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: Fantastic outcome for one of the easiest calls this post has provided with Nick Lodolo. He went six innings against the Marlins with nine strikeouts, two unearned runs, and just five hits allowed.
The DFS models in the MLB Range of Outcomes performed strongly, while the Betting model almost swept all games. If you are enjoy the True AVG report, you should try out a subscription to the site (Find an option here!)
MLB True AVG notable results
First thing to note today is this is a massive slate. Likewise, we have a bunch of guys that are clumped together in positive and negative deviations. That said, there are a lot of ways to make decisions today, so don't feel locked into one thing or another.
Starting off with the mustache monster himself, the lowest True AVG belongs to Spencer Strider. Similarly to Nick Lodolo yesterday, Strider has a terrific recent sample True AVG as well as being top five in the season long sample. Moreover, he has the highest strikeout percentage in the league among qualified starters, so his downside is greatly mitigated. He's got a matchup with the Phillies today who are league average but do have plenty of power upside. Regardless of the power, Strider is matchup proof and should be a priority in DFS and betting markets.
Next is the highest overall True Avg on the day going to Angel Zerpa. Granted, we are dealing with a pretty short sample here, but he's been very lucky to have had the success he has found. His BABIP of .182 and pitiful 2.57 K/9 don't mix well. Meanwhile, he has a 100% LOB rate and his xFIP is 3.5 runs higher than his ERA. However, the matchup is easy, with the Angels being the second worst team in the league against LHP. That said, you should avoid Zerpa in all formats and attack him in large field GPPs.
Significant deviations to consider
- There are a handful of guys with notable positive deviations today: Keegan Thompson, Josiah Gray, and Jose Berrios. Thompson has been lucky in terms of home runs but unucky with BABIP and LOB rates in the recent sample. He has a good matchup with the Pirates who are below average and have an above average strikeout rate. Gray, on the other hand, has been unlucky with BABIP and home run rates and has an ERA 3.75 runs above his xFIP. He has the hardest matchup of the three against the Dodgers and their 126 wRC+. Finally, Berrios has been unlucky with all of BABIP, LOB rates, and home run rates. Meanwhile, his matchup with the Cardinals is league average. In sum, utilizing Thompson is the safest call while prioritizing Gray has the most upside. All three are valuable!
- Similarly to the positive deviations, there are a couple pitchers with large negative deviations worth looking at as well: Shane McClanahan, Taijuan Walker, and Luis Garcia. As usual, it's worth saying that McLanahan should regress at some point but it won't be something worth attacking. Taijuan Walker has a middling True AVG but is facing the Yankees and is ripe for home run regression. Lastly, Luis Garcia is facing the Athletics and their 88 wRC+. In regards to these three, stacking the Yankees against Walker makes the most sense, while utilizing one offs from the Athletics works as well.