MLB Daily Betting Model, 3/29: Lorenzo Cain, Opening Day Hero
Kim Klement, USA Today Sports. Pictured: George Springer, Jake Marisnick
Every kid who plays baseball dreams of playing in the big leagues one day, achieving that defining heroic moment where they push a crowd into bedlam.
Lorenzo Cain has already won a World Series with the Kansas City Royals, but there’s no doubting that he probably also dreamed about doing something like this as a kid:
If the above play makes you feel a bit nostalgic, it’s likely because Torii Hunter’s famous 2002 All-Star Game home run robbery on Barry Bonds occurred in almost the exact same spot in Milwaukee.
Here are some other things that caught my eye during opening day:
- The Jacob deGrom vs. Max Scherzer duel lived up the hype. The two combined for 22 strikeouts while surrendering just 11 combined baserunners over 13.2 innings. Unders in the first 5 innings for deGrom moved to 24-4 in his last 28 starts.
- The Dodgers broke the record for the most home runs by a team in a season opener, with eight.
- After hitting .521 with a 1.711 OPS and 12 homers on first pitches last season, Christian Yelich launched another first-pitch dinger, off of Miles Mikolas.
- Brad Keller, baseball’s best 23-year old with a dadbod, became the youngest pitcher in the major leagues, since Bob Feller in 1940, to toss at least seven innings and allow two hits or fewer on Opening Day
- Tim Beckham continued to bat flip up in Seattle, homering twice off of Chris Sale as the Mariners moved to 3-0. The former first-round pick could be a 2019 breakout candidate.
Recapping Yesterday’s Model
Opening Day got off to a bit of an inauspicious start until Brad Keller saved the evening, but there was one indicator that we were on the “correct side” of all of those games — closing line value.
If you’re consistently beating the closing line with your picks, it means that you’re consistently getting the best of the number. Here’s how my picks performed yesterday against the closing line: (1) Tampa Bay ML (+120 to +117); (2) Miami ML (+130 to +121); (3) Texas F5 ML (+115 to +105); (4) Kansas City F5 ML (-110 to -120); and (5) Kansas City ML (-110 to -120).
So even though the model went 2-3 overall, all five plays beat the closing number. If we’re consistently on the right side of the line movement on these games, I have very little doubt that we’re going to have a productive season together.
I named the Kansas City picks as my best bets for Opening Day, so there’s that too.
I also said I was going to monitor totals – and the recommended F5 totals with an edge of 2.5 percent or higher went 3-2, while full game recommendations went 2-1, albeit a small sample. It does leave me with a bit more confidence to play a total or two that are off today.
On Deck for Today
The model shows first-five inning and full game edges on six teams, four at home (Miami, Oakland, Seattle, Tampa Bay) and two on the road (Detroit and San Francisco).
The largest edge is on Tampa Bay over Houston at home (over 6% at +125), while San Francisco (+140) and Oakland (+103) each show a 5 percent edge.
Five totals in the first five innings are recommended plays. I have the Padres-Giants matchup projected for 4.7 runs over the first five innings, while the total is set at 4 runs, suggesting an edge of over 5 percent on that F5 over.
I also like the Dodgers total, despite a small edge with the over set at 7 (projection 7.9), before it moves to 7.5 (the key difference being that you can push on 7), especially after their record offensive outburst yesterday.
I’ll be on Tampa Bay again, in the Charlie Morton revenge game, and expect to be on them a lot against the Astros and the other big dogs in the AL this season.
Oakland is almost an automatic play for me, getting plus money at home against a team that they are better than on paper.
I also like the way that Matt Boyd generates weak contact for the Tigers, and think that Derek Holland rebounded last year for the Giants, more than people realize, and believe he is also a tad bit underrated.
My Bets for 3/29
- Tampa Bay Rays (+125) Game Moneyline vs. HOU
- Detroit (+110) F5 Moneyline vs. TOR
- Oakland Athletics (+100) Game Moneyline vs. LAA
- Over 7 (-115, Arizona vs. Los Angeles Dodgers)
- F5, Over 4 (-110, San Francisco vs. San Diego)
- San Francisco (+135) Game Moneyline vs. SD
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 3/29: 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.