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
Getting started we will talk about Jose Suarez with the lowest True AVG and facing the Orioles. This is a similar situation to Patrick Sandoval from yesterday. In fact, Sandoval and Suarez have quite similar baselines. Both have solid strikeout rates, uncomfortably high walk rates, and xFIPs around 4.00. Considering Patrick Sandoval finishing with 10+ strikeouts, we could see another ceiling game from an Angel's pitcher today. Moreover, We have seen some extremely strong performances from Suarez in the recent sample and have evidence he will continue that trend. In sum, prioritize him in all formats and hit the overs on his strikeout props.
Next up is Andre (or Neil?) Pallante with the highest True AVG. His mark of .335 is exceptionally high, and is bolstered by low BABIP rates, high groundball rates, and low strikeout upside. the matchup for him is relatively neutral, as the Phillies have a 94 wRC+ against RHP and are league average across the board. However, they have a strong ISO (Top 10) and a low strikeout rate makes that more dangerous. Overall, this spot seems to say to avoid Pallante and utilize Phillies power bats.
Significant deviations to consider
- The highest positive deviations belong to Jameson Taillon who is matched with the Red Sox. Granted, it has been a rough ride in the recent sample, but there is upside hidden under the results. The strikeout rate has maintained while getting killed by unsustainable BABIP rates. Meanwhile, his ERA is over two runs higher than his xFIP which is a regular signal of regression. Although the Red Sox have power, they are inconsistent, and their wRC+ reflects that as they are just above league average. This is a volatile matchup where you should back a low owned Taillon in DFS.
- Finally we have a very interesting negative deviation to consider: Sandy Alcantara. Make no mistake, Alcantara is a very good pitcher and a legitimate ace. However, he's showing some cracks in terms of deviations from expectation. His season long sample shows his ERA of 1.82 being 1.5 runs under his xFIP along with low BABIP and Home run rates. Likewise, his recent sample has shown a drop is strikeout efficient and the same BABIP and home run issues. Considering all of this, the models are suggesting fading Alcantara against the Mets. It's unlikely that he gets blown up, but his ceiling is likely to be limited.