Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Sept. 16: Will Nationals End Skid in St. Louis?
Brad Rempel, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Stephen Strasburg
- 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 the Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals (7:45 p.m. ET).
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
After dropping six of their past 10 games, the Washington Nationals are in danger of losing home-field advantage in the NL Wild Card game; or the opportunity of playing in it altogether.
As of Monday, they are only 1.5 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs, and 2.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers; who have won nine of their past 10 games.
Both the Cubs (2 GB) and Brewers (3 GB) are hot on the heels of the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Central lead too.
The Cardinals still have to play the Cubs six more times in the regular season, but first, they’ll have to find a way to navigate past Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Max Scherzer over the next three days.
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 1-5 against full-game moneylines and 1-4 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 2-2, and I finished up 0.27 units for the day.
It was a slightly negative day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained 12 cents against the Padres moneyline (+107 to -105) but lost 21 cents against the Angels moneyline (+154 to +175).
MLB Betting Model for Monday, Sept. 16
Today, the model recommends four full-game moneylines and three moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Padres, Royals, Tigers and White Sox as full-game plays. The model also likes the Padres, Tigers and White Sox as F5 plays.
The Detroit Tigers are (shudders) 16-46 since the All-Star break; a .256 win percentage, or a 41 win pace over a full season. They have been outscored by 296 runs on the year – exactly two runs per game.
They’re probably the worst MLB team since…the 2003 Detroit Tigers, who went 43-119 (.265); and they are bottoming out again in spectacular fashion.
Tigers starter Tyler Alexander has exhibited good command (36 strikeouts, five walks in 38 innings) and his ERA (5.40) is more than a run higher than his underlying metrics (4.18 FIP, 4.25 xFIP, 4.08 SIERA).
John Means (Baltimore) is on an excellent run over his past four starts (21 strikeouts against one walk in 27 innings) but his 3.47 ERA for the season is also misleading (4.35 FIP, 5.47 xFIP, 4.96 SIERA).
I have the Tigers as a small favorite (50.6%) and have no choice but to play this woeful team. I wouldn’t blame you if you don’t watch a single pitch from this contest – whether you bet on the game or not. You’ll never get that time back.
A team that I couldn’t bet today, but will definitely watch is the Padres, as Garrett Richards makes his return to an MLB mound.
I tried to scale back Richards’ projections as much as I could, and the Padres still came up as a 49% coinflip in Milwaukee.
When healthy, Richards has been a top of the rotation pitcher (3.54 ERA, 3.62, 3.70 xFIP), but he’s dealt with numerous arm injuries and is just 15 months removed from Tommy John surgery.
I like him, and the Padres much more heading into 2020 – as San Diego signed Richards to a two-year deal with the intention of unleashing him next season.
For now, Monday’s start feels like just another step in his recovery process.
The Padres will be looking for about four innings and 80 pitches from Richards today – no matter how he’s performing. His rehab tour through the low minors (17.1 IP, 13 BB, 20 K) was a mixed bag.
His opponent, Zach Davies, has overperformed (3.77 ERA, 4.74 FIP, 5.22 xFIP) – but I want to see if Richards’ velocity and command hold up over multiple innings.
Yet another overachieving pitcher is Dakota Hudson (3.38 ERA, 4.96 FIP, 4.49 xFIP, 5.00 SIERA) of the Cardinals.
He has excellent stuff, including a wicked sinker which helps him to generate a 57% ground-ball rate; but a 1.64 strikeout to walk ratio – the lowest amongst starting pitchers – doesn’t cut it in modern baseball.
Stephen Strasburg ranks 13th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.67), and with 5.3 wins above replacement (WAR), he is having the second-best season of his career.
Strasburg is clearly Top-10 starting pitcher in baseball by any measure.
The Nationals opened as a -115 road favorite and have been bet up to -145; despite the majority of the moneyline tickets and cash behind the Cardinals as a home underdog.
I bet a flat unit on the Nationals moneyline, rather than paying the one unit plus vig to win a full unit, as there isn’t substantial line value. But I would bet them to -150, with their projected fair odds at -152.
Lastly, I love Reynaldo Lopez and the Chicago White Sox as a big underdog on Monday.
Lopez’s fastball, which wasn’t even at its best in that start (94.9 mph), was back up to 97.1 mph in his last start against the Royals – where he allowed four home runs.
His performances have been up and down, but he has a 3.90 ERA with a 3.93 FIP since the All-Star break; including an outing where he gave up six runs in less than one inning.
On the right day, Lopez is a money pitcher, and the White Sox offense has been hitting well in September – ranking fifth in OPS, and sixth in wRC+.
They also fit a number of profitable BetLabs systems for Monday, including:
I would bet Chicago down to +175 for Monday, and I also like them getting plus-money to at least be tied after five innings.
Bets (so far) for Sept. 16
- Chicago White Sox (+225) Game Moneyline (1 unit)
- Chicago White Sox, (+0.5, +130) F5 Spread
- Detroit Tigers (+132) Game Moneyline
- Washington Nationals (-135) Game Moneyline (Risk 1 unit)
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 9/16
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.