Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, 7/29: Fade the Tigers?


Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jordan Zimmermann

  • 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 Tigers-Angels (10:07 p.m. ET).
  • Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.

Monday’s slate features just seven games. And in an odd bit of scheduling, the Diamondbacks and Marlins will resume a weekend series on a Monday night before Arizona travels to the Bronx to begin a two-game Interleague set on Tuesday.

With the Diamondbacks potentially looking ahead to their overnight travel before having to play the Yankees, tonight could set up as a good spot for the Marlins, who get to stay at home and play the Twins on Tuesday.

While I didn’t make a play on that contest, my projections did flag three potential moneyline plays for Monday.

Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model

At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 3-1 against full-game moneylines and 2-1-1 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).

My plays went 6-2, and I finished up 2.27 units for the day.

It was a slightly negative day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).

I lost four cents overall against sides that I played, and also saw the Orioles-Angels under move away from my number, from 10.0 to 10.5.

MLB Betting Model for Monday, July 29

All odds as of Monday afternoon (view live MLB odds). Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Monday. 

Today, the model recommends three full-game moneylines.

As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Braves, Pirates and Tigers as full-game plays.

Matthew Boyd remains the only good thing about the Tigers. After punching out 10 Mariners on Sunday, he now has 60 strikeouts in his past six starts (37.2 IP):

Yet, Boyd has a 1-3 record in those outings and just two wins since the start of May. The Tigers bullpen blew his potential win on Sunday and MLB’s last-placed team (30-71) is now 8-39 since the start of June.

Unless you’re betting the under on their team total (MLB-low 3.52 runs per game), I wouldn’t wager on the Tigers at all.

As for the Pirates, Jordan Lyles has carried over an increased swinging-strike rate (10.3%) from 2018, which came as a result of increasing his curveball usage from 10% to 31% over the past four seasons:

His xFIP (4.38) is nearly a run lower than his ERA due to a HR/9 rate (1.75) and HR/FB rate (18.2%) that should regress toward career marks of 1.20 and 13%, respectively.

However, I’m unwilling to back Lyles against Sonny Gray, who has been as steady (3.29 ERA, 3.31 FIP, 3.35 xFIP) and consistent as any pitcher in baseball this year. Lyles has a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde game log history and is not typically a pitcher who I would look to back.

That brings us to Dallas Keuchel, who I think we can say is 100% in form after he carved up the Royals in his last outing:

That was Keuchel’s first start with double-digit strikeouts since 2015.

Since his first two starts of the 2019 season, where it’s fair to say he was still working himself into game shape, Keuchel has quality starts in four of his past five outings, with a 3.42 xFIP.

To me, Keuchel’s most concerning sign of decline last season was a lower groundball rate, but that has regressed toward his career average of 59% this season.

Both the Braves and the Nationals hit left-handed pitching well, ranking ninth and sixth, respectively, in wRC+ against southpaws, and I think this is a pretty close matchup on paper, with the Nationals as 53% favorites in my projections.

Oddsmakers suggest that the Nationals are closer to 59% favorites in this game, which puts the clear value on Atlanta in my book.

Bets (So Far) for July 29

  • Atlanta Braves (+141) Game Moneyline
  • Merrill Kelly, Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-135)

Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Monday, July 29.

Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 7/29

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.

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