Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Sept. 11: Fade Adam Plutko, Indians vs. Angels?
David Berding, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Adam Plutko
- 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 the Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels (8:07 p.m. ET).
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
With three straight wins, the Cleveland Indians (85-61), are now within a half-game of the Oakland Athletics (85-60) for the second AL Wild Card spot.
FanGraphs gives the Indians a 47% of making the playoffs – compared to an 83.6% chance for Tampa Bay, and a 69.7% chance for Oakland.
None of the three teams will play the rest of the way, so they’ll all need to take care of business independently of one another; a factor which favors Oakland, who has the 25th-hardest schedule over the next few weeks.
The Rays (11th) have the most challenging schedule amongst the group of three teams, so perhaps there is an opportunity for the Indians (18th) to make up some ground.
Every win matters – can they make it four in a row on Wednesday?
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 4-2 against full-game moneylines and 3-2 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 6-3, and I finished up 2.82 units for the day.
It was, however, a negative day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I lost 55 cents overall against the sides that I played, only profiting against the Blue Jays moneyline (+152 to +138).
MLB Betting Model for Wednesday, Sept. 11
Today, the model recommends four full-game moneylines and four 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.
The Marlins are my favorite bet on for Wednesday for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the ERA’s of the respective starters are misleading. Pablo Lopez is the better pitcher:
Zach Davies ranks amongst the bottom of the league in strikeout metrics, the Brewers offense has struggled of late, and it’s now down it’s two best left-handed bats after injuries to Mike Moustakas and Christian Yelich.
Pablo Lopez excels with his fastball-changeup combination, using the offspeed pitch 27.5% of the time vs. left-handed hitters:
Lopez has plus command, with a 5% walk-rate that ranks in the top 20 amongst starting pitchers – helping his average stuff to play up.
The curveball currently shows a slightly negative pitch value, but scouts have graded it the same as his changeup:
The breaking ball owns a higher swinging strike rate (34.6%) than the offspeed pitch (32.1%) – but Lopez relies on batters chasing low curveballs; while the changeup gets swings and misses on pitches inside of the zone too.
In addition to the Marlins, I also selected the Angels as a play for Wednesday night; in a battle between two pitchers who have outperformed their underlying metrics:
Despite below-average fastball velocity (91.1 mph) Peters gets by with a good changeup, and a high spin curveball (95th percentile) – a pair of pitches he throws more than 40% of the time:
Against lefties, Peters goes 31% curveball and 4% changeup. In at-bats vs. righties, he uses the changeup 28% of the time; decreasing the curveball to 21%
Plutko owns one of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball (16.3%), 13th from the bottom amongst pitchers who have thrown 80 or more innings.
He also has the fourth-highest fly-ball rate (46%) in that group, allowing 1.93 home runs per nine innings as a result.
Part of a dominant UCLA pitching rotation, which also featured Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, Plutko is a durable control artist who profiles as a back end starter.
While polished, his arsenal is also constrained, and I have the Angels as a 51% favorite in this game – making them an obvious value play at plus-money in both halves.
Bets (so far) for Sept. 11
- Los Angeles Angels (+120) Game Moneyline
- Los Angeles Angels (+110) F5 Moneyline
- Miami Marlins (+141) Game Moneyline
- Miami Marlins (+125) F5 Moneyline
- Under 10 (-115), Atlanta at Philadelphia
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 9/11
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.