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MLB True AVG Report – 7.14.2022

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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 7.14.2022
MLB True AVG model results for 7.14.2022

Recap from yesterday's post: Strong results in terms of corrections from the large negative deviations. Morton, Gonsolin, and Musgrove all had subpar outings. Overall each one gave up five earned runs. However, McClanahan and Milone escaped unscathed.

Passage from the MLB True AVG report from 7.13.2022
Passage from the MLB True AVG report from 7.13.2022

MLB True AVG notable results

First off is Keegan Thompson with the lowest True AVG and up against the Mets. Granted, Thompson has been relatively lucky in terms of home run rates, his BABIP is way too high for his batted ball rates. His matchup with the Mets is league average, so there's no reason to ding him there. Considering a solid strikeout rate and a less than threatening opponent, Thompson is certainly a priority. With that being said, if you don't use him, utilizing Mets power bats would be smart as a hedge.

Moving along we look at Zach Thompson with the highest True AVG facing the Marlins. Although he was able to have a relatively clean outcome in his last start, we shouldn't expect that as the norm. His BABIP and LOB rates are way too far from league averages and he has some real issues with walk rates and WHIP. the Marlins are a below average team, but they have ways to punish pitchers that rely on contact. You'll want to take the unders on Thompson in the betting market as well as using the Marlins in DFS.

Significant deviations to consider

  • The largest positive deviations belongs to Kevin Gausman who is facing a watered down Royals team. Gausman is one of the best pitcher in the league in terms of season long True AVG (which you can see here) and should be prioritized in all formats. Not only is he due to a lot of positive regression based on his recent BABIP and LOB rates, but his opponent couldn't be worse. He gets to face a watered down Royals team who is missing 40% of it's starters due to COVID restrictions. There's no reason to get cute here, you just start with Gausman and fill in the rest.
  • Finally we have two large negative deviations to consider: Framber Valdez and Corbin Burnes. It's worth saying that both of these pitchers are solid for the most part, but solid doesn't mean they are immune to regression. Valdez is a high groundball pitcher who has been playing far above his baselines in the recent sample. He has a matchup with the Angels who are tragically bad, but they were able to make some work against a considerably better Cristian Javier last night. Burnes, on the other hand, has benefitted significantly from luck lately. His BABIP and LOB rates are both unsustainable even for an ace. There's likely massive leverage in fading Burnes in GPPs and taking his unders in the betting markets. In sum, avoid both of these pitchers in DFS.

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