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 fantastic outcome for Syndergaard with the largest positive deviations on the day. He faced the Reds and gave up just one run on three hits over seven innings.
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
Getting started with the best True AVG is Aaron Sanchez. Granted, we have been here before with Sanchez and have been let down time and time again. However, in his last start his strikeout rates were fantastic and his other baselines were promising. He's got a matchup with the Astros and their 99 wRC+ to RHP. While that isn't a daunting task in itself, it is a much harder spot than his last opponent. Sanchez is likely not valuable in DFS but his overs on strikeout props look good.
Next up with the worst True AVG is Jonathan Heasley. Over the course of the full season there is very little to be optimistic about with Heasley and the recent sample is more of the same. He's got mediocre strikeout stuff and a bad walk rate to go with middling groundball rates. Basically he is unable to mitigate any damage should things go sideways. His opponent, the Diamondbacks, are league average but with a very low strikeout rate. It's very easy to hit the unders for Heasley overall and grab the Diamondbacks as a secondary stack in GPPs.
Significant deviations to consider
- Although there are a handful of guys with strong marks, the largest positive deviations belong to Robbie Ray against the Nationals. He's been able to maintain great strikeout rates while getting super unlucky with BABIP in the recent sample. Likewise his home run rates should come down as well. His xFIP is two runs below his ERA and it speaks well to his ceiling. The Nationals are mostly a league average team but they are strikeout prone with a 25% strikeout rate which is what we love to see. Overall, Robbie Ray is an easy plug and play in all formats.
- Finally there are two pitchers with large negative deviations: Tony Gonsolin and Ranger Suarez. Gonsolin is facing the Brewers and has been getting really lucky with both BABIP and home run rates. Likewise, Suarez has nearly identical baselines and luck benefit and faces the Reds. Gonsolin would be the one to attack between these two simply because the Brewers are so strong against RHP. In sum, go ahead and take a shot on the Brewers in GPPs but regardless of that make sure you avoid both of these pitchers.