MLB Daily Betting Model, 4/8: It Pays to Be a Homer
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Homer Bailey
- Sean Zerillo's MLB model helps to find edges in betting moneylines and over/unders for the full game and First 5 (F5) innings.
- He analyzes the April 8 slate of baseball games with his model below, including the Brewers-Angels matchup.
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
If there is an enduring image to the 2019 Major League Baseball season, there is almost no doubt, even one full week into the season, that it will be this:
Yasiel Puig, attempting to take on the entirety of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, as Tucker Barnhart grabs at his ankles like Jeff Van Gundy trying to restrain Alonzo Mourning.
The Internet being the Internet, the image was quickly photoshopped into the Louvre … and it doesn’t necessarily look out of place. We’ll be seeing this picture forever.
Derek Dietrich was mostly to blame for initiating the tension in the game, admiring his second-inning home run off of Chris Archer, while still in the batter’s box like he was Pedro Cerrano in the Major League movies:
Archer being Archer, he threw behind Dietrich during his next at-bat, stirring up the emotions. Immediately, Puig readied himself to throw down like he was auditioning for a role in John Wick 3.
Dietrich added a second home run in the eighth inning, but the Pirates won the game, 7-5.
Recapping Yesterday’s Model
It was inevitable that I would experience a reverse sweep, eventually. When you’re generally betting on teams that have expected winning percentages below 50% on any given day, you need to be able to tolerate losing more than 50% of your wagers.
Even at a sub-.500 record (33-34-1) in MLB plays this season, I’m still up nearly five units. If I continue to win just about 50 percent of these plays at plus money, I’ll be extremely happy, and this season will be very profitable.
In terms of Closing Line Value (CLV), I was on the right side of three of the four games, plus 20 cents overall. I played the Sunday Night Baseball game far too early, betting the Rockies before most of the steam had come in on the Dodgers. I missed on Colorado by 20 cents (+135 to +155), so lesson learned for Sunday night games.
However, I got the best of the number for the Orioles (+174 to +165), and twice each for the Marlins (+155/+146 to +140) and Mets (+125/+120 to +118).
I’d make those three plays 10 times out of 10. I’m only disappointed with betting on Colorado prematurely before their edge% had even triggered in my projections, but all that you can do in this business is to live and learn from past mistakes.
On Deck for Monday 4/8
All odds as of early Monday morning.
The model recommends three full-game moneylines for Friday:
The 4% trigger threshold officially marked the Angels, Pirates and Royals as plays for Monday.
In my opinion, the wrong team is favored in the Seattle-Kansas City matchup today. I have the Royals winning the game 55 percent of the time, while the marketplace generally shows an expectation of 47.5 percent. I’d play the Royals down to even money at home.
Depending on the book, the Angels are either getting plus money, or are a short price at home against an 8-2 Brewers team that is only +2 in run differential in 2019.
Jhoulys Chacin has been a revelation for Milwaukee over the past two seasons, but Angels starter Tim Cahill has actually been even better than Chacin when he is healthy.
Per Statcast, Cahill sports an xwOBA of .311, 0.11 points better than Chacin. That roughly equates to a difference in expected ERA of 4.33 vs. 4.64 based on those numbers alone. My preseason composite projection also has Cahill’s ERA about 0.3 better, 4.07 vs. 4.36.
Meanwhile, the Pirates will travel to face the Cubs, but they will also have their ace Jameson Taillon on the mound. If you can get it at the same price, I see a bigger edge on the Pirates in the first five innings (F5) of the game (53% vs. 51%).
However, after examining my early season stats I’m beginning to notice a trend with my moneyline picks:
- Home Moneylines: 52% Win, +5.4U
- Away Moneylines: 42% Win, +0.2U
As a result, I think I’m going to skip playing the Pirates today and stick on the two home teams. If I did play Pittsburgh, it would likely be the F5 line.
The one team off of the board, who I’m showing a 2 percent edge on at current odds of +105, is the St. Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers continue to blow teams out (+36 run differential), and St. Louis might be in a good contrarian spot against them today.
Bets (So Far) for April 8
Thus far, I have locked in:
- Kansas City Royals (+108)
- Los Angeles Angels (-104)
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 4/8: Moneylines & Over/Unders
Download the Excel doc with my projections to input odds from your sportsbook. These projections cover full game and First 5 moneylines and over/unders. A sample of one of the sheets is below.