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: Great results yesterday from all the MLB models including the True AVG report! The main priority from the report was Kevin Gausman, who finished with eight innings pitched, one hit, and 10 strikeouts. Likewise, the other strong positive regression candidate was Graham Ashcraft. He pitched 8.1 innings with just one run allowed and three strikeouts.
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 enjoying the True AVG report, you should try out a subscription to the site for access (Find an option here!).
MLB True AVG notable results
Leading off the report is Shohei Ohtani with the best True AVG on the day. There's not a lot to say about Ohtani outside of him being absolutely phenomenal and handsome. His season long True AVG (Found here) is the second best in the league right now and his strikeout rate is tied for first with Spencer Strider. Granted, he has shown to be volatile in terms of walks and implosions if things go badly. He faces an Athletics group that is league average in every sense, so this is obviously a matchup Ohtani can win. You'll pay a significant price in ownership to roster him in DFS but he's worth every theoretical penny.
Meanwhile, the worst True AVG on the day belongs to Tyler Alexander. He is a relief pitcher moving into a starting role and has an actual average allowed of nearly .300. His strikeout rates are terrible (under 2.00 K/9) and his xFIP is 5.29 in the recent sample. Unfortunately for him, he's got a matchup with the Twins who are a top five team in ISO against LHP. In sum, there's not a lot to like about Alexander and he looks like a prime target to attack. So, Stack up the Twins in DFS and take the unders on Alexander in the betting markets.
Significant deviations to consider
- There are plenty of strong positive deviations to manage today but the best goes to Kyle Bradish up against the Rangers. This will be yet another True AVG special where a pitcher has an ERA of 6.00+ and has been terribly unlucky to get there. His season long stats show a .393 BABIP and 67% LOB rate along with unlucky home run rates. Meanwhile, his xFIP is just 3.84 and is over four runs better than his ERA. Likewise, his opponent, the Rangers, are an average at best team with a wRC+ of 100 against RHP. When you put all of this together it shows a lot of positive regression coming, so we need to start leveraging that. Bradish is a terrific GPP option and his price mitigates a lot of the potential downside. Leverage him in DFS and hit the over on his props.
- Similarly to the positive deviations, there are a lot of strong negative ones to consider as well, with the highest going to Yusei Kikuchi facing the Rays. Since returning from the IL, Kikuchi has been fantastically lucky and still gotten roughed up. He has a .167 BABIP along with normalized HR/FB rates while still holding a 6.14 ERA and 6.64 xFIP, so there's significant downside here. Meanwhile, his matchup with the Rays is slightly below average, so he's not getting any favors there. We have seen Kikuchi have success, but this recent stretch is really concerning and the bottom could fall out in any start. In conclusion, avoid Kikuchi today and hope that others make the mistake of backing a sinking ship.