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 and True AVG tables. 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: Had a terrific outcome from the Braves against Andre Pallante with the highest True AVG on the slate. He gave up 10 hits, seven runs, and two home runs overall.
MLB True AVG notable results
The best overall True AVG goes to Cristian Javier against the Royals. From a glance it appears that he has benefitted quite a bit from luck, but that's mitigated a bit by a low groundball rate. Granted, that means that his home run rate will regress at some point. Still, in a matchup with the Royals and their 94 wRC+ against RHP we should expect any correction there to be minimal. Look to Javier to continue his strong performances today and avoid the Royals in all formats.
Moving on we find Michael Pineda with the highest True AVG on the slate. He's got a relatively difficult matchup with the Guardians and their miniscule strikeout rates. Pineda has been getting consistently worse for a couple years now and now has the lowest strikeout rates of his career. That said, he has to deal with the lowest strikeout rates in the league today, which exasperates the issues he's having. In sum, you'll find no upside with Pineda and it's much better to take the unders on his strikeout props. Likewise, look to use the Indians power bats in DFS.
Significant deviations to consider
- The highest positive deviations today belong to Glenn Otto. Unfortunately even with his deviations the highest he still has a True AVG OF OVER .300. His matchup today with BAL is actually tougher than the others he has had in the recent sample, so that doesn't inspire confidence either! In conclusion you'll likely see Otto be better here, but going from tragically bad to pretty bad isn't worth tailing. Avoid this situation entirely or stack up the Orioles.
- Finally we have Miles Mikolas with the largest negative deviations and facing the Braves. I've written about the Braves a couple days straight now, and the story stays the same. They are a top five team against RHP and will be generally underowned due to a perceived neutral matchup. Mikolas' season long stats show regression in all areas, but the recent sample is even worse. His ERA is two runs beneath his xFIP along with unsustainable BABIP and home run rates. If nothing else, you'll want to take the unders on Mikolas and avoid him in DFS.