Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, 8/5: Back A’s, Bassitt To Stay Hot in Wild Card Hunt vs. Cubs?
Neville E. Guard, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Chris Bassitt
- 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 Monday's slate of games, including how to bet Angels-Reds (7:10 p.m. ET) and Athletics-Cubs (8:05 p.m. ET).
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
The Athletics (64-48) and the Cubs (60-51) begin a three-game series in Chicago today, and though the teams aren’t directly in competition with one another for playoff positioning, this is a crucial series for both teams.
The Cubs are just 1.5 games up on the Cardinals and four games ahead of the Brewers in the NL Central, and their two rivals rank first and fourth respectively in the NL Wild Card standings.
The Athletics are only a half-game back of the Rays for the second AL Wild Card spot. Oakland is riding a three-game winning streak, and while they have pulled clear of the Red Sox (who have lost eight straight games) the Rays (6) and Indians (3) are on winning streaks of their own – so the Athletics need to stay hot in order to keep pace.
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 4-3 against full-game moneylines and 2-1 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 5-3-1, and I finished up 1.55 units for the day.
It was another extremely positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained 95 cents overall against the sides that I played, gaining as much as 38 cents against Boston’s F5 moneyline (-107 to -138) and 24 cents against the Reds F5 moneyline (+110 to -114).
The one over that I played did drop from 11.5 (+100) to 11.0 (+100) so that was a miss – but the totals in Texas were wacky all weekend long.
MLB Betting Model for Monday, August 5
Today, the model recommends six full-game moneylines, and five moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Angels, Athletics, Marlins, Orioles, Pirates and Royals as full-game plays. The model also likes those same teams, except for the Athletics as F5 plays.
Thus far, I selected the Angels and Athletics full-game moneylines, as both AL West teams will look to topple an NL Central squad on the road in an interleague matchup.
Taylor Cole will open for the Angels – who are 2-3 against both the F5 moneyline and full-game moneyline when Cole has served as an opener.
Cole will be followed by 22-year-old lefty Patrick Sandoval, who will be making his Major League debut.
Acquired from the Astros in exchange for Martin Maldonado at the 2018 trade deadline, Sandoval has an incredible 2018 season (2.43 ERA, 145 K, 29 BB in 122.1 IP) but showed command issues upon arriving at Triple-A Salt Lake this year (66 K, 35 BB in 60 IP).
Per MLB Pipeline, Sandoval ranks as the Angels’ No. 11 prospect, noting that he has an above-average fastball, curveball, and changeup with an average slider and command. He has a good feel for his pitches and made big strides with his changeup deception and curveball depth in 2018.
At peak, Sandoval profiles as a No. 4 type starter at the MLB level.
I’m a big fan of Reds starter Luis Castillo, but he is walking far too many batters, and his 83% strand rate and .249 BABIP are due to regress; which is why his FIP and xFIP suggest that an ERA of closer to 3.70 than 2.63 is more appropriate.
The percentage of pitches that Castillo throws in the zone is down over 10% from 2018, to an MLB low of 35.1%.
Batters took notice stopped swinging at Castillo’s pitches for a stretch this season.
Castillo was in dominant form over five starts in July (36 K, 7 BB in 31.2 IP) but against a patient team like the Angels, who have the lowest swing-rate in baseball (42.3%) he’s going to have to live in the zone a bit more on Monday.
As for the Athletics, Chris Bassitt carried a .308 xwOBA in 2018, so perhaps his .303 xWOBA this season shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
He missed the entire 2017 season following Tommy John surgery in April of 2016, and his average fastball velocity has increased from 92.8 mph last season to 94 mph in 2019.
Bassitt also has a really nice changeup and curveball:
Chris Bassitt, Beautiful 70mph Curveball. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/1rN1anVT7d
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 19, 2019
He has started throwing his four-seam fastball more frequently in 2019 (up from 13.3% to 25.2%), leading to some additional strikeouts that the two-seamer (38.1%) wouldn’t generate.
My one concern is that Bassitt’s fielding independent metrics suggest that he has outpitched his ERA, with a 4.49 FIP and a 4.75 xFIP indicating that regression is likely.
However, he does impress visually, and some positive batted ball data also points to his having continued success.
Bets (So Far) for August 5
- Los Angeles Angels (+181) Game Moneyline
- Oakland Athletics (+148) Game Moneyline
- Under 9.5 (-115), St. Louis at LA Dodgers
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 8/5
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.