Wilson’s MLB Umpire Betting Guide (5/12): Round Rock Express Represented in Houston
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Astros starting pitcher Corbin Martin (67).
- Collin Wilson dives deep into umpire data to find betting value on Sunday’s MLB slate.
- He's eyeing a young pitcher who is getting called up from the Astros Triple A team.
While this column will focus on daily matchups with Umpires, it is always important to keep tabs on the futures market. Most of my preseason wagering comes in the form of win totals and division futures.
The key to betting a World Series future is the combination of a team’s low stock, projected strength of schedule and plenty of advanced splits. This weekend may represent the last chance to get a double-digit Boston Red Sox future.
The Red Sox are winners of 10 of their past 12 games. Their next three series come against the sub .500 Rockies and Blue Jays around a home series with the Astros. Boston’s pitching staff has the eighth-lowest xFIP (a true indicator of how a pitcher is performing) and ninth highest BABIP (batting average on balls in play), translating to bad luck regression in the near future. Key series with the Indians, Yankees and the Tyler Glasnow-less Rays loom, making this a possible last chance to get a decent Red Sox future.
Here come the #RedSox: Their rotation had an 8.79 ERA through April 11, the worst in #MLB by more than a run. In the 26-game stretch since, they have a 3.22 ERA, lowest in the AL and third in #MLB. They are now just 4 games out of 1st place, closest they have been since April 4.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) May 11, 2019
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
Texas Rangers at Houston Astros
Umpire: Jim Wolf
- Home Record: 221-211, 51.2% (-19.52 units)
- Under Record: 189-214, 46.9% (-33.91 units)
- Total: 9.5
- Time: 2:10 p.m. EST
- Projected Wind: Inward from Centerfield 7 mph
The Houston Astros will call up Corbin Martin from Triple A to start for Collin McHugh in this game. Martin has a 1.48 ERA in 24.1 innings for the Round Rock Express, but the Rangers are tied for second in Hard Hit percentage against righties. Texas also ranks fifth in walk percentage against righties, meaning our umpire will come in to play.
Jim Wolf gets the nod behind the plate. With a lifetime under percentage just shy of 47%, we may frequently see “in play, run(s)” on our live MLB tracker apps. The Texas Rangers will get Adrian Sampson to the mound, who did not make it out of the fifth inning against Houston a couple of weeks prior. Houston ranks first in wRC, wOBA (two catch-all offensive stats that account for factors like ballpark adjustments) and third in ISO against righties.
With a Triple A call up and the Astros hitting righties hard, expect runs on the board. Hopefully no one will try and stare down Umpire Jim Wolf.
Blue Bet: Over 9.5
Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals
Umpire: Mike Muchlinski
- Home Team Record: 156-123, 55.9% (4.79 units)
- Away Team Record: 146-124, 54.1% (14.66 units)
- Total: 9
- Time: 2:15 p.m. EST
- Projected Wind: Left to Right Field, 5 mph
Sunday Unders are a key system in our BetLabs database. Mike Muchlinski is one of the Under Umpire contributors to a system that has a 6.9% ROI. Mookie Betts may agree after this past week’s Orioles-Red Sox 12 inning game that Muchlinski’s strike zone is a bit loose.
Mookie Betts didn't agree with that call, and I can see his point. Pitch 4 (which was called a ball) and Pitch 6 (which was a called third strike) must be the same. Mike Muchlinski was inconsistent there. #RedSox pic.twitter.com/yKR172Hu1y
— Bill Koch (@BillKoch25) May 9, 2019
This game also features Steven Brault, a Pittsburgh Pirates lefty who took the loss in relief against the Cardinals earlier this year. The Pirates pitcher was successful against the Cardinals in 11 innings pitched during 2018, and may have similar success on Sunday. St. Louis is 22nd in wRC and wOBA while ranking seventh in groundball percentage against lefties.
Dakota Hudson was excellent for the Redbirds against the Nationals. His last outing against the Phillies was plagued with two errors by the defense that had Hudson pitching from behind early.
The Pirates have not been lethal against righties, with a Hard Hit percentage that ranks 25th and a home run to fly ball percentage coming in at 28th. There should be plenty of grounders in this game and with a little defense the Under should get home.
Blue Bet: Under 9