Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, 7/31: Dare to Back the Marlins Against Berrios?

Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, 7/31: Dare to Back the Marlins Against Berrios? article feature image

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jose Berrios

  • 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 Wednesday's slate of games, including how to bet Twins-Marlins (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.

MLB’s new unitary trading deadline will pass at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday afternoon, but today’s baseball betting slate will already have four games underway by that time.

With Zack Greinke on the mound and Masahiro Tanaka scuffling of late, I like the Diamondbacks to sweep their two-game set in New York this afternoon, and there’s plenty of more action I’m eyeing for tonight once the dust has settled from all of the day’s transactions.

I’m curious as to why the league scheduled so many day games for today.

With likely sellers such as the Blue Jays, Reds and Pirates all playing during the lead up to the deadline, the league is begging for another Wilmer Flores incident:

Cincinnati and Cleveland made an intrastate blockbuster to kick things off on Tuesday evening. This was the bulk of the deal:

What we know:#Reds give up Taylor Trammell, Yasiel Puig; get Trevor Bauer.#Indians give up Bauer; get Puig, Franmil Reyes and Logan Allen.#Padres give up Reyes and Allen, get Trammell.

Not known if other pieces involved.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2019

Bauer will be under contract with the Reds for at least one more season, and I’m sure they will hope to sign him to an extension.

Cleveland gets offensive help in the outfield with pending free agent Puig, an ideal DH (and one of my favorites) in Franmil Reyes, and a capable back end starter in Logan Allen.

The Padres bought low on prospect Taylor Trammell — who was signed for $3.2M after being drafted 35th overall in 2016, to lure him away from college football.

Trammel has dealt with injuries and struggled some in Double-A this season, but all of his tools except for his arm are average or better, and he has an enticing power-speed combination that could turn him into a future All-Star centerfielder.

Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model

At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 3-1 against full-game moneylines and 3-0 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).

My plays went 6-2, and I finished up 2.59 units for the day.

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

I lost 20 cents overall against the four sides that I played, missing out on as much as 18 cents on the Diamondbacks (+191 to +209). In the F5 parlay that I played, the two sides moved by a combined 30 cents.

Both totals moved my direction — with the Under 8.5 in Miami falling to 8.0, and the Over 11 in Texas rising to 11.5. The Julio Teheran strikeout prop that I played at -114 closed at -127.

MLB Betting Model for Wednesday, July 31

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

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

As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Diamondbacks, Giants, Mariners, Marlins, Pirates, Rays and White Sox as full-game plays. The model also likes the White Sox as a F5 play.

I wouldn’t bet Dario Agrazal with your money. The Pirate has 13 strikeouts against 10 walks in 33 innings pitched (six starts).

His first-pitch strike rate (55%) is below-average, and his whiff rate (5.5%) is so low it’s almost accidental — meaning that he’s constantly falling behind hitters, and then he doesn’t have the stuff to get them to miss when he’s in counts where he has to throw strikes.

I could say something similar for Marlins All-Star Sandy Alcantara, who has 84 strikeouts and 55 walks in 118 innings pitched (20 starts), but his swinging strike rate (11%) is passable, thanks to his big fastball-curveball combination:




SHUTOUT. #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/UttjW55XNG

— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) May 19, 2019

Alcantara has big stuff, and the numbers don’t fully indicate his upside if he continues to refine his command — Agrazal is a complete soft-tosser and someone that I’m already prepared to write off.

What’s more, the Marlins fit a couple of profitable betting systems today, both on the moneyline and against the spread. You can play them to win, but facing Jose Berrios and the slugging Twins at home, with a relatively low total, I’ll back the Marlins to cover the +1.5 at even money:

The Giants have turned into a public team. I show some value on them today against the Phillies, but I opted for the under instead.

Over their past five starts, Vince Velasquez (27 IP, 5 BB, 34 K, 3.74 xFIP, 15.2% SwStr%) and Jeff Samardzija (37.2 IP, 8 BB, 36 K, 4.09 xFIP, 10.1% SwStr%) have both been sharp.

I’m not going to bet against Velasquez, because when he’s on and healthy, he’s ace-like, and his curveball has been falling off of the table of late:

Vince Velasquez, Filthy 83mph Curveball. 😷 pic.twitter.com/D3ghctLDtT

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 24, 2019

A pitcher can move in and out of form from start to start, which is why I like to look at rolling averages.

Masahiro Tanaka has not looked like the same pitcher since the middle of June:

  • Through June 17 (15 Starts):  3.23 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 3.91 xFIP, 70.4% F-Strike%, 12% SwStr%
  • Since: 7.47 ERA, 5.66 FIP, 4.85 xFIP,  63.2% F-Strike%, 6.5% SwStr%

Tanaka opted for rehab instead of surgery when he suffered a partial UCL tear after arriving from Japan. He has pitched well despite the injury, and even his down 2017 season (4.74 ERA) was the result of bad luck (3.44 xFIP).

But this velocity drop-off is a major concern, and Tanaka’s 4.31 season xFIP is probably most telling of his current true talent level.

Meanwhile, Zack Greinke is churning along, continuing to add to his Hall of Fame Resume at Age-35:

Greinke ranks second behind Hyun-Jin Ryu with a 3.3% walk rate this season, and he has allowed fewer than one home run per game for his career (0.91 HR/9), the perfect recipe for success at Yankeee stadium.

His slow curveball (+16.4) has the second-best total curveball value in baseball behind Charlie Morton, but more than doubles Morton’s value and easily paces the league on a per-pitch basis:

Zack Greinke eephus curve fun:

Greinke's thrown 80 pitches under 70 mph this season — most in MLB.

Hitters are 0-for-31 with 12 K's
in at-bats decided on those pitches.

Here, sit back and watch him make 12 Major League hitters look silly 🌈 pic.twitter.com/AMVgzBxv74

— David Adler (@_dadler) May 31, 2019

It will be fun to see if he can baffle the Yankees offense with some slow curves on Wednesday — provided that he doesn’t get traded in the middle of his start.

Bets (So Far) for July 31

  • Arizona Diamondbacks (+121) Game Moneyline
  • Chicago White Sox (+152) Game Moneyline
  • Miami Marlins (+1.5, +100) Game Spread
  • Tampa Bay Rays (+125) Game Moneyline
  • Under 10 (-110), Giants at Phillies
  • Under 11 (-115), Rays at Red Sox

Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Wednesday, July 31.

Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 7/31

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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