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.
Underlined phrases and words have links for extra information! 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 models had Mike Minor and Jared Koenig as the worst True AVGs on the day. Subsequently they were both labeled as avoids, and their opponents did very well. The Giants (against Minor) scored 9 on nine hits with three home runs. Likewise, the Royals scored seven total with 10 hits and two home runs.
MLB True AVG notable results
First off we have Jackson Tetreault with the highest overall True AVG. His matchup today is with the Rangers, a team who underperformed in a good matchup yesterday. That said, Tetreault is considerably worse than Josiah Gray, and we can go back to the well here. It's likely that the Rangers end up with low ownership and make for terrific upside in GPPs. Look to attack Tetreault in all formats.
Next we look to the top of the True AVG standings and find Aaron Civale. Both the recent sample and the full season numbers agree that Civale should have much better outcomes moving forward. His season long BABIP and LOB numbers are very unlucky and his strikeouts have been maintained. He's got a tough spot today against the Red Sox who have a strikeout rate under 20% against RHP. Regardless, you'll want to hit the overs on Civale's strikeout props and take advantage of his low price in DFS.
Significant deviations to consider
- The largest positive deviation belongs to Jose Suarez up against the Mariners. This is a rematch of his last start, where he had seven strikeouts and just four hits in 4.1 innings pitched. Still, he was a bit unlucky in that game in terms of BABIP, so we could expect a tad better. Overall Suarez is more volatile than other pitchers because of a high walk rate, so it's important to predict a wide range of outcomes. If Suarez projects low owned, you want to leverage him against the field. If he is highly owned, look to avoid him.
- Closing things we have a couple pitchers with large negative deviations to keep in mind. All of Tony Gonsolin, Glenn Otto, and Marco Gonzalez have negative deviations of -.100 or worse. Of the three, Gonsolin has by far the most brutal matchup against the Braves (126 wRC+). Granted, Tony Gonsolin is actually a demigod sent to earth to break this model. So I'm sure that won't matter. Likewise, the easiest matchup is for Marco Gonzalez against the Angels. In conclusion it's worth avoiding all three of these guys and stacking the Braves for leverage.