Wilson’s MLB Umpire Betting Guide (5/4): Expect More Fireworks from Athletics?

Wilson’s MLB Umpire Betting Guide (5/4): Expect More Fireworks from Athletics? article feature image
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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Khris Davis and Chad Pinder

  • Collin Wilson dives deep into umpire data to find betting value on Saturday's MLB slate.
  • He's playing two totals and one moneyline based on historical trends with the guys behind the dish.

Saturday is a dream slate for a gambler in the month of May. The Kentucky Derby, NBA/NHL playoffs, UFC, boxing and a MLB full slate make for a perfect non-football weekend. Specifically in MLB, we have plenty of investment opportunities after looking at the umpire rotation.

Even better: We have certain pitchers we cannot trust on Saturday no matter who calls balls and strikes. Yu Darvish currently has the largest walk rate (16.9%) of any pitcher with at least 20 innings pitched. He takes on a Cardinals team has great splits against righties (fourth in wOBA and third in wRC+).

Before diving into the analysis below, be sure to check out colleague Danny Donahue’s complementary piece about the importance of monitoring the boys in blue. This column will integrate advanced stats on projected pitchers and hitting lineups to help get wagers to the window. As always, check the Action App for my latest MLB bets.

Find all MLB umpire assignments and betting records here.


Umpire Betting Trends


Seattle Mariners at Cleveland Indians

Umpire: Phil Cuzzi

  • Home Record: 262-190, 58% (27.59 units)
  • Under Record: 242-189, 56.2% (34.06 units)
  • Total: 8.5
  • Time: 4:10 p.m. EST
  • Projected Wind: Inwards from Centerfield, 7.5 mph

Phil Cuzzi has been a bankable home and under play since BetLabs began tracking data on umpires in 2005. The pitching matchup should give us a perfect storm in this afternoon tilt for an Under.

If you have followed my podcast partner Stuckey for any number of years, ‘Road Leake’ continues to be an MLB favorite.

Mike Leake was shelled in his last outing, a 15-1 home loss to the Rangers. Leake takes to the road against Cleveland, a team he already has a quality start against this season.

Carlos Carrasco is the story in this game, as he fanned 12 Mariners in seven innings on April 17. The Indians pitcher has the worst BABIP (.420) of any major league starter with at least 20 innings. Look for Carrasco to dominate this struggling Mariners lineup once again.

Blue Bet: Under 8.5


Oakland Athletics at Pittsburgh Pirates

Umpire: Jerry Meals

  • Home Record: 240-228, 51.3% (-24.03 units)
  • Under Record: 211-227, 48.2% (-28.65 units)
  • Total: 7.5
  • Time: 7:05 p.m. EST
  • Projected Wind: Straight to right field, 5 mph

The Pirates were taken to the woodshed on Friday, losing 14-1 to the visiting Athletics. Pittsburgh will need a short memory, as A’s hurler Chris Bassitt comes off two excellent starts.

Umpire Jerry Meals has the splits to support a road team bet, along with a high-scoring game. The Athletics should oblige the over, as they have scored at least four runs in every game since April 18. Oakland has the second-best strikeout percentage in MLB at 19.4%. The A’s should make Pirates starter Trevor Williams work for every out.

Blue Bet: Athletics -105 and Over 7.5