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: another gem last night from the models prioritizing Yusei Kikuchi. He had the largest positive deviations on the day and certainly didn't disappoint. In total he tallied eight strikeouts and just four hits while allowing just one run.
MLB True AVG notable results
Starting off we have the lowest True AVG and largest positive deviations going to Aaron Civale. The season long stats for Civale show a difference of almost three runs between the ERA and xFIP, and the recent sample is upside down as well. Unfortunately for him, the string of tough opponents continues today as he is facing the Yankees after the Red Sox and Twins in the last two starts. the Yankees are the second best team in the league against RHP with a wRC+ of 128 and league leading .235 ISO. They'll popular, so avoiding them and hoping for Civale's corrections to come through is the right play in DFS. Likewise, take the overs on Civale's props.
Next up we look at Bailey Falter as the highest True AVG on the day up against the Cardinals. Falter's True AVG of .325 is well below average and he doesn't have the upside to mitigate any extra balls in play. The Cardinals are league average against LHP, but have an exceptionally low walk rate and plenty of power. Without much strikeout potential and a low groundball rate, you'll want to consider stacking against Falter.
Significant deviations to consider
- Although the largest deviation goes to Aaron Civale, there's no need to write about him twice. Instead let's chat about Antonio Senzatela who has the second largest at +.105. He's got a winnable matchup here against the Diamondbacks and their 66 wRC+. Granted, the game is in Coors, so there's an extra layer of risk associated. All of that said, Senzatela has been extremely unlucky in some of his outcomes in the recent sample. His upside is lacking, so there's no need to prioritize him, but avoid the Diamondbacks in all formats.
- Finally the largest negative deviation goes to Tony Gonsolin. I have now written that three starts in a row, and he continues to troll me. My tombstone will read “Here lies James McCool, he died chasing Tony Gonsolin's regression game”. Anyway, he faces the Padres who have been above average and have Manny Machado back from IL. Stack them in DFS if you hate yourself like me.