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 the previous slate's post: The results were terrific on the last run of the models. They prioritized the White Sox against Chris Archer and they scored 11 runs with 16 hits and three home runs.
MLB True AVG notable results
Getting started is Carlos Rodon with the lowest True AVG, but since he has the largest positive deviations as well, we are going to focus on Cristian Javier here. Both Rodon and Javier have True AVGs at just about .180, so there isn't a significant drop in expected performance here. Granted, it's important to note that Javier has benefitted from some good luck in the recent sample. His negative deviations are thanks to a .194 BABIP, but his baselines are still terrific. He's got one of the hardest matchups in the league against the Yankees so he may end up underowned in this spot. Take advantage of the ownership discount and use Javier to gain leverage in GPPs.
Next we look to Garrett Hill with the highest True AVG on the slate of games. To clarify here, Hill has a small sample in the major leagues and a strong pedigree from minor league baselines. However, he has walk rate issues and a very low groundball rate which makes him home run prone. He's got a matchup with the Athletics, which likely mitigates a lot of his downside, but with a True AVG this high you can't count on a ceiling. Considering his lackluster major league baselines and high True AVG, this is a spot to avoid and you'll like his unders in the strikeout prop market.
Significant deviations to consider
- As mentioned earlier, the largest positive deviations go to Carlos Rodon against the Dodgers. Rodon has been fantastic all year and the recent sample is just as good. Especially with a BABIP that is much too high for his profile we can expect even better outcomes moving forward. The one black mark here is a lot of home run luck that is sure to bite him soon. The matchup with the Dodgers is tough, but they are a less terrifying team against LHP. In sum, they have higher strikeout rates, lower walk rates, and a lower wRC+ in this split. While we should expect a home run or two, this is a matchup Rodon can win and his True AVG makes him a priority.
- Finally the largest negative deviations belong to Frankie Montas up against the Tigers. While Montas' season long stats are aligned, his recent sample shows a rough patch coming. His BABIP and LOB rates have just been way too lucky, and it shows in a 1.5 run difference between ERA and xFIP. All of that being said, the Tigers suck. They have a 73 wRC+ in the recent sample and nearly no power. Likewise, as we come out of the ASB they have no incentive to push for wins to close out the season. The best option here is to fade Montas in GPPs and take the under on his strikeout props. If you are feeling spicy, a secondary stack of Tigers is fine in large field.