MLB Daily Betting Model, 4/11: Where’s the Value in Rockies-Giants?
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado
- 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 11 slate of baseball games with his model below, including the Dodgers-Cardinals matchup.
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
Whit Merrifield recorded a hit in his 31st consecutive game last night for the Kansas City Royals, breaking George Brett’s franchise record, and moving into a tie (with 10 other players) for the 26th-longest hit streak in MLB history.
Merrifield kept the streak alive in an awesome way too, with a game-tying, two-out surprise bunt single in the seventh inning with the Mariners infield playing back on its heels:
Merrifield is over halfway to reaching Joe DiMaggio’s record 56-game hitting streak, and he owns the longest hitting streak since Dan Uggla’s run for the Braves (33 games) in 2011.
In an era with more strikeouts due to batters selling out for power, long hit streaks such as these are becoming a rarity.
The Royals have dropped nine straight games after a 2-0 start, but Merrifield and his quietly amazing (W)hit streak should have your attention for the moment.
Recapping Yesterday’s Model
The model went 2-2 yesterday, and my picks went 2-2, but those picks were not one in the same. Either way, you would have been up slightly for the day no matter which route you chose.
I took the Cardinals at a small edge in a contrarian spot against the Dodgers, and they won for the third consecutive day. I neglected to go with Pittsburgh, the model’s selection, and the Pirates upset the Cubs at a bigger price (+160).
I had another a negative day in terms of Closing Line Value (CLV).
I played the Angels far too soon, at the conclusion of the previous night’s game before news of Mike Trout’s injury had fully spread. It was certainly a market over-correction but I lost out on a staggering 32 cents of value with that line (+125 vs. +152).
I bet San Francisco shortly before first pitch (-105) and nearly timed Kansas City at peak value (+140 vs. +143). I did manage to beat the Cardinals line ever so slightly (+100 vs. -104).
Hopefully, we can do better on the CLV front today.
On Deck for Thursday 4/10
All odds as of early Thursday morning.
The model recommends four full-game moneylines, one moneyline for the first five innings (F5), and two totals for Thursday.
The 4% trigger threshold officially marked the Marlins, Mets, Royals and Pirates as full game plays. It also marked the Dodgers as an F5 play, our largest favorite (-140) of the season.
Additionally, the model likes both Over 7 (now 7.5) in the Rockies-Giants matchup, and Over 4 runs on their F5 total.
I’m out on the Royals today. Their bullpen is incredibly frustrating to watch, and the Mariners continue to make hard contact all over the yard. I have zero confidence in the Royals’ ability to hold a lead if they can get one.
The Marlins and Pirates are plays that I made right away due to market signals. Both have underrated pitchers on the mound today, in Pablo Lopez and Joe Musgrove. Their opening lines were near my cutoff for playing these teams, so I locked in the wagers early.
The Mets are a team that I want to play tonight, but I expect public action to be on the Braves and I’m willing to wait to see if the line for the Mets gets to +120. I’m comfortable playing it at +110 in a game that I have the Mets winning 52 percent of the time.
I played Over 7 in the Giants-Rockies matchup, as I have the game projected for 8.3 runs, and most books had already moved the number to 7.5 when I placed my wager.
If you like the over in that game, the model recommends betting Over 4 runs in the F5 market. It’s something that I’m also considering.
My favorite play today is the Dodgers F5 moneyline, which opened up at the same price as the adjusted full game line (-140).
I have the Dodgers winning the first five innings of this matchup over 63 percent of the time, but their full game odds for me drop to 57 percent.
This line should be shaded more toward the F5 side, with Michael Wacha going up against Walker Buehler. Their batted ball data suggests an xwOBA difference of 0.91, an ERA equivalent of 3.0 for Buehler, and about 5.5 for Wacha.
Wacha has struggled with injuries throughout his career, and pitched just 84 innings in 2018, with the highest walk rate (3.84 BB/9) of his career.
Wacha’s average fastball velocity declined from 95.6 mph in 2017 to 94.2 mph in 2018. The fastball is now sitting at 93.1 mph over his first two starts in 2019, and he has walked 12 batters in 11.2 innings, with eight in his last outing alone.
Meanwhile, I could argue that Buehler is currently the best pitcher on the Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw included).
Buehler pitched to a 2.62 ERA (3.04 FIP) during his rookie season in 2018, striking out nearly 10 batters per nine innings (9.9 K/9) while walking four times as many hitters as he struck out.
He features three fastballs (four-seamer, cutter, sinker) and two breaking balls (slider, curveball). The slider is the money pitch:
For comparison’s sake, a slightly reduced Kershaw pitched to a 3.19 FIP, with an 8.65 K/9 rate in 2018. Metrics would argue that Buehler was more effective than Kershaw last season, and the eye test would agree.
To me, this game line should be heavily slanted towards the F5 side. Priced the same as the full game, I see value on Buehler and the Dodgers to start with a bang early today, especially following three straight losses to these Cardinals.
Bets (So Far) for April 11
Thus far, I have locked in:
- LA Dodgers F5 Moneyline (-140)
- Miami Marlins (+152) Game ML
- Pittsburgh Pirates (+125) Game ML
- Rockies-Giants Over 7 (-120)
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 4/11: 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.