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 best overall True AVG belonged to Max Scherzer and he did not disappoint. Granted, it's Scherzer, so it's not like a victory lap is necessary here. He finished as one of the highest scoring pitchers on the slate, with eight strikeouts and just two earned runs in six innings pitched.
It's worth noting as well that both the Marlins and Athletics performed well against the worst True AVG pitchers, Spencer Howard and Zach Thompson. If you have a subscription to the site, you saw the models take a stand on the Marlins as a top three play on the slate. The Marlins scored eight runs and produced multiple GPP viable options. If you don't already have a subscription to the site, you can find an option here to best suit your situation!
MLB True AVG notable results
First up today is Brandon Woodruff (once again) with the lowest overall True AVG. The last game for Woodruff was a bit of an abberation with five walks in 5.2 innings pitched, but it doesn't change his standing in the True AVG tables. His recent sample shows fantastic strikeout numbers and a BABIP far above his baseline, so we can expect some strong games ahead. His matchup today against the Rockies doesn't get much better. They have just an 85 wRC+ against RHP, a relatively low walk rate, and little power. Start your day prioritizing Woodruff and fill out the rest.
Moving along we can look at Anibal Sanchez with the highest overall True AVG. Granted, we have a short sample to pull from on Anibal in regards to the current season. That said, we have a long and storied career of mediocrity from the journeyman, so we can draw from that. His matchup with the Diamondbacks is typically exploitable, but they have shown to have life in the recent sample with a league leading walk rate and 106 wRC+. Attack Sanchez in GPPs and take his unders in the betting markets.
Significant deviations to consider
- The largest positive deviations on the slate go to Patrick Sandoval up against the Braves. this is an extremely volatile spot, but that's something we should actively try to leverage in DFS. Sandoval's strikeout rates are phenomenal, but his walk rates can be an issue. That said, his .426 BABIP is completely unsustainable and when he benefits from regression his ceiling is going to be very high. The Braves are a great team, but against LHP they are just average. You will want to utilize Sandoval in GPPs today to gain ceiling and leverage over the field.
- Lastly there are a handful of large negative deviations to look into: Matt Bush, Marcus Stroman, and James Kaprielian. To clarify, Matt Bush is a starter and won't go more than about one inning, so we can ignore him here. Stroman has just a couple games in his sample but both have been extremely lucky with low BABIP and home runs rates and a high LOB. His matchup with the Phillies is neutral, though their power is excellent. On the other hand, James Kaprielian has a date with the Rangers who are average across the board. Overall, you'll want to include the Phillies and Rangers in your portfolio. Likewise, you should avoid Stroman and Kaprielian in all formats.