Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Aug. 27: Can Astros Snap Verlander’s Losing Skid?
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Justin Verlander
- 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 Tuesday's slate of games, including how to bet Rays at Astros (8:10 p.m. ET).
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
There are a bunch of enticing pitching matchups on Thursday that I have an angle on, including:
Michael Pineda vs. Lucas Giolito in Chicago; Charlie Morton vs. Justin Verlander in Houston; Yu Darvish vs. Marcus Stroman in New York, and a matchup between two Japanese imports in Seattle — Masahiro Tanaka vs. Yusei Kikuchi.
Adrian Houser (Brewers), Cal Quantrill (Padres) and Andrew Heaney (Angels) — few underrated arms that I like — will each take a turn at home. Though I was tempted to bet on each one, I didn’t see enough value in their current odds to make a play.
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 2-2 against full-game moneylines and 0-1 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 3-0, and I finished up 1.97 units for the day.
It was a mixed day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained five cents against the Rockies moneyline (+140 to +135) but lost eight cents against the Cardinals moneyline (+122 to +130), and a couple of pennies on the Padres moneyline (+132 to +134).
MLB Betting Model for Tuesday, August 27
Today, the model recommends four full-game moneylines and two moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Mariners, Orioles, Pirates, and Rays as full-game plays. The model also likes the Mariners and Rays as F5 plays.
Yusei Kikuchi is coming off of the best outing of his career on Aug. 18, tossing a two-hitter against the Blue Jays with one walk and eight strikeouts:
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 18, 2019
It has been a rough transition to the big leagues thus far for Kikuchi (5.19 ERA, 5.71 FIP, 5.06 xFIP), but if you divide his season into three-game samples, he’s mostly hovered around league average — save for a stretch in the middle of this season:
Kikuchi’s fastball and curveball induce whiffs at a similar rate, which is terrible news for the curveball. The slider (26.6% swing and miss %) and changeup (24.6%) have been Kikuchi’s most effective offerings, and I would like to see him continue to make the changeup or splitter a more significant part of his arsenal:
This looks like his ideal pitch mix to right-handed hitters:
Yusei Kikuchi, 94mph Fastball, 87mph Slider and 87mph Changeup (3 pitch K, Overlay). pic.twitter.com/oZifw0aJaU
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 27, 2019
I’ll avoid the Yankees and Mariners bullpens, and play Seattle in the first half.
As for the Rays and Astros, Justin Verlander will be looking to snap a three-game losing skid for Houston in his starts, which included historical losses to the Orioles and Tigers.
The Astros have only been an underdog 10 times this season, and they are 2-8 in those games. They won’t be a dog tonight, extending Verlander’s streak.
Justin Verlander is a -169 favorite against Charlie Morton/Rays tomorrow night:
+ Astros have been favored in 47 consecutive games
(July 2 at Coors Field vs. German Marquez)
+ Verlander has been favored in 29 consecutive starts
(Oct. '18 at Fenway Park vs. Chris Sale) pic.twitter.com/bTpy5q2gQ4
— Action Network MLB (@ActionNetMLB) August 26, 2019
My immediate thought: is Verlander that much better than his former teammate, Charlie Morton?
Not really, no. Verlander has better strikeout ability, but Morton gives up the weaker contact.
Otherwise, there isn’t much between these two righties — and you can easily see why Morton has been one of the most valuable pitchers in baseball over the past few seasons — he’s a true ace with a super boring name.
Verlander’s HR/9 rate is easily at a career-high (1.66 on a 17.3% HR/FB rate), but he also sports a .207 BABIP (career .281), so some strange things are going on in his profile.
Either way, I’ll be backing Morton here, who is 10-5 as a moneyline underdog (+6.5 units) dating back to 2016.
Expect to see a lot of curveballs from Uncle Charlie, who throws his hook more frequently (37%) than any other pitcher in baseball:
Charlie Morton, Disgusting 78mph Curveball. 🤮 pic.twitter.com/yvlEhG0nWo
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 3, 2019
As for Lucas Giolito and the White Sox, I have them as a first-half favorite against the Minnesota Twins.
I spent some time on Aug. 21 detailing why I like Giolito so much.
In short, his velocity is peaking and as it continues to increase so too does his swinging strike rate.
Giolito threw a complete-game shutout against the Twins that day, striking out 12 hitters and spinning some in circles with his changeup:
Lucas Giolito, Nasty 81mph Changeup (Dead Or Alive Remix 🎼) pic.twitter.com/JMMFUVjrJk
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 21, 2019
I didn’t see a ton of line value on the White Sox, but I saw just enough at even money on a team who I show as a small F5 favorite.
Bets (so far) for August 27
- Chicago White Sox (+100) F5 Moneyline
- Seattle Mariners (+155) F5 Moneyline
- Tampa Bay Rays (+159) Game Moneyline
- Over 8.5 (-105), Cubs at Mets
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 8/27
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.