Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Sept. 7: Can Civale Help Indians to Prevail vs. Twins?
Bruce Kluckhorn, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Aaron Civale
- 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 Saturday's slate of games, including how to bet the Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins (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.
The Minnesota Twins (87-53) are 31-20 since the All-Star break with a +58 run differential; maintaining a 100 win pace and a 5.5 game lead over the Cleveland Indians (82-60) in the Al Central with less than 15% of the regular season left to play.
Cleveland is 31-22 (+68 run differential) since the break and leads the season series 7-6, but the Twins lead the scoring in those games 54-53; fitting for a pair of clubs who are relatively equivalent on paper.
The Twins have the potent offense, smashing various home run records in 2019 with a 33-11 record in blowouts; while the Indians rely on pitching and defense – though they are 13-16 in one-run games.
With 20 games remaining on their schedule, the Indians are half a game behind the Athletics for an AL Wild Card spot, so gaining ground on the Twins isn’t of primary concern. But they still need these games and will send out a rookie pitcher on Sunday to try and secure a win.
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 5-2 against full-game moneylines and 1-4-1 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 3-6, and I finished down 0.99 units for the day.
It was a mixed day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I lost 13 cents overall against the sides that I played, but I did net 10 cents against the Astros under and also saw the F5 total in that game move by a half run towards the under.
MLB Betting Model for Saturday, Sept. 7
Today, the model recommends three 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 and Indians as full-game plays. The model also likes the Indians as an F5 play.
Aaron Civale is clearly on the radar for Saturday, and I’ll look to play the rookie starter in both halves against Jake Odorizzi, whom I discussed on August 21.
Civale ranks in the 19th percentile for fastball velocity, but his spin rates are elite (96th percentile for his curveball; 88th percentile for the fastball).
The curveball is visually a thing of beauty, but scouts gave it a fringe-average grade of 45, and it’s his only offering which has shown a negative pitch value in his 41-inning MLB stint.
Civale rarely throws a four-seam fastball – relying primarily on a cutter (30%, and sinker (34.4%), both of which have wicked movement due to the high spin rate.
He can throw the sinker a bit harder:
Aaron Civale, Filthy 95mph Two Seamer. 😨 pic.twitter.com/6MmZjEdblk
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 12, 2019
It complements the cutter, which tunnels to the glove side instead of to the arm side
Civale’s slider and changeup have also rated as above average offerings thus far, and his barrel rate (0.0%), exit velocity (86.5 mph) and hart-hit rates (31.9%) show that he is giving up weak contact when he does get hit.
He looks like yet another success story from Cleveland’s pitcher development pipeline, and his excellent minor league walk rates indicate that Civale has full command over his deep arsenal.
I’m concerned about the Giants recommendation due to some poor splits for Tyler Beede. The young righty has a 4.65 ERA (.329 wOBA) at home, but a 6.31 ERA (.377 wOBA) away from AT&T Park. And I think Tony Gonsolin is a handy pitcher.
Alex Young is also not the type of pitcher that I would typically back, as his ERA (3.84) is nearly a full run below his FIP (4.66) and xFIP (4.78). But he owns an excellent swinging-strike rate (11.8%) as a result of his curveball:
That curveball generates a swinging strike rate of over 40%, including a chase miss rate of 60%.
Like Civale, Young has a good command of multiple offerings and has shown his ability to avoid hard contact. The Diamondbacks (74-67) are within range of an NL Wild Card spot, and I’ll back them here at an excellent plus-money price.
Bets (so far) for Sept. 7
- Arizona Diamondbacks (+142) Game Moneyline
- Cleveland Indians (+147) Game Moneyline
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 9/7
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.