MLB Daily Betting Model, 4/21: Can Glasnow Continue Dominance for Rays vs. Red Sox?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20)
- 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 21 slate of baseball games with his model below, including the Red Sox-Rays and Mets-Cardinals matchups.
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
Yesterday, we established how we will handle betting on doubleheaders: If the Game 1 favorite wins the first leg and is favored again in Game 2, then it’s a viable play, particularly if it’s the visiting team.
The Minnesota Twins swept both ends of their doubleheader in Baltimore on Saturday, taking a tight first game, 6-5, as a -200 favorite before jumping out to a quick 13-0 lead in the second game as a -140 favorite.
Things got so out of hand that Chris Davis took a turn on the mound for Baltimore:
Imagine being the guy who swung through Chris Davis’s tailing 82 mph heater (Davis maxed out around 86 mph, in case you were wondering).
Another first baseman, Kendrys Morales, took the mound for the Oakland Athletics in their 10-1 blowout loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Morales flashed his own 85 mph fastball while allowing one run on two walks, a hit batsman, and a sacrifice fly.
Neither Davis nor Morales displayed anywhere near the quality of stuff as the current ace on my dream position player mop-up duty staff, the immortal Pablo Sandoval:
Pablo Sandoval, Filthy Two Pitch Sequence (87mph Fastball and 70mph Curveball). 🐼🔥
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 29, 2018
In that same Oakland game that Morales pitched in, A’s reliever Fernando Rodney tied actual immortal, Cy Young, with his 906th career appearance, the fifth most ever by a pitcher with zero career starts.
For a pitcher with 325 saves and a 3.75 ERA, Rodney’s career has defined the word enigmatic.
His 2012 season with Tampa Bay remains one of the best statistical relief pitching seasons in MLB history: 74.2 innings pitched with 48 saves, a 0.777 WHIP, and a 0.60 ERA (on 9 total runs); the second lowest single-season ERA in history (min. 50 IP) only behind Zach (now Zack) Britton (0.54 with the 2016 Orioles).
A three-time all-star who has played with 11 teams over 15 seasons since basically re-starting his career at the age of 28, Rodney has fired his share of arrows and then some.
Recapping Yesterday’s Model
The model went 2-3 against full-game moneylines and 3-1-1 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5) on Saturday.
I missed out on two very juicy full game moneyline upsets with Miami (+220) over Washington and Texas (+226) over Houston.
My actual picks went 4-1, but I was only up 0.85 units for the day as a result of playing the Boston-Tampa Bay total (Over 8.5) to win a full unit.
It was another positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained 33 cents on the Phillies F5 moneyline (-115 to -148) and 10 cents on the Cardinals F5 line (-150 to -160), though I lost 13 cents on the Cleveland F5 line (-150 to -137). The total also moved my way, down to 8 runs from 8.5.
On Deck for Sunday, April 21
All odds as of Sunday morning (view live odds).
The model recommends four full-game moneylines on Sunday.
The 4% trigger threshold officially marked Kansas City, Miami, San Francisco, and Texas as the full-game moneyline plays.
As of the time of writing, it doesn’t show any recommended moneyline plays for the first five innings (F5), or any recommended F5 or game totals.
First, let’s talk about the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox. This game wasn’t flagged by the model, but it shows a 2% edge for the Rays at their current odds.
Boston has taken the first two games on the road in this series, 6-4, and 6-5, and I noticed that Sunday’s line moved 10-15 cents towards Boston almost immediately after its victory on Saturday night.
Tampa Bay opened as a -130 or -125 favorite for Sunday, and is now at -115 as of the time of writing as a result of public action. Basically, you’re now getting a free 10-15 cents of value due simply to recency bias against Tampa Bay.
The Rays’ starter, Tyler Glasnow, has been utterly dominant since joining Tampa Bay from Pittsburgh in the Chris Archer deal at last season’s trade deadline. Over 80 innings pitched with the Rays, Glasnow has a 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a WHIP barely over 1.00.
Tyler Glasnow, 2018 Highlights. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/uFGd5pPyzX
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) February 7, 2019
After struggling with confidence and command earlier in his career, Glasnow is now pitching with intent to murder.
David Price will take the mound for Boston, and Tampa Bay is 31-21 (59.6%) against left-handed starters since the beginning of 2018. A $100 bettor would have returned nearly 19% on their investment betting on the Rays against southpaws over that span.
I was able to scoop up the Mets moneyline at -120 before it quickly moved to -130, as Dakota Hudson has looked dreadful (10 walks and 5 home runs allowed in 13.1 Innings Pitched) in his first four games (three starts) after exclusively pitching out of the bullpen in 2018.
Noah Syndergaard is also rounding into peak form, posting a 29-to-5 strikeout to walk ratio over 24 innings in his first four starts with a FIP of 3.03, which is in line with his 2019 projections.
The Mets were an easy fade for me on Saturday, as they were throwing an emergency starter in place of Jacob deGrom after completely burning through their bullpen on Friday night in order to secure a win. They should have a major starting pitching advantage on Sunday, and they should be all-in again as they gun for the series win.
The Giants are the one model play that I do like for tomorrow.
I could bore you with a long argument about batted-ball data, but all that you really need to know is that there is evidence to suggest that, since his debut, the Giants’ Dereck Rodriguez (son of Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez) has been a more effective pitcher than Chris Archer is currently (hot take alert):
Archer has the big-time velocity and high strikeout totals and is more of a name-brand talent, but Rodriguez has quietly gone about his business, yet has gone largely unnoticed despite having a significantly more famous baseball dad.
Although his stuff and swinging-strike rate (8.5%) are below average, Rodriguez has a varied arsenal (four-seamer, sinker, slider, curveball, change-up), the ability to limit walks (1.61 BB/9 in 2019), and he generates a lot of soft hit flyballs and popups.
There is also something to be said for his A+ tattoo game.
On a neutral field, I’d have this game at about a coin flip. In Pittsburgh, though, I have the Giants winning the game about 47.2% of the time — nearly 5.5% higher than their current list price (+140; 41.7% implied probability).
The Giants lost a rain-shortened five-inning game to the Pirates on Saturday and have a day off on Monday before heading to Toronto to (likely) meet Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for his major league debut on Tuesday.
The Pirates are not a good enough team to be a 59% favorite over any club not among the worst few in baseball. To me, the Giants are not quite at that level…yet.
Bets (So Far) for April 21
I have these locked in thus far:
- New York Mets (-120) Game Moneyline
- San Francisco Giants (+145) Game Moneyline
- Tampa Bay Rays (-113) Game Moneyline
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 4/21: 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.