Welcome to the True AVG report! This will be a frequent post outlining the results of the True AVG models on the site which can be found in the MLB Range of Outcomes as well as the free Binomial Projections model. The goal of these posts is to look into the numbers and find large outliers between production and regression. We can use that to take advantage of them in sports betting markets and daily fantasy sports.
What is MLB True AVG?
True AVG is a regressed metric based on batting average allowed for MLB starting pitchers. You can use it for finding pitchers that have had their results affected either positively or negatively by factors of luck. Basically, we are trying to take luck out of the equation and find what pitchers “truly” deserve. Similar to the predictive xHR/9 stat which I developed to leverage luck in home run deviations, True AVG has been built to be an intuitive way to assess realistic outcomes for pitchers.
Recap from yesterday's post: Nick Pivetta was the pitcher with the highest negative deviations at -.133 and definitely witnessed regression. He faced the Angels and gave up six hits, four runs, a home run and two walks with 11 strikeouts.
MLB True AVG notable results
We have two pitchers with significantly large True AVG marks today: Bruce Zimmermann and Triston McKenzie. Neither one of them have scary matchups, although the Royals have been better as of late. So, If you wanted to attack either of these pitchers, you would be riding with them.
As for the Athletics against McKenzie, most people will be scared of the Athletics low wRC+ and won't want to attack a young pitcher with upside. However, McKenzie's profile is too volatile to worry about. His True AVG is one of the worst in the league and his 24% groundball rate justifies the home run issues. On top of that, he will be highly owned. Look to the Athletics as a premium point of leverage in DFS.
Next, we have the lowest True AVG on the day going to Spencer Strider! Strider gets a matchup with the lowly Pirates, who are bottom five in wRC+ to RHP and have the 6th highest strikeout rate. Strider suffers from a common issue with electric strikeout arms and has walk rate issues, which limit his innings upside. Granted, This is a fair concern if you are looking for upside, but his price in DFS mitigates that. Look to prioritize him in fantasy and hit his overs in the betting markets.
Significant deviations to consider
- The largest positive deviation belongs to Kyle Gibson, who is facing the Diamondbacks. His deviation is +.097 with an True AVG of .223, the third best on the slate. Arizona is top five in strikeout rates and league average in wRC+, so this is a spot to use Gibson and cash in.
- Meanwhile, the largest deviation is for Triston McKenzie. However, I probably already convinced you to attack him, so instead we can also look at Luis Severino. In all fairness, Severino has been good this year. He just hasn't been good enough to justify his current actuals and that deserves attention. Furthermore, he's facing a Cubs team that has been strong in the recent sample and can cause some problems. This likely isn't a spot to attack, but avoiding Severino would be smart.