Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, 8/6: How to Bet Zack Greinke in His Astros Debut
Troy Taormina, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Zack Greinke
- 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 Rockies-Astros (8:10 p.m. ET) and Giants-Nationals (9:45 p.m. ET).
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
Zack Greinke will make his first start for the Houston Astros (73-40) on Tuesday. His new club paces the AL West by nine games, but they are essentially tied with the Yankees (73-39) for home-field advantage in the AL playoffs, so don’t expect the Astros to take their foot off of the gas pedal.
Greinke will debut at home in an interleague matchup against the Colorado Rockies (52-60), a team that he has already faced three times in 2019.
He typically pitches well against all NL West opponents, going 133-73 (64.6%, +27 units, 13.1% ROI) on the full-game moneyline, and his history against Colorado (13 wins – tied for most against any opponent; 5.59 K/BB – 3rd best amongst any opponent) should fill Greinke with confidence as he hopes to make a good first impression with the Astros.
The Blue Jays are turning into the fun young team that we all hoped that they would be, as their second-generation offensive prospects are all beginning to blossom.
Bo Bichette won’t stop hitting:
How 🔥 is Bo Bichette's start?
37 – Trevor Story, 2016, age 23
31 – Mitchell Page, 1977, age 25
And Bichette is the 1st player ever to hit 6 2B & 3 HR in his first 8 G
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 6, 2019
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is batting .330/.402/.550 since the start of July, with nine doubles, five homers, a .400 wOBA, and a 153 wRC+.
He has 13 walks against 17 strikeouts over that period, which represents his first big performance spike at the MLB level:
It won’t be his last.
Cavan Biggio was a less-heralded prospect but despite a .214 batting average he has mostly held his own at the MLB level, with a 98 wRC+ thanks to some big power:
Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio went deep.
Back-to-back HRs for the kids.pic.twitter.com/oQQgdrqgk1
— Sporting News Canada (@sportingnewsca) August 4, 2019
If the Blue Jays make some aggressive moves to acquire outfielders and pitching during the offseason, they could be a darkhorse for a wild card spot heading into 2020.
They’re not going to rush the process through – by emphasizing “years of team control” as the backbone of their strategy, their front office is in this for the long haul.
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 0-6 against full-game moneylines and 0-5 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 1-2, and I finished down 0.50 units for the day.
It was a mixed day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained 11 cents against the Angels moneyline (+181 to +170) and three cents against the A’s moneyline (+148 to +145) but lost 10 cents on the total that I played (-115 to -105).
MLB Betting Model for Tuesday, August 6
Today, the model recommends seven full-game moneylines, and five moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Angels, Giants, Marlins, Orioles, Pirates, Rangers, and Royals as full-game plays. The model also likes those same teams, except for the Orioles and Rangers as F5 plays.
I played all of those teams, except for the Marlins, in some fashion – as the Mets have taken considerable sharp action for Tuesday, inflating the Marlins moneyline by nearly 60 cents since open.
Dating back to 2005, when you bet the full-game moneyline on a dog whose moneyline has changed between 50 to 60 cents since open, the team has gone 45-106 (29.8%, -17 units, -11% ROI).
How about some positive trends for today instead?
To return to Zack Greinke and the Astros from the introduction, I want to remind you of Greinke’s dominance in the first five innings against NL West Opponents:
- F5 Moneyline Favorite: 115-59-32 (66.1%), +23 units, 11.2% ROI
- F5 Spread Favorite: 94-65 (59.1%), +18 units, 11.3% ROI
Based upon the even ROI figures, I played the spread when it opened at -110, but if you are more risk-averse and prefer the safety of the push, I wouldn’t shame you for taking the moneyline instead – especially now that the spread has been juiced.
Note that this is purely a trend play, and not specifically an edge which showed up in my projections.
Same goes for the Oakland Athletics, who I always look to play against left-handed pitchers. Getting a chance to fade Jon Lester is merely a bonus.
The A’s are 19-8 (70.4%, +9.4 units, 34.9% ROI) against southpaw starters in 2019, and rank third against lefties with a 115 wRC+. The Cubs also rank 19th against lefties, with a 92 wRC+, a strong matchup for Brett Anderson.
As for teams who are model plays, some feature pitchers who I have written up very recently
I talked about Conner Menez of the Giants before his MLB debut on July 21, Not only did he pitch well (5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K), he turned Pete Alonso into a GIF:
When Conner Menez Happens pic.twitter.com/iorwtfnnOX
— Candlestick Will (@CandlestickWill) July 21, 2019
I featured Jakob Junis and his slider-heavy ways on July 26, and he threw the pitch more than 43% of the time in each of his past two outings. I think he’s in a great spot tonight against Andrew Cashner and the Red Sox and I played him both on the F5 and full-game moneyline.
I discussed Asher Wojciechowski as a favorite bet on that same day after breaking down his dominance of the Red Sox on July 22.
Woj dealt with a hip discomfort in his last outing against the Blue Jays, barely getting any whiffs and showing a slight decrease in velocity, but he was healthy enough to get cleared for today’s outing, and I certainly see value on the Orioles against the lesser arms from the Yankees bullpen.
Bets (So Far) for August 6
- Baltimore Orioles (+200) Game Moneyline
- Kansas City Royals (+175) F5 Moneyline
- Kansas City Royals (+182) Game Moneyline
- Houston Astros (-0.5, -110) F5 Spread
- Los Angeles Angels (+134) Game Moneyline
- Oakland Athletics (+128) Game Moneyline
- Pittsburgh Pirates (+134) Game Moneyline
- San Francisco Giants (+102) Game Moneyline
- Texas Rangers (+175) Game Moneyline
- Over 9 (-115), White Sox at Tigers
- Under 8.5 (-115), St. Louis at LA Dodgers
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 8/6
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.