Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Sept. 20: Can Reds Eliminate deGrom, Mets from Playoff Race?

Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Sept. 20: Can Reds Eliminate deGrom, Mets from Playoff Race? article feature image

William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48).

  • 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 New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds (7:10 p.m. ET).
  • Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.

Sitting three and a half games behind the Milwaukee Brewers, the New York Mets are technically still alive in the National League Wild Card Hunt, but FanGraphs gives them just a 6% chance of making the playoffs.

FiveThirtyEight’s projections are even less optimistic, placing the Mets chances at 4%.

The Mets have 10 games remaining on their schedule, and following a three-game set in Cincinnati this weekend they will finish off the 2019 regular season on a seven-game homestand — with four games against the Marlins and three against the Braves.

Despite their clear motivation to win out, is there value in going against the Mets, and their ace Jacob deGrom, on Friday night?

All odds as of Thursday morning. Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model

At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 0-2 against full-game moneylines and 0-3 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).

My plays went 2-4, and I finished down 2.5 units for the day.

It was a mostly positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).

I gained 40 cents against the Angels moneyline (+245 to +205) and 20 cents each against the Giants (+160 to +140) and Phillies (+146 to +126) moneylines, but lost 18 cents against the Padres moneyline (+146 to +164).

The Cardinals-Cubs over also ticked up from 7 to 7.5

MLB Betting Model for Friday, Sept. 20

Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Friday.  

Today, the model recommends eight full-game moneylines and six moneylines for the first five innings (F5). 

As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Angels, Giants, Indians, Marlins, Pirates, Rangers, Reds and Royals as full-game plays. The model also likes the Indians, Marlins, Padres, Pirates, Rangers, and Royals as F5 plays.



I’ll be going against my projected line value, as I did on Sept. 14, by playing the Oakland Athletics once again vs. lefty starter Mike Minor.

The Athletics roughed up Minor that day, with nine hits, three walks, and seven runs in five innings.

The Athletics’ updated trends vs. lefty starters since July 1, 2018:

  • Moneyline: 49-21 (70%, +$2,173)
  • F5 Moneyline: 42-19-9 (68.8%, $1,866)
  • F5 Spread: 45-23-2 (67.2%, $1,654)

They have faced Minor twice this season, and have scored 11 runs in 11 innings on 13 hits; with six walks against nine strikeouts.

I’ll ride this trend into the ground, and played the Athletics on the F5 spread for Friday.

Amongst the model recommended plays, I selected the Reds and Giants on the full game moneyline, and also took the Padres in the first five innings.

Additionally, I used the Cleveland Indians, in both halves, in a couple of parlays with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

For example, I projected the Indians as a 73.4% favorite in the first five innings, and have the Dodgers as a 76.6% favorite. Combining those probabilities together, I’m left with an expected win rate of 56.2% – and can get parlay odds over even money (implied 50%).

I  won’t lay an individual moneyline in an MLB game higher than -160, but I look to use any edges that I see on heavier favorites in parlays instead.

Moving on to the single-game moneyline plays, first let’s discuss the San Francisco Giants; who I’m backing for the third consecutive day.

Tyler Beede is a pitcher whom I have discussed multiple times, including on July 19 and again on July 30.

Most encouraging? His walk rate is steadily improving, and is now in above-average territory:

Over his past seven starts, Beede has 32 strikeouts against 10 walks in 34 innings pitched – good for a 4.24 ERA, 4.30 FIP, and a 4.32 xFIP.

Mike Foltynewicz has been similarly effective for the Braves since he was recalled from the minors to start on August 6; with 15 walks against 45 strikeouts in 45.2 innings pitched (2.76 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 4.32 xFIP).

More than 80% of the moneyline tickets and cash are behind the home favorite tonight, which sets up for contrarian bettors to back the Giants.

They also fit a couple of profitable BetLabs systems:

The other underdog that I really like on Friday is the Cincinnati Reds, who host Jacob deGrom and the Mets at home.

Reds backers are responsible for fewer than 40% of moneyline tickets, but the majority of the cash is on their side.

Both teams will be sending out their aces, with deGrom facing Luis Castillo.

deGrom ranks third amongst all starters in FIP, while Castillo ranks 20th. The gap narrows in xFIP, where Castillo improved to 11th overall.

The Reds’ righty has the most valuable changeup in baseball, both in terms of total value AND on a weighted per-pitch basis.

Only Joey Lucchesi (34.8%) uses the pitch more frequently than Castillo (32.7%) does – and Lucchesi doesn’t throw a true changeup.

Castillo also throws the pitch extremely hard (87.2 mph), which makes sense given that he has the sixth-highest average fastball velocity (96.4 mph) amongst starting pitchers.

He is more than capable of engaging deGrom in a pitcher’s duel, and I have to back him at a big plus-money price at home.

Bets (so far) for Sept. 20

  • Cincinnati Reds (+163) Game Moneyline
  • Oakland Athletics (-0.5, -120) F5 Spread
  • San Diego Padres (-107) F5 Moneyline
  • San Francisco Giants (+195) Game Moneyline
  • F5 Parlay (+103): Dodgers F5 (-300) and Indians F5 (-190)
  • Parlay (+102): Dodgers (-310) and Indians (-190)
  • Over 8.5 (-110), Phillies at Indians
  • Under 9 (-105), Angels at Astros

Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Friday, September 20. 

 Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 9/20

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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