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 largest negative deviation on the day went to Michael Kopech against the Astros. He performed as expected, with seven hits, four runs, and two home runs given up.
MLB True AVG notable results
Starting things with the highest True AVG we have Noah Syndergaard. Granted, it's worth saying that his True AVG of .276 is not atrocious and is around league average. Syndergaard used to be a high strikeout guy with terrific peripherals but this year he has been around average in every way. He faces the Royals in this spot who continue to be annoying to deal with but with hardly any real potency in their bats. Take the unders on his props but there's no reason to attack with the Royals in this spot.
On the other hand, we have Corbin Burnes with the lowest True AVG today. Burnes has been no less than the third best pitcher in the league this year and his True AVG justifies his dominance. He's got one of the more difficult matchups on tap up against the Cardinals and their 121 wRC+ to RHP. That said, he faced them in the recent sample and finished with 11 strikeouts and just two hits over seven innings, so this is a matchup he can dominate. Look to use Burnes in DFS as a leverage point to the higher owned Gerrit Cole.
Significant deviations to consider
- The largest positive deviations to consider today go to Kris Bubic. His differentials are not as drastic as what we sometimes see in this report, but the +.058 still signals solid regression. In the recent sample, the Angels are nearly the worst team in the league against LHP with just a (nice) 69 wRC+. Initial ownership projections have Bubic very low owned, so utilize him in DFS for good relative value.
- Closing things out, we have Yu Darvish with the largest negative deviation. He's faced a string of tough teams including the Cardinals and Mets and has been lucky to take little damage. Today he takes that string of luck and gets to face the Diamondbacks. Unfortunately, their 87 wRC+ and 24% strikeout rate are both bottom 10 in the league. It's not for the faint of heart, but there is upside in backing bad teams in certain spots. In conclusion, Look to take unders on props for Darvish and use Diamondbacks power in DFS for leverage.