MLB Daily Betting Model, 3/31: Continuing to Fade the Cubs
Joe Camporeale, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Cole Hamels
- Sean Zerillo's MLB model helps to find edges in betting moneylines and over/unders for the full game and first 5 innings.
- He analyzes the March 31 slate of baseball games with his model below.
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
Saturday afternoon got off to a positive start. The Mets-Nationals run total (3.5) for the first 5 innings (F5) suggested an edge of over 10% on the over, and those tickets cashed before the sixth out of the game had been recorded.
The contest also soared past both of the potential full-game run totals (7 and 7.5), as Stephen Strasburg and Noah Syndergaard each surrendered four runs in an 11-8 Mets victory.
Mets rookie Pete Alonso got in on the action, with batted balls of 106.8 and 113.8(!) MPH, and his first career RBI:
Trevor Bauer cruised for the Indians (7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9K), pitching out of trouble just once before leaving the game after 108 pitches. However, his counterpart on the Twins, Jake Odorizzi, matched him step for step (6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 11 K).
Cleveland defeated the Twins 2-1, even after Brad Hand loaded the bases in the ninth inning (and after Brad Miller lost a ball in the sun to start the rally).
Texas (+135) is still pending at the time of publication.
On Deck for Sunday 3/31
Three games into the baseball season and we’re ready for the Tampa Bay Rays first bullpen day tomorrow. You’ll see a lot of “TBD” as the listed pitcher next to Tampa Bay this season.
Use it to your advantage.
While it’s tough to predict any staff on an “opener day” with a game to play between now and then, I still project value on the Rays at anything over +110 for the game. There is no line as of yet.
People will be hesitant to bet on an uncertain group of pitchers, and might even look to take the other side. But the Rays bullpen is stellar and is managed better than any other staff. You should bet on it succeeding more often than not.
The usual suspects (Baltimore, Miami) popped up once again. The Orioles (+328) finally got their upset today against the Yankees. I might look to the electric Sandy Alcantara and the Marlins at home tomorrow, even if they fall to 0-3 on Saturday.
Seattle and Texas popped up as edge play home underdogs again too. I’ve been hesitant to play the Mariners against Boston, but have been aggressive with Texas at home against the Cubs.
That won’t change tomorrow — as I think Lance Lynn is a better pitcher right now than Cole Hamels. Statcast xwOBA (expected weighted on-base average) would agree, with a .315 mark for Lynn, and a .339 mark for Hamels.
After missing all of 2016, Lynn improved during the second half of the 2018 season following a subpar 2017. He ultimately struck out over a batter per inning on the year (9.25 K/9), the best rate of his career.
I have the Rangers projected for a 51% win probability. Their odds are set at +135 (implied 42.55% probability) suggesting an edge of 8.45%.
My Bets & Potential Picks for March 31
Texas looks like a solid play (+135 or better) once again over the public backed Cubs.
I’ll be taking a closer look at Tampa Bay when the line opens, and possibly also Miami too as potential underdog plays.
I’m considering backing Cleveland again at -115 or better. There is a 2.5% edge at that price, and Carlos Carrasco was one of the best pitchers in baseball after the 2018 all-star break (89.1 IP, 2.52 ERA, 20 BB, 119 K).
Over 7.5 in that game is the only potential full-game total recommendation as of yet, but not one that I’m interested in playing at all with Cleveland’s patchwork lineup.
Unfortunately, no five-inning lines are available yet.
As a result, it’s going to be difficult to get the spreadsheet and the majority of my plays out at the same time for these Sunday slates. The advantage is that you get to hit the lines earlier.
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 3/31: 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.