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: We had a terrific outcome from the lowest True AVG on the slate. Blake snell finished the game with just four hits allowed and seven strikeouts in six innings pitched. Likewise, he allowed just one walk, which was a regression from recent samples.
Below you'll find a recap of the DFS and Betting models. These models are powered by True AVG and other powerful metrics! so, If you are enjoy the True AVG report, you should try out a subscription to the site for access (Find an option here!).
MLB True AVG notable results
Getting started we are looking at Nick Pivetta. Not only does he have the lowest True AVG on the slate, but he also has the largest positive deviations. To clarify, Pivetta has run extremely cold in the last four games, with a .433 BABIP and paltry 57% LOB rate. His xFIP of 4.97 isn't exactly great, but it's five runs below his ERA in that sample! The strikeout rates have maintained so the upside is still there when the bad luck runs out. Granted, his matchup today with the Brewers is a rough one as their 126 wRC+ is third best in the league. The Brewers are likely to be popular today, so utilize Pivetta in DFS as great leverage in GPPs.
Meanwhile it is Erick Fedde at the highest True AVG spot. Technically Fedde has some positive regression coming. However, a True AVG that high along with an xFIP of nearly 6.00 signals a bad pitcher in any regard. Likewise, he has reached full “pitcher chode” status, with a walk rate above his strikeout rate in the recent sample. Nobody likes a chode, and you should avoid this one today. In sum, stack up the Cardinals in GPPs and hit the unders for Fedde in the betting markets.
Significant deviations to consider
- As noted, the largest positive deviations go to Nick Pivetta. After him is a trio of pitchers to consider: Dean Kremer, Paul Blackburn, and Carlos Carrasco. Kremer has an unsustainably high BABIP and is matched with the Reds and their 81 wRC+ (7th worst). 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%. Lastly, Carrasco is an interesting case, with a very high BABIP while benefitting from a lot of luck in LOB and home run rates. Meanwhile, he gets to face the Marlins. Overall, Carrasco is likely the best horse to back here (besides Pivetta, obviously). However, all three of these pitchers are viable as regression candidates.
- The largest negative deviations go to Tyler Mahle up against the Orioles. Although the xFIP is only 1.5 runs above the ERA, the recent sample has been super lucky for Mahle. His BABIP and LOB rates are both way off of league averages and his walk rate is through the roof. It's a Molotov cocktail of regression and it'll light up soon. That said, his matchup with the Orioles is relatively difficult as their strikeout rate is below average while their wRC+ is a healthy 109. Look to attack Mahle in all DFS formats and hit his unders in the strikeout markets.