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: It was a solid but unexceptional day for the models. Max Scherzer was the top performing pitcher on the day, but at the highest ownership of any SP. Alex Cobb gave up six hits, three runs, and had four walks but the Diamondbacks only scored four overall. Correct assumptions, lackluster results.
MLB True AVG notable results
Quick note to be made: On a day with so many games, it's important to consider a lot of different angels. That said, I'll be mentioning a couple more situations than you will typically see in this report.
Starting things off is Kevin Gausman with the lowest True AVG overall of all starters. Granted, It's actually Andrew Bellati with the lowest mark, but he's expect to go at most two innings. Regarding Gausman, the fact he has maintained a 2.86 xFIP in season long is incredible considering his .372 BABIP. You can see just how good he has been if you check out the season long True AVG tables. His BABIP is even worse in the recent sample at an egregious .431! To clarify, his ceiling when things regress will be more than any pitcher on any slate. It doesn't matter who he faces, just ride him until things correct and take the overs everywhere.
With Kevin Gausman being scratched and replaced with Jose Berrios (Who sucks right now) the lowest True AVG goes to Spencer Strider. Strider is in many ways very similar to Gausman. However, Strider isn't dealing with the same levels of rotten luck in the long sample as Gausman is. That said, the strikeout rates and ability to win any matchup are maintained here. The matchup with the Mets is slightly below average, so you'll definitely want to prioritize Strider in this spot.
On the other hand, the highest True AVG goes to Jason Alexander up against the Twins. Although Alexander has not been unlucky, he's been straight up bad, and we should expect that to continue. The Twins have been a top 10 team in the league all year and at times top five against RHP. They hold a 119 wRC+ in the split along with a .193 ISO and can make life difficult for contact pitchers. Unfortunately for Alexander, he has very little strikeout stuff and is at the mercy of the Twins power here. In sum, you'll want to stack up the Twins in DFS and make sure to avoid Alexander at all costs.
Significant deviations to consider
- We are going to look into two pitchers with large positive deviations: Matthew Liberatore and Glenn Otto. These two face the Dodgers and the Athletics, respectively, and so you'll have very different outlooks. The Dodgers are top five in wRC+ against RHP, but against LHP they are merely league average. Likewise, they have one of the highest strikeout rates in that split as well. The Athletics are the worst team in the league against RHP, though their strikeout rates are relatively low. Considering these matchups, You can expect a much higher ceiling for Liberatore and a much higher floor for Glenn Otto. Prioritizing Liberatore in GPPs and Otto in more cash game style formats is preferred.
- Lastly there are a few pitchers with large negative deviations to consider: Gerrit Cole, Logan Webb, and James Kaprielian. Cole will be up against the Reds, who are a bottom five team against RHP. Considering their lofty strikeout rate and Cole still having a respectable True AVG, you'll still be fine to utilize Cole here. Meanwhile, Webb deals with the Diamondbacks and their league leading 17% strikeout rate to RHP, which lowers his ceiling considerably. Finally, Kaprielian, who is the worst of this cohort, is facing a league average Rangers team. In sum, look for ways to attack Kaprielian with full stacks, Webb with secondary stacks, and avoid the Reds.