MLB Daily Betting Model, 5/6: Backing Max Scherzer at a Short Price Against the Brewers
Tommy Gilligan, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Max Scherzer
- 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 full slate of games on May 6 with his model below, and highlights the Blue Jays-Twins (7:07 p.m. ET) and Nationals-Brewers (7:40 p.m. ET) matchups as potential edges.
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
Five different players (Alex Bregman, Jay Bruce, Xander Bogaerts, Hunter Renfroe, and Kris Bryant) hit Grand Slams on Sunday, but none was bigger than the one that Renfroe hit for the Padres:
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) May 5, 2019
Per Stats Inc., it was the first pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam in Padres history.
Quick Trivia: The Padres remain the only active MLB organization that has not had a pitcher toss a no-hitter. They have thrown 30 one-hitters.
Recapping The Weekend
It’s virtually impossible for me to track every play that becomes a model play at some point. Generally, I track and report on whatever is flagged at writing; but publication times vary and lines can move quickly during the editing process.
As a result, the model doesn’t have a true record, only my picks do. I merely attempt to recap how the model would have performed the previous day as of writing.
I finished March and April with a 108-86-8 record, up 20.85 units. However, I’m off to a 4-14 start in May, down 5.04 units, with a dismal 1-10 record (-4.56 units) over the past three days.
It was an overall positive weekend in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I netted 37 cents against closing lines, and eight of those 11 lines moved favorably in my direction (one neutral). I netted more than eight cents on four separate occasions and only lost 12 cents on one game and three cents on another.
Retaining positive CLV markers is a strong indicator that I was fairly unlucky to have only won one of those picks this weekend.
On Deck for Monday, May 6
All odds as of Monday morning (view live odds).
The model recommends three full-game moneylines and five moneylines for the first five innings (F5) on Monday.
As of writing, the 4% trigger threshold officially marked the Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants as the full-game plays. It also likes the Marlins, in addition to the St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, and Washington Nationals in the F5 portion of their game.
It’s surprising to see Max Scherzer as a short favorite, no matter the opponent. The Nationals’ Ace is off to a 1-4 start, with a 4.08 ERA, but those numbers are mostly the product of bad luck. His strikeout minus walk rate (29.1%), FIP (2.17), and whiff rate (16.1%) are career bests.
Scherzer’s opponent, Jhoulys Chacin, has taken a step back this season after a strong 2018. Chacin’s strikeout rate is under seven batters per nine innings this season, and his strikeout minus walk rate (5.6%) is down from 10.1% over the past two seasons. Chacin’s FIP (5.85) shows that he has been lucky to pitch to a 5.24 ERA.
Scherzer has suffered from a poor batting average on balls in play (.377 in 2019 vs. .289 career) and has stranded over 15% fewer of his baserunners (65% in 2019) than he did in each of the past three seasons (over 81%).
His slider continues to dominate but his changeup has been hit hard this season – the one fix that Scherzer can make to get back on track to being unhittable:
Max Scherzer, 85mph Slider and 83mph Changeup, Overlay/Slow. pic.twitter.com/TkiVjKmSmB
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 26, 2018
I’ll be backing Scherzer on both the F5 and the full-game moneyline. I’ll be doing the same thing with the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman, whose own strikeout minus walk rate (13.5%) is at a career high.
Stroman has succeeded in 2019 by increasing his slider usage by 16% (to 38.4%) over last year, and the pitch has saved him nearly 10 runs worth of value:
Marcus Stroman, Filthy 86mph Slider/Messing with Timing. 🤢 pic.twitter.com/1Q983OskXK
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 20, 2019
Stroman owns a 2.20 ERA, and a 2.41 FIP as a result, as he also continues to generate a large volume of popups and groundballs.
One play that I’m making off of my board today is the Rays full game runline (-1.5 runs), as they have covered the spread in all of their victories this season.
Blake Snell has had two rough outings since returning from a broken toe, so I don’t want to lay big money on their F5 moneyline or spread, but I’ll take a shot on this runline trend continuing in victory for what I consider to be the third best team in baseball (behind the Astros and the Dodgers).
Bets (So Far) for May 6
- San Francisco Giants (+137) Game Moneyline
- St. Louis Cardinals (-123) F5 Moneyline
- Tampa Bay Rays (-1.5, +105) Runline
- Toronto Blue Jays (-108) Game Moneyline
- Toronto Blue Jays (+103) F5 Moneyline
- Washington Nationals (-125) F5 Moneyline
- Washington Nationals (-115) Game Moneyline
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 5/6: Moneylines & Over/Unders
Download the Excel doc with my projections to input odds from your sportsbook. These projections cover the full game and First 5 moneylines and over/unders. A sample of one of the sheets is below.