MLB Daily Betting Model, 4/25: Luis Castillo Looks to Keep Reds Rolling
Aaron Doster, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Luis Castillo
- 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 25 slate of baseball games with his model below, including the Reds-Braves and Indians-Astros matchups.
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
Chris Paddack earned his first career victory against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out nine batters in a 1-0 win:
Paddack has the stuff and command to be a dominant big league pitcher for a long time, but his performance wasn’t the most impressive thing that I saw on Wednesday.
First, Mike Trout made this terrific catch on of a well-struck ball by Brett Gardner:
A great catch, but not what I’m talking about either.
Seconds later, Andrelton Simmons, the best defensive shortstop of this era, recorded the sneakiest out of his career by using the hidden ball trick to tag out Tyler Wade:
Wade ultimately got the last laugh, hitting a two-out single and scoring the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning in a 6-5 Yankees win, completing a comeback from a 5-0 deficit for his team.
Recapping Yesterday’s Model
The model went 0-3 against full-game moneylines on Wednesday, but 2-2 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My actual picks went 2-3, and I ended up down 0.83 units for the day.
It was a positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
The Tampa Bay F5 runline was neutral, but I gained five cents each on the Oakland (-105 to -110) and San Diego (-115 to -120) F5 runlines, four cents on the Dodgers moneyline (-112 to -116) and seven cents on the Reds moneyline (+112 to +105).
On Deck for Thursday April 25
All odds as of Thursday morning (view live odds).
Based on lines as of Thursday morning, the model recommends four full-game moneylines and three moneylines for the first five innings (F5) for Thursday.
The 4% trigger threshold officially marked the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, and the Los Angeles Dodgers as the full-game plays. It also likes the Dodgers and Indians as F5 plays, in addition to the Cincinnati Reds.
The Dodgers are looking to avoid a sweep today in Chicago against the Cubs, and they should have the pitching advantage with Ross Stripling facing Jon Lester.
Stripling was fantastic in a starting role in 2018, and he has carried that form over into 2019, with a 26:9 strikeout to walk ratio and 22 hits allowed over 29.1 innings pitched. Stripling continues to ride his big 12-6 curveball to success.
He ranks 5th amongst all pitchers (between Stephen Strasburg and German Marquez) in pitch value on his curveball and 4th (behind only Patrick Corbin, J.A. Happ, and Jon Gray) in weighted value for the pitch.
I also have Trevor Bauer rated as a slightly better pitcher than Gerrit Cole, giving Cleveland a better chance today against the Astros than the oddsmakers are predicting.
Bauer gets a lot of heat for his jagged personality, but there is no doubting that he continues to improve himself as a pitcher: refining his mechanics, optimizing his pitch mix, and re-defining his strategy.
He has always had the dreamy kind of “stuff” you look for in a pitching arm – unhittable on his best days, but with such ridiculous movement that he could barely throw strikes on his worst.
Bauer has thrown just two breaking balls when behind in the count in 2019 (relying more on his cutter), a big change from earlier in his career when he was breaking ball-heavy with batters ahead and seemingly looking for fastballs.
Perhaps this is a more concerted effort to lower his walk rate and pitch counts and to rely on his incredibly nasty pitch mix to generate weak contact. Bauer’s swinging strike rate (12.6%) is only down 0.7% from last season, but still way above his career norm prior to the 2018 breakout season (roughly 9%).
The last pitcher that I want to discuss is the Reds’ Luis Castillo, who has been as dominant as anyone in 2019. His swinging strike rate (15.1%) is at a career high, and his strikeout percentage (an insane 34.2% of batters) is up 11% from 2018.
Castillo has pitched 30.2 innings on the year and given up just 13 hits (.126 average) and 5 runs (1.47 ERA). He owns a pretty evenly split four-pitch mix: four-seam fastball (32%), two-seam fastball (21%), change-up (30%), and an 85 mph slider (16%) that has more 12-6 curveball movement.
Imagine trying to hit this sinking fastball as a left-handed hitter.
No thank you.
If that was strike one, now get ready for a four-seam fastball on the outside corner, followed by a change-up that’s 10 mph slower but looks the same speed and like it’s hitting the same spot, only it continues to dive away from you:
You just shake your head, walk back to the dugout, and hope that he’s out of the game by your next at-bat.
In addition to being a high strikeout pitcher, Castillo also generates a ton of groundballs — 50% for his career and 52.5% in 2019. Surprisingly, however, he has given up a good share of homers, with a 16.7% career home run to flyball ratio (average is around 10%) and 1.24 home runs allowed per nine innings.
He has only allowed one home run so far in 2019, and if he can keep that going today then the Reds should be able to take two of three games from the Braves.
Bets (So Far) for April 25
- Cincinnati Reds (-145) F5 Moneyline
- Cincinnati Reds (-136) Game Moneyline
- Cleveland Indians (+145) F5 Moneyline
- Cleveland Indians (+150) Game Moneyline
- Los Angeles Dodgers (-115) F5 Moneyline
- Los Angeles Dodgers (-115) Game Moneyline
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 4/25: 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.