Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Sep. 1: Back Price in Angels vs. Red Sox?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (10) talks with shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) and catcher Christian Vazquez (7)
- Sean Zerillo's MLB model helps you find edges when betting moneylines and over/unders for the full game and first five (F5) innings.
- He analyzes Sunday's slate of games, including how to bet Angels vs. Red Sox (4:07 p.m. ET).
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
David Price will return from the injured list on Sunday, as the Red Sox (73-63) try to stay within playoff range in the American League.
The Athletics, Indians and Rays are all within a half-game of one another, currently jockeying for two of the three AL Wild Card Spots, while the Red Sox sit 5.5 games off of the pace.
Without Chris Sale and with David Price potentially pitching at less than 100%, are the Red Sox a club to clearly fade in September?
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 1-4 against full-game moneylines and 0-3 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 4-3, and I finished up 0.69 units for the day.
It was a positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained 27 cents against the four sides that I played, and finished even with the three totals.
MLB Betting Model for Sunday, Sept. 1
Today, the model recommends three full-game moneylines and seven moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks and Tigers as full-game plays. The model also likes the Blue Jays and Tigers, in addition to the Angels, Rays, Rangers, Royals and White Sox as F5 plays.
I skipped the Tigers, as per usual, because they are a historically lousy baseball team — perhaps even worse than their 2003 team that lost 119 games.
A $100 bettor would be down $3,136 this season betting on the Tigers in every game (40-93).
I also skipped the Blue Jays and Rangers as both teams are using openers, but neither are in contention, and I’m not betting on organizations that are potentially prioritizing pitcher development in the middle innings of September baseball games.
I think defense makes the difference in the ugly Royals-Orioles matchup, as Kansas City has the third-best defense in the AL (+27.6), while the Orioles rank second worst (-33.4). However, I won’t blame you for avoiding that game entirely.
I’ll continue to back Lucas Giolito in the first five innings when I see line value on the White Sox. On Aug. 21, I dove into Giolito’s increased velocity and swinging-strike rate.
His fielding independent metrics (3.32 FIP, 3.73 xFIP) outclass those of Julio Teheran (4.38 FIP, 5.17 xFIP).
Giolito is 16-10 (61.5%, +8.32 units) on the full-game moneyline, and 15-8-3 (65.2%, +$7.4 units) in the first five innings, and is the most improved pitcher of this season.
I’ll be backing the Arizona Diamondbacks once again as home underdogs to the Dodgers. More than 90% of the moneyline cash is behind the favorite, but Arizona’s moneyline has ticked up only slightly (around +135) from a +120 opening number.
As I mentioned on Saturday, the Dodgers have the second-best offense against righties, per wRC+, but fall to 11th against left-handers. The public is lining up behind the Dodgers to avoid the four-game sweep in Arizona, but these are the contrarian spots that I live for.
I’ll be on the Oakland Athletics once against vs. a left-handed starting pitcher, but not purely for the dominant trends vs. left-handed pitching.
Sean Manaea makes his return from the injured list after undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery at the end of the 2018 season. The injury was supposed to have sidelined Manaea for all of 2019, but the team is in the thick of the race and must be pleased with his recovery.
You might remember Manea as the critical piece of the Ben Zobrist trade, which helped the Royals to their World Series title, or from his no-hitter last April against the Red Sox:
The changeup rates as his best pitch:
Sean Manaea, Filthy 80mph Changeup. 😷 pic.twitter.com/oAoDdSmY0N
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 1, 2018
And the minor league rehab results are promising: 53 strikeouts against 10 walks in 36.1 innings, including seven shutout innings with 12 strikeouts in his most recent outing in Triple-A.
Not only do I like the Athletics in this game, but I also like the under even though both offenses rake against southpaws — each in the top five per wRC+.
Another lefty, Andrew Heaney, has pitched exceptionally well of late for the Angels. He faced the Rangers in each of his past two starts, allowing two runs over 14 combined innings with 26 strikeouts.
His swinging-strike rate is up to 14.5%, 3% above his career average, despite an outlier arsenal amongst pitchers in 2019.
Heaney doesn’t throw four-seam fastballs — only sinkers (58%), which he backs up with a curveball (27%) and changeup (15%).
But he’s not a groundball pitcher, with a rate below 35% in 2019. Instead, Heaney’s two-seamer produces a ton of flyballs, which pairs well with Angel Stadium.
He rarely throws his curveball in the zone, but it’s also generally around the zone, racking up a ton of whiffs in the process.
And the changeup, which Heaney throws exclusively to righties, is his best pitch.
This video is from a rehab start earlier this season, but it’s fun to watch Heaney eating up minor league hitters with some sharp major league stuff:
What does 19 strikeouts in a game look like?
🎥 watch Andrew Heaney, John Curtiss, Sam Freeman and Jake Jewell rack up the Ks pic.twitter.com/aQ17XQFfjo
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) May 21, 2019
David Price makes his return tonight for Boston after receiving a cortisone injection in his wrist earlier this month to deal with a cyst.
Price didn’t make a minor league rehab appearance, as the Red Sox are getting desperate in a last-ditch attempt to make the playoffs (albeit without Chris Sale) and there’s a better than average chance that this start goes poorly.
Bets (so far) for Sept. 1
- Arizona Diamondbacks (+136) Game Moneyline
- Chicago White Sox (+130) F5 Moneyline
- Los Angeles Angels (+108) F5 Moneyline
- Kansas City (-108) F5 Moneyline
- Oakland Athletics (+125) Game Moneyline
- Tampa Bay (-160) F5 Moneyline
- Under 11 (-115), Oakland at NY Yankees
- Under 9.5 (-120), Boston at LA Angels
- Over 9.5 (-110), Baltimore at Kansas City
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 9/1
Download the Excel doc with my projections to input odds from your sportsbook. These projections cover the full game and First 5 moneylines and over/unders. A sample of one of the sheets is below.