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MLB True AVG Report – 7.13.2022

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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.

Model Results

MLB True AVG model results for 7.13.2022
MLB True AVG model results for 7.13.2022

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.

Passage from the MLB True AVG report from 7.12.2022
Passage from the MLB True AVG report from 7.12.2022

MLB True AVG notable results

Leading off is Cristian Javier with the lowest True AVG and facing the Angels. Not only is Javier the top of the daily model, but also sits above all others in the season long True AVG models as well! He's been terrific all year and we should expect that success to continue. Granted, his home run rate is a tad low, so that will find some correction at some point. That said, the matchup with the Angels is fantastic and shouldn't scare anyone. Likewise, LAA has the highest strikeout rate in the league against RHP at 29% in the recent sample. Look to use Javier in all formats of DFS and betting alike.

Next is the highest True AVG going to Aaron Ashby who has a matchup with the Twins. This is one of those scenarios where we have a pitcher with strong strikeout numbers and good baselines but is extremely volatile. With BABIP numbers that should regress negatively and home run rates that will certainly regress positively, this is a mixed bag. The matchup with the Twins is neutral as they are league average against LHP, so we don't gain insight there. This spot will come down to ownership in DFS. To clarify, if Ashby is highly owned, you'll fade him, and if he ends up lower owned he is great leverage in GPPs. So pay attention to ownership!

Significant deviations to consider

  • The largest positive deviations go to Paul Blackburn against the Rangers. Blackburn cut his dog shit sinker usage in half last game to throw more four seamers and curves (doubled usage on both). Led to career high in swstr% and csw%. The recent sample screaming for regression with an ERA 2.5 runs over his xFIP and an out of control BABIP. the matchup with the Rangers is league average, so you have plenty of reason to bank on regression here. Prioritize Blackburn in DFS and hit his overs on strikeout props.
  • Finally there are a handful of guys that have large negative deviations to consider: Charlie Morton, Tony GODsolin, Shane McClanahan, Joe Musgrove, and Tommy Milone. Morton and Gonsolin are due for their fair share of regression, but their True AVG marks are still okay and the damage will be mitigated. On the other hand, McLanahan is starting to look a bit concerning. the .206 BABIP and 86% LOB rates in the recent sample aren't going to hold, and a worse outcome for him is looming. Lastly, Musgrove and Milone look really bad. They face the Rockies and the Nationals, respectively. Both of these teams suck, but considering high True AVG marks and significant of negative deviation, you will want to attack these pitchers. In sum, Morton and Gonsolin are okay, McLanahan is a fade, and you should consider stacking COL and WAS.

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