more frequently than either of the others, posting a .678 BABIP. The difference between liners and anything else is startling. Batters want line drives.

Tim Anderson's stellar 2019 provides a good illustration of what a few extra liners can do. He posted a .335/.357/.508 triple-slash line thanks in part to a 23.8% line drive rate, a far cry from his career line of .276/.303/.475. Anderson was an afterthought in real and fantasy baseball terms heading into 2019 but ended up surprisingly productive in both areas.

A player's LD% tends to bounce around the league average with random spikes and drops, none of which offer much predictive value moving forward. Anderson has a 20.9 LD% over his career, so luck was almost certainly the primary driver of his 2019. When BABIP is driven by luck, LD% is usually why.

This is not to suggest that no one consistently posts above-average LD% rates. For example, Joey Votto's career .349 BABIP is driven by his career 25.7 LD%. Considering the length of his career, it would be stupid to suggest that Votto has enjoyed a lucky decade-plus. Therefore, we give credit to Votto for being a plus-BABIP guy due to a LD% skill, just like we give Christian Yelich BABIP credit for his blinding speed. This distinction has to be earned over numerous full seasons, however. Most LD% surges are more fluky Tim Anderson than sustainable Joey Votto.

 

Which Is Better: Ground Balls or Fly Balls?

Unlike LD%, both GB% and FB% are stickier--a player with an elevated rate in one is likely to repeat a similar rate moving forward. By BABIP alone, grounders are better. However, this changes significantly if slugging percentage is considered. In 2019, grounders offered a slugging percentage of .258, only slightly higher than the .236 BABIP they posted. Flies had a .788 slugging percentage, easily offsetting the lower BABIP for most fantasy players. Sluggers like Cody Bellinger who lift the ball at an exceptional rate have a built-in slugging advantage because of their batted ball profiles.

The ideal batted ball mix, therefore, varies with the player. Elite speedsters like Billy Hamilton want more grounders than flies, as his career 3% HR/FB is never producing a lot of homers anyway. Sluggers like Albert Pujols want fly balls, especially since the shift and his lack of speed prevent him from realizing the larger BABIPs associated with grounders anyway. Fantasy owners usually prefer players with power and speed potential to have a higher FB%, as the extra power is more beneficial than a few extra times on base.

Incidentally, line drives averaged a ridiculous .916 slugging percentage to go with their .678 BABIP in 2019, so they are still the batted ball of choice.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, line drives are by far the most productive result for hitters. BABIP's luck-driven fluctuations are driven by LD%, a largely random stat. GB% and FB% are more predictive, and which one is favored depends on the hitter in question. Grounders offer a higher BABIP, but almost zero power. Flies result in base hits less often, but generate much more power when they do. The intricacies of BABIP could be a never-ending topic, but the information provided so far is generally enough for fantasy purposes. Check out this link to learn about some other metrics that can help you predict a player's performance.




LINEUP RESOURCES

Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

ROTOBALLER PLAYER NEWS

De'Aaron Fox3 hours ago

Remains Out On Sunday
Jaren Jackson3 hours ago

Jr. May Miss Another Game On Sunday
Ja Morant3 hours ago

Questionabl Versus Toronto
Seth Curry3 hours ago

Doesn't Return Against Washington
Mo Bamba3 hours ago

Suspended Four Games
Wendell Carter3 hours ago

Jr. Off The Injury Report
Kyle Kuzma3 hours ago

Sprains Ankle On Saturday
Josh Jacobs6 hours ago

Won't Settle In Extension Talks
Aleksander Barkov8 hours ago

Riding A Career-High Point Streak
Steven Stamkos8 hours ago

On An 11-Game Point Streak
Sebastian Aho8 hours ago

Enjoying Career-Best Goal Streak
Connor McDavid8 hours ago

On Track For A 150-Point Campaign
Jake DeBrusk8 hours ago

Ready To Return After The Break
Bowen Byram8 hours ago

Expected To Be Back After The Break
Matthew Tkachuk9 hours ago

Voted MVP At The All-Star Game
Klay Thompson13 hours ago

Questionable On Saturday Evening
Draymond Green13 hours ago

Questionable Versus Dallas
Jusuf Nurkic13 hours ago

Likely Out Until After All-Star Break
Spencer Dinwiddie13 hours ago

Available Against The Warriors
Bradley Beal13 hours ago

Questionable Versus Brooklyn
T.J. Warren13 hours ago

Unavailable Against Washington
Ben Simmons13 hours ago

Out Another One On Saturday
Kyrie Irving13 hours ago

Out On Saturday
Fernando Tatis Jr.14 hours ago

Open To Any Position
Luke Williams15 hours ago

Dodgers Re-Sign Luke Williams To Minor-League Deal
Nolan Blackwood15 hours ago

Twins Sign Nolan Blackwood
Jake McGee15 hours ago

Announces His Retirement
Juan Minaya15 hours ago

Pirates Sign Juan Minaya To Minor-League Deal
Yusniel Diaz15 hours ago

Dodgers Sign Yusniel Diaz To Minor-League Deal
Franklin German15 hours ago

White Sox Acquire Franklin German From Red Sox
Aaron Sanchez15 hours ago

Twins Re-Sign Aaron Sanchez
De'Andre Hunter20 hours ago

Scores Season-High 26 Points
D'Angelo Russell20 hours ago

Notches A Double-Double With Rebounds
Eric Gordon20 hours ago

Continues Good Scoring Run
Bradley Beal20 hours ago

Leads All Scorers With 34 Points
Anfernee Simons20 hours ago

Has Nine Triples, 33 Points Against Washington
Kyle Anderson20 hours ago

Exits With Back Spasms
Mecole Hardman1 day ago

Doubtful For Super Bowl
JuJu Smith-Schuster1 day ago

Kadarius Toney Questionable
Miguel Sanó2 days ago

Miguel Sano Hosting Workout Next Week
DL Hall2 days ago

Orioles Want DL Hall To Start
Anthony Misiewicz2 days ago

DFA'd By Royals
Eguy Rosario2 days ago

Out Until Summer With Broken Ankle
Jesús Luzardo2 days ago

Jesus Luzardo Wins Arbitration Case Over Marlins
Gunnar Henderson2 days ago

To Work At Short And Third Base
John Means2 days ago

Won't Return Until At Least July
Luis Severino2 days ago

Won't Pitch In World Baseball Classic
Derek Carr2 days ago

Won't Extend Contract Trigger Date
Derek Carr2 days ago

Expected To Draw Plenty Of Interest
Aaron Rodgers2 days ago

: "I'm Not Going To San Fran"
Joe Mixon2 days ago

Charges Against Joe Mixon Will Be Dropped
Joe Mixon2 days ago

Has Warrant For Arrest
DJ Stewart2 days ago

Mets Sign DJ Stewart To Minor-League Deal
Mecole Hardman2 days ago

Unlikely To Play In Super Bowl
Stephen Strasburg2 days ago

Has Resumed Throwing
Anthony Rendon2 days ago

Feeling "Fantastic"
Kodai Senga2 days ago

Had Iffy Physical With Mets
Mark Leiter Jr.3 days ago

Re-Signs With Cubs
Mark Stone3 days ago

Out Indefinitely Following Back Surgery
Mitchell Marner3 days ago

Reaches 60 Points With Wednesday's Goal
Charlie Coyle3 days ago

Hands Out Two Assists
Alex Tuch3 days ago

Scores Only Sabres Goal In Wednesday's Defeat
Jesperi Kotkaniemi3 days ago

Picks Up Two Assists Against Buffalo
Tage Thompson3 days ago

Exits With Injury
Antti Raanta3 days ago

Shuts Down Sabres Wednesday
Stefan Noesen3 days ago

Picks Up Two Points In Victory
Pavel Zacha3 days ago

Scores Twice In Bruins Win
David Krejci3 days ago

Pockets Assist Wednesday
Jimmy Garoppolo3 days ago

Will Not Return To 49ers Next Season
Gustav Nyquist3 days ago

Set To Miss Rest Of The Season
Linus Ullmark3 days ago

Tries To End A Losing Run Wednesday
Ilya Samsonov3 days ago

Chases Another Home Win
Mattias Samuelsson3 days ago

Available Again Wednesday
Tua Tagovailoa4 days ago

Clears The Concussion Protocol
Dak Prescott4 days ago

Cowboys Open To Extension For Dak Prescott
Daniel Jones4 days ago

Giants Want To Re-Sign Daniel Jones
Justin Fields4 days ago

Bears Sticking With Justin Fields; Set To Trade First Pick?
MMA4 days ago

Sergey Spivak Can Earn A Big Victory Saturday
Derrick Lewis4 days ago

Looking For First Win Since 2021
Devin Clark4 days ago

Hoping To Turn Things Around
MMA4 days ago

Jung Da Un Set For Big Co-Main-Event Spotlight
Will Gordon4 days ago

In The Field At Pebble Beach
Thomas Detry4 days ago

Set For Pebble Beach Debut
Blagoy Ivanov4 days ago

Hoping For Big Start To 2023
MMA4 days ago

Marcin Tybura Set To Improve No. 10 Ranking If Victorious
Jordan Spieth4 days ago

Always An Option At Pebble Beach
Kyle Nelson4 days ago

Hoping To Prevent Three-Fight Losing Streak
MMA4 days ago

Choi Doo-ho Returns To Action After Layoff
Viktor Hovland4 days ago

Set To Play At Pebble Beach
Maverick McNealy4 days ago

A Nice Option At Pebble Beach
Tom Brady4 days ago

Announces Retirement From The NFL
Lamar Jackson4 days ago

Likely To Be Franchise Tagged
Houston Texans4 days ago

Texans Hire DeMeco Ryans As Head Coach
Denver Broncos4 days ago

Broncos Acquire Sean Payton As Next Head Coach
Ben Griffin5 days ago

Set To Make AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Debut
Beau Hossler5 days ago

Looks To Repeat Success At Pebble Beach
Kurt Kitayama5 days ago

Searching For Form
Russell Knox5 days ago

Looks To Stay Consistent At Pebble Beach
PGA5 days ago

Matt Fitzpatrick An Elite Fantasy Option At Pebble Beach
Adam Fugitt5 days ago

Set For A Very Tough Test
Yusaku Kinoshita5 days ago

Japanese Finisher Yusaku Kinoshita Set For UFC Debut
Taylor Pendrith5 days ago

Seeking Better Fortune At Pebble Beach
Justin Lower5 days ago

Sets Up Well For Pebble Beach
Davis Riley5 days ago

Not On Many Radars For Pebble Beach
Matthew NeSmith5 days ago

Trying To Turn Back Clock At Pebble Beach
Justin Rose5 days ago

Needs To Avoid Mistakes At Pebble Beach
Brock Purdy5 days ago

Will Have Surgery On Elbow
Brock Purdy5 days ago

Out Six Months With UCL Tear
Kyle Pitts6 days ago

' Rehab "On Schedule"

TODAY’S MOST VIEWED PLAYERS

RANKINGS

QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
RANKINGS
C
1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP