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: Fantastic outcome yesterday for the lowest True AVG on the slate! Thompson was one of the best values on the day, with only two hits allowed and eight strikeouts over 5.2 innings.
MLB True AVG notable results
To start off it is Brandon Woodruff with the lowest True AVG on the day facing the Pirates. His overall season long and recent samples are terrific, but they could be even better! To clarify, His recent sample has a .364 BABIP which signals correction coming and his season long sits at .316 which is still too high. Meanwhile, the Pirates represent a lot of strikeout upside and are very inconsistently offensively. There's nothing special to say here and you should prioritize one of the best pitchers in the league.
On the other side of the PIT/MIL game is Zach Thompson with the highest True AVG against the Brewers. The Brewers are top 10 in wRC+ at 118 and top five in ISO against RHP, so this is certainly a tough matchup. Likewise, Thompson struggles to avoid contact with low strikeout rates and gives up a lot of base runners. Mix a drastically low BABIP with a 100% LOB rate and you've got a recipe for disaster. In conclusion, take the unders on him in the betting markets and stack up the Brewers in DFS.
Significant deviations to consider
- The highest positive deviations go to a duo of pitchers: Carlos Carrasco and Patrick Sandoval. Both of these guys have a positive deviation of +.100 which is a strong signal towards corrections. Carrasco is up against a Marlins squad that is bottom 10 in the league against RHP. Meanwhile Sandoval faces the Orioles who are a tougher matchup and have actually been above average against LHP this year. In sum, both these pitchers have strong strikeout rates and solid xFIPs to regress to, and prioritizing them as part of your DFS portfolio would be smart. Likewise, take the overs on both in the strikeout markets.
- Lastly it is Garrett Hill with the largest negative deviations against the White Sox. Granted, it's worth a grain of salt here because he only has one game in the majors. It's worth noting that Hill has had strong strikeout numbers in the minors but has struggled with walks and groundball rates. In his lone start, he was incredibly lucky not to get beat up and if his strikeout stuff doesn't come alive he will get dominated. His opponent, the White Sox, are a top ten team in the league against RHP and can surely leverage his mistakes. Look to avoid Hill in all formats and utilize the White Sox in DFS.