2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 xwOBA Targets

by Keith Lott
2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 xwOBA Targets

Welcome to the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 xwOBA Targets!

This a series we started last season on Fantasy Six Pack where we look for under rostered xwOBA targets in Fantasy Baseball for the week ahead. We set the cutoff at 65% rostered on Yahoo and 50 plate appearances for this early season update.

MLB.com does a great job explaining xwOBA vs wOBA.

"Expected Weighted On-base Average (xwOBA) is formulated using exit velocity, launch angle and, on certain types of batted balls, Sprint Speed.

xwOBA is more indicative of a player's skill than regular wOBA, as xwOBA removes defense from the equation. Hitters, and likewise pitchers, are able to influence exit velocity and launch angle but have no control over what happens to a batted ball once it is put into play."

We have also added DRC+ (Deserved Runs Created Plus) to the table below this season. DRC+ comes from Baseball Prospectus and it "differs from other (public) hitting metrics in that it focuses on each hitter's expected contribution, rather than merely averaging the result of hitter PAs."

I pulled Ji-Man Choi (.457 xwOBA), Rowdy Tellez (.434), Brian Anderson (.409), and Jeremy Pena (.372) out of this list as right now they just do not seem rosterable.

Choi is smoking the ball, but just does not get enough playing time in the Tampa Bay Rays lineup. He is tied for second on the team in hits but eighth in at bats.

Tellez owns a .697 xSLG, which is in the top 2% right up there with Mike Trout and Aaron Judge, but an actual slugging percentage of just .421. Only Jesse Winker has had worse luck.

Anderson has 14 total bases on the year. When he actually makes contact, he is in the top 10 percentile of the league in xwOBAcon. However, his whiff percentage is up to 40.9% this year!

Pena does have seven extra-base hits this year but is slashing .238/.319/.460.

2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 xwOBA Targets

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Congrats to those of you who added Taylor Ward. The Los Angeles Angels 28-year-old outfielder is having a breakout season, despite just mediocre exit velocity. It will be interesting to see how long he can keep this up.

Max Kepler has started to come on strong for the Minnesota Twins. He had three straight multi-hit games in which he racked up 16 total bases. Kepler's launch angle is down 11% from last year and it is leading to more ground balls. He is currently hitting .246 with a .370 OBP. While he probably won't hit 36 home runs ever again, at that average and a career-high on-base percentage, Kepler has some value moving forward with some added pop in a solid Twins lineup.

Eric Hosmer is living off a .472 BABIP right now. His .600 SLG is .105 points higher than his xSLG, but the bats that top that chart are Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado and Jose Ramirez - not bad company to be grouped with!

Santiago Espinal has finally started hitting at the bottom of the Toronto Blue Jays lineup. Three of his seven hits in the past week have gone for extra bases. Only Ty France has more total bases in the last seven days!

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