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: Unfortunately, the models had lackluster results yesterday for the first time in a while! Antonio Senzatela left the game injured and Tony Gonsolin (annoyingly) continued to cheat death. Meanwhile, the rain postponed Aaron Civale's start and the Cardinals couldn't really punish Falter. A rare set of misses from True AVG.
MLB True AVG notable results
To begin we take a look at the lowest season long and slate specific True AVG of Dylan Cease. His full season mark of .185 is good, but his recent sample of .145 is absolutely pristine. He's got a matchup today with the Giants who are a tad below league average but have a strikeout rate a touch above 24%. They do have a strong walk rate (10.4%) which can cause problems for someone like Cease, so that's worth considering. Regardless of that, Cease projects as a phenomenal play in all formats and is worth backing in the betting markets.
We move on to the highest True AVG on the day with Matthew Liberatore. Although Liberatore is a strong prospect and pedigree, he is not immune to struggles. In the recent sample his xFIP is just under 6.00 and his ERA is lagging around 1.5 runs behind it. Likewise the BABIP and LOB rates are both sitting in dangerous spots on top of being hit well and giving up too many walks. His matchup today with the Phillies exploits a lot of those issues as they have low strikeout rates and the highest walk rate against LHP in the league. You'll want to take the under on Liberatore strikeout props and stack the Phillies in DFS.
Significant deviations to consider
- Because of the sheer amount of games today, we have a lot of options for positive deviations to exploit. Three names with positive marks over +.100 are Aaron Civale, Kevin Gausman, and Aaron Ashby. I gave some thoughts on Aaron Civale yesterday, as he presents a strong play in all formats. Gausman and Ashby both have fantastic matchups for upside and should be prioritized in all formats. That said, if you wanted to focus on just one of these pitchers, it is Ashby. He has the most correction coming with unsustainable rates of BABIP, LOB rate, and home run luck and he faces the worst team of the three.
- The largest negative deviation today belongs to Jose Urquidy against the Angels. His .202 average allowed and .302 True AVG are .100 points apart and that True AVG mark is in the bad territory. Granted, the Angels are a bad team, and they have the highest strikeout rate and one of the lowest walk rates. Still, they have Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani so they are a threat to any individual pitcher. Urquidy specifically has ran hot and doesn't have the strikeout or groundball rates to mitigate a disaster. Stack the Angels and leverage the coming corrections.