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: Some very nice results for all the deviations yesterday. Feltner was mostly bad, allowing five runs on six hits, while Musgrove has just one run allowed on six hits.
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 things off is Robbie Ray with the best overall True AVG (And largest positive deviations) on the day. The recent sample has been phenomenal for Ray, so it's no surprise he tops this model. Because of inflated BABIP and home run rates, Ray has an ERA of 6.52 but an xFIP of just 2.66. Meanwhile the strikeout rates have been awesome and his upside has stayed in tact. The downside here is a matchup with the Yankees who are by far the best in the league against LHP at the moment with a 171 wRC+. Overall, we can expect Ray to have muted ownership because of the matchup and that makes him a priority in all formats.
Moving along is a pitcher who used to be a True AVG darling now with the worst mark available: Kyle Wright. Granted, Wright has been unlucky when it comes to home run rates, but the rest of his profile speaks to benefitting from luck. Interestingly, his BABIP and LOB rates deserve to regress but his xFIP is a run lower than his ERA. He's got a game here against the Red Sox and their 81 wRC+ against RHP that should prevent a massive implosion. In conclusion, you'll want to avoid Wright, but we shouldn't expect a total meltdown. Take his unders and utilize the Red Sox power bats in GPPs.
Significant deviations to consider
- While it is Ray with the largest positive deviations, we have a couple of other pitchers with interesting differentials: Nick Pivetta and Jakob Junis. Pivetta is facing the Braves and may be suffering from Corbin syndrome. To clarify, the defense might be so bad behind him that his True AVG deserves to be worse. Meanwhile, Jakob Junis has a respectable .217 True AVG and faces the Padres. Considering Pivetta and Junis are similar in baselines, and these are both tough matchups, you will be making a similar decision between the two. Both of these pitchers are good GPP options, but avoid them in cash games for sure. Given a choice, Junis is the more consistent option.
- The largest negative deviations by far go to Touki Toussaint against the Athletics. Toussaint has benefitted greatly from luck with BABIP and LOB rates in the recent sample. However, he has been unlucky with home runs, so it's not all pointing down. On the other hand, the Athletics have been punching up recently and have a 109 wRC+ against RHP. Presumably the field won't be on either side here, but you should consider the Athletics in all formats. Especially if you are playing with a more popular stack the As will give you enough leverage for most contests.