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 largest positive deviation for the day was for Carlos Carrasco against the Rangers. He had a great outcome, with six hits allowed, eight strikeouts, and just one run.
MLB True AVG notable results
First off at the top of the models we have Austin Davis facing the Rays. Davis is technically an opener, but he should have a long enough appearance to qualify here. He has a prototypical bullpen profile, with strong strikeout numbers and below average walk rates. Although The Rays are a strong team against LHP with a 129 wRC+, they don't walk very often at all which would be the easiest way to hurt Davis. In sum, you should look to avoid the Rays in this spot.
Next up we have Dakota Hudson with the highest True AVG on the day at .308. Meanwhile his matchup for the day is against the Braves who are the third best team against RHP in the league. This is a situation where Hudson is already performing badly so it's easy to assume he continues to do so. Look to take advantage of his downside in DFS by stacking the Braves and hitting their overs in betting markets.
Significant deviations to consider
- Moving along we can look at Alex Faedo with the largest positive deviation on the day. Unfortunately the matchup here is not great as he faces the Guardians who continue to strikeout at an abysmal rate. Regardless we should be looking to leverage Faedo in DFS thanks to his strong profile and pedigree. The strikeout rate from the minors has been coming forward in the recent sample with a strong 10 K/9, but he's been incredibly unlucky with BABIP and LOB rates. To clarify, his BABIP is nearly 100 points higher than league average and his ERA is 3.5 runs higher than his xFIP. That said, this is a great spot to gain leverage in DFS by prioritizing Faedo.
- Finally we have the largest negative deviation on the slate going to a couple of high end SPs. Both Julio Urias and Carlos Rodon have marks of around -.060 and face teams around league average. Urias is up against the Rockies, who have a 121 wRC+ in the recent sample to LHP and a below average strikeout rate. Rodon, on the other hand, faces a Diamondbacks team with a slightly worse set of baselines. In conclusion, we mostly want to avoid these situations entirely, but neither deviation is large enough nor is either True AVG high enough to fade these pitchers.