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 Twins had eight hits, seven runs, and two home runs against Triston McKenzie who had the highest True AVG. Kevin Gausman, who had the largest positive deviations on the slate, did terrific as well. He finished with just four hits allowed, two walks, and 10 strikeouts against the Red Sox.
MLB True AVG notable results
The best MLB True AVG today belongs to Zack Wheeler. On top of having the best True AVG for the day, Wheeler is top five in the stat on the entire year. Moving into this game, the Braves have a 125 wRC+ against RHP but an above average strikeout rate. Fortunately, Wheeler has shown to be matchup proof and we don't have to worry too much about his ceiling here. That said you should prioritize him as a spend up in DFS.
Next we have Devin Smeltzer with the highest True AVG as he faces the Guardians in the early game. Likewise, Smelzter also has the largest negative deviations! Granted, most people won't be worried about Smeltzer today because it's not included in the main slate. The Guardians have one of the lowest strikeout rates in the league, but their wRC+ is very weak against LHP. In sum, you want to avoid Smeltzer while only using the power bats for the Guardians.
Significant deviations to consider
- The highest positive deviations for the slate go to Patrick Corbin. He's been bad this year but a lot of it has not been entirely his fault. His season long ERA of 6.60 is almost two runs higher than his xFIP at 4.98. Moreover, the recent sample is even worse with an ERA of 7.23 and xFIP of only 4.10. Corbin has unsustainble rates in all of BABIP, LOB rate, and home run rates. All of that said his matchup with the Pirates today can't get any better. Look to utilize him in all formats and reap the rewards of corrections.
- finally we have Carlos Rodon with the largest negative deviations and facing the Tigers. Understandably it never feels good to avoid a pitcher against Detroit, but this would be the spot to do so. The Tigers are actually league average against LHP in the recent sample and Rodon has been considerably lucky. His recent sample shows him running about a full run under his xFIP while having fortunate outcomes in BABIP and home run rate. In short, avoid Rodon while others take an unknown risk.