Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Sept. 27: Will Eliminated Cubs Play Spoiler vs. Cardinals?
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Alec Mills
- 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 Friday's slate of games, including how to bet the Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals (8:15 p.m. ET).
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
Last weekend, the Cardinals completed a four-game sweep over the Cubs, effectively ending Chicago’s playoff hopes in 2019.
The sweep was historic: It was the first time since 1921 that the Cardinals have swept the Cubs at Wrigley Filed, and the first four-game home sweep in MLB history to come via one-run wins since 1919.
All odds as of Friday afternoon and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
On Friday, the Cubs get the chance to return the favor to their biggest rival, as they begin a three-game series with the Cardinals (90-69), who are sitting one game ahead of the Brewers (89-70) for the NL Central lead.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon has already made clear that he doesn’t care what Brewers fans think of his lineups against the Cardinals; Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant are each nursing injuries.
But regardless of the lineup the Cubs trot out on Friday, do they offer value as a +200 underdog?
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 2-1 against full-game moneylines and 0-0-3 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
The White Sox scratched starter Dylan Cease just prior to first pitch, which voided my bet on Chicago.
My plays still went 7-1-1, and I finished up 3.88 units for the day.
It was an extremely positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I lost 20 cents against the Marlins moneyline (+229 to +249), but beat the other five sides that I played by $1.23; netting as much as 42 cents against the Angels moneyline (+212 to +170).
Both unders that I selected also dropped by half of a run from where I played them.
MLB Betting Model for Friday, Sept. 27
Today, the model recommends seven full-game moneylines and eight moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Angels, Cubs, Indians, Mariners, Marlins, Rockies, and Tigers (Game 1) as full-game plays. The model also likes the Angels, Braves, Cubs, Mariners, Marlins, Rays, Rockies, and Tigers as F5 plays.
Returning to that Cardinals-Cubs matchup, I’m happy to keep taking shots against Dakota Hudson, with his 16-7 record and 3.45 ERA.
He owns the highest groundball rate (56.7%) among qualified pitchers, which helps to generate a number of weakly hit outs and double-play balls.
However, Hudson cannot possibly sustain this chasm that exists between his fielding-independent pitching metrics and his ERA:
Hudson’s FIP (5.01) alone is more than a run and a half higher than his ERA, and he also owns the seventh-worst SIERA (5.13) amongst qualified pitchers.
The Cubs will send out Alec Mills, whose own 2.90 ERA belies a 4.32 FIP and 4.18 xFIP. But Mills is a capable back-end starter with a varied five-pitch arsenal, and he has displayed his strike-throwing ability this year.
The Cubs offer substantial value at a price of over +200, and I would play them all the way down to +150 on Friday.
They’re in a contrarian spot where it’s historically profitable to bet against the public:
The Seattle Mariners, another team who I selected, also fit that system as of writing.
I selected most of the model plays for today, and particularly love the way that the Rays line up their pitching staff behind Tyler Glasnow.
Tampa Bay is now 3-0 in September in the games that Glasnow has started, surrendering a combined eight runs. Glasnow has 17 strikeouts in eight innings pitched.
Tyler Glasnow, Ridiculous 85mph Curveball. 😯 pic.twitter.com/BbVWZwDDwQ
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 22, 2019
Tampa Bay is set up to throw changeup specialist Trevor Richards after they allow Glasnow to pump in those ridiculous curveballs and 100 mph lasers past the Blue Jays lineup.
Once they’re through five innings, the Rays bring in one back-end relief pitcher after another; leaving just one opportunity for each opposing hitter to adjust to yet another elite pitcher.
After struggling earlier in the season, key reliever Diego Castillo has gotten back on track for the Rays; posting a 2.65 ERA (2.87 FIP), with a 42:9 strikeout to walk ratio over 34 innings:
Imagine hitting a 99 mph fastball that has this much tail:
Diego Castillo with the heat #RaysUp
Top 11 pic.twitter.com/ivFPoB7qQ8
— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) September 21, 2019
I took the Rays spread in both halves of the game but alternatively considered utilizing their moneyline in a parlay. And I think that you can also consider playing the under on the Blue Jays team total of 3.5.
Otherwise, I selected a bunch of underdogs for Friday, as dogs are historically profitable during Game 160 through 163 when facing a team with a winning percentage higher than 53%:
Additionally, I’m going to continue to target the under in the final few games of the season, particularly in Game 2 or later of these final series:
Bets (so far) for Sept. 27
- Cleveland Indians (+133) Game Moneyline
- Colorado Rockies (+145) Game Moneyline
- Chicago Cubs (+210) Game Moneyline
- LA Angels (+173) F5 Moneyline
- Mariners (+185) Game Moneyline
- Miami Marlins (+164) Game Moneyline
- Tampa Bay Rays (-0.5, -130) F5 Spread
- Tampa Bay Rays (-1.5, -125) Game Spread
- Under 9.5 (-120), Athletics at Mariners
- Under 10 (-120), Astros at Angels
- Over 11 (+100), Yankees at Rangers
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 9/27
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.