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: Had a bad day yesterday in terms of results, but there's some context needed. Corbin was the pitcher to prioritize based on positive deviations and he ended up giving up four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. However, he had high marks in BABIP (.429) and LOB rate as well as being unlucky that one of the four flyballs he gave up was a home run. Overall, the result was bad, but the luck was worse.
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
We start off the day with Kevin Gausman having the best True AVG available as well as the largest positive deviations. His season long BABIP is nearly 100 points over his career averages and around 130 points higher than the league average. Meanwhile, it is an incredible .474 in the recent sample while also being unlucky in home run rates. His 5.74 ERA is over three runs higher than his xFIP as well. Frankly, everything points towards Gausman having better games ahead. When you pair that with terrific strikeout and walk rates you have one of the best pitchers on the slate. Look to prioritize Gausman in DFS and avoid the Rays at all costs.
Next up is the worst True AVG on the day going to Adam Wainwright. Granted, a True AVG of .300 is pretty bad but it's mostly within expectation. For the most part we view this as less of a regression spot and more of a bad pitcher overall. The ERA and xFIP are mostly in line and the home run rates make sense. On top of all of that he faces a Cubs squad that is well below average with a wRC+ of 85. In sum, Wainwright is probably bad and you should avoid him but there's not priority on the Cubs.
Significant deviations to consider
- Outside of Kevin Gausman, the largest positive deviations go to Graham Ashcraft against the Marlins. Although Ashcraft hasn't shown a lot of upside, his strikeout rates are fine and his groundball rates are solid. Likewise, his BABIP has been way too high and we should expect it to come back down. Up against a team like the Marlins you have to like his chances to experience that regression today. They have just a 71 wRC+ and a 24% strikeout rate, so they represent a ceiling opportunity for nearly every pitcher they face. In sum, you will want to hit the overs for Ashcraft outs recorded as well as the over on strikeout props.
- There is actually a pretty large group of large deviations today to worry about. All of Cole Irvin, Braxton Garrett, Tyler Anderson, Zac Gallen, and Alex Wood have negative deviations of -.083 or worse. the worst of the group and the one with the worst True AVG is Alex Wood who also happens to have the toughest matchup. In the recent sample Wood has just a .209 BABIP and 54% groundball rate, which is a pretty significant deviation from averages for his archetype. He faces the Dodgers who are second in the league against LHP in terms of wRC+ at 145. Although most of the baselines are fine here, you'll want to avoid Wood and stack the Dodgers in large field contests if you need leverage.