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.
All underlined players have a link to their Fangraphs page for ease of research!
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. For more info, check out this video.
Recap from yesterday's post: The best True AVG from yesterday went to Spencer Strider. He was phenomenal, with just one hit allowed and 11 strikeouts. Likewise, the worst True AVG from yesterday belonged to Bruce Zimmermann. He gave up 11 hits, three home runs, and six total runs to the Blue Jays.
MLB True AVG notable results
To open things we have the worst True AVG on the day going to Matt Swarmer. During his last start he gave up six home runs on seven hits. Today he faces a significantly worse opponent, the Padres, so we should keep expectations in check. His home run per flyball percentages have some positive corrections coming, so we may not see him give up a home run on every hit again, but we can expect him to get knocked around. In sum, when we have a bad team against a bad pitcher it's usually an avoid from both sides, but the Padres should offer strong upside for a low price in DFS.
Technically it is Jalen Beeks with the lowest True AVG, but he's just an opener. Instead we will look into Zack Wheeler as the best mark on the day at .179. His actual average allowed is a stellar .207 as stands, so his True AVG is just another justification of his skill. He's got the same matchup (The Nationals) as Spencer Strider from yesterday, so the same logic applies. The betting markets will likely have little edge for wheeler's props, so just prioritize him in DFS instead.
Significant deviations to consider
- There are a couple of starters that are banking on positive corrections today, including Aaron Ashby and Patrick Corbin. Both of them have positive deviations of around .080, although the matchups are admittedly tough. Ashby faces the Mets who have the second lowest strikeout rate in the league to LHP. Corbin has to deal with the Phillies who have the highest walkrate in the league and are above average in wRC+. Expect both of these guys to improve in batted ball metrics but great games would be surprising.
- Closing things out we have two pitchers with considerable negative deviations: Triston McKenzie and Matt Swarmer. We have already talked through Swarmer and McKenzie has been featured in multiple reports in the last month. McKenzie is pitching in Coors and although the Rockies are not a scary team it doesn't help his prospects. If you weren't already on the Rockies you should get some exposure in all formats and take their overs in betting markets.