Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Sept. 12: Will Verlander Keep A’s in Check?
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
- 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 Thursday's slate of games, including how to bet the Chicago Cubs at San Diego Padres (3:40 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 their 4-0 loss to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night, the Chicago Cubs are now tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for the second NL Wild Card spot – with the Diamondbacks, Mets and Phillies all lurking within 2.5 games.
The Cubs have now lost two games in a row, and are 4-6 in their past 10 games – and are watching their playoff chances slip away.
As of Thursday morning, FiveThirtyEight still gives the Cubs a 44% chance of making the playoffs – while assigning the Brewers a 42% probability, the Mets a 14% chance, Arizona 9%, and the Phillies 4%.
Can San Diego take three out of four games from Chicago, and play spoiler to the Cubs playoff chances?
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 0-3 against full-game moneylines and 1-1-1 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Angels, Blue Jays, Marlins and Tigers as full-game plays. The model also likes the Angels, Astros, Marlins and Tigers as F5 plays.
My plays went 5-3-1, and I finished up 1.37 units for the day.
MLB Betting Model for Thursday, Sept. 12
Today, the model recommends four full-game moneylines and five moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Blue Jays, Orioles, Padres, and Tigers as full-game plays. The model also likes the Blue Jays, Braves, Padres, Tigers, and White Sox as F5 plays.
I surprised myself when I saw the Padres pop up as a favorite against Yu Darvish, in both halves of their game against the Cubs.
Padres starter Dinelson Lamet owns better metrics under the hood than his Japanese opponent today:
Lamet missed all of 2018 while recovering from Tommy John Surgery, and returned this season throwing harder than ever before.
His average fastball velocity is up nearly a full tick from 2017, from 95.0 to 95.9 mph.
Lamet mostly uses three pitches, going to either his four-seam fastball (38.8%) or sinker (15.9%) less frequently than his slider (43.9%)
Amongst starters who have thrown more than 50 innings this season, Lamet ranks 8th in slider value on a per pitch basis. The pitch has a swinging-strike rate of 54.2%; 31.3% in the zone, and 81.5% outside of the zone.
It tunnels extremely well with his fastball, which explains why batters chase the pitch outside of the zone so frequently:
Dinelson Lamet, 86mph Slider (Swinging Strike) and 96mph Fastball (Backwards K), Overlay. pic.twitter.com/JMXDDcZDr1
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 25, 2019
Lamet is a fly-ball pitcher (career 37%) which makes the home run ball an issue at times (1.37 HR/9) – but the strikeout can always bail him out with runners on base.
He is one of just 15 starters pitchers (min. 50 innings) in 2019 who has a strikeout rate higher than 30% – sandwiched between Walker Buehler and Charlie Morton. And he ranks 26th in strikeout-minus-walk rate, just ahead of Chris Paddack.
Despite never ranking higher than the No. 17 prospect in the Padres system, Lamet has been on the prospect radar for a while.
His pitch mix is reminiscent of Tyson Ross, and Lamet certainly has the upside and stuff to strike out more than 200 batters in a full season:
Bets (so far) for Sept. 12
- San Diego Padres (+129) Game Moneyline
- Toronto Blue Jays (+131) Game Moneyline
- F5 Under 5.5 (-105), Dodgers at Orioles
- Under 9 (-110), Oakland at Houston
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 9/12
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.