Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Aug. 22: Expect a Pitchers Duel in LA?

Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Aug. 22: Expect a Pitchers Duel in LA? article feature image

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) at Dodger Stadium.

  • 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 Indians-Mets (7:10 p.m. ET) and Blue Jays-Dodgers (10:10 p.m. ET).
  • Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.

Imagine betting over $60,000 on a regular-season baseball game, and not even getting the best of the number.

Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros opened as a -430 favorite on Wednesday; and closed as high as -600 at Fanduel Sportsbook in New Jersey and MGM in Nevada.

Bettors in Vegas laid down mid-five-figure bets on the Astros, to return upwards of $10,000.

Naturally, the Tigers pulled the upset against their former MVP-award winner despite never batting with a runner in scoring position; the second time that Verlander was defeated as a historic favorite in his past three starts.

Think the Tigers took notice of their odds before the game?

With Gerrit Cole and his league-best 2.82 xFIP on the mound, I have the Astros fair odds set at -515 for Thursday; the most substantial favorite that I have made them in this four-game series.

Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model

At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 1-3 against full-game moneylines and 2-0 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).

My plays went 4-2, and I finished up 1.40 units for the day.

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

I gained 44 cents against the sides that I played, and the Marlins-Braves total ticked up by one half of a run.

MLB Betting Model for Thursday, August 22

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

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


As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Giants, Marlins, and Orioles as full-game plays. The model also likes the Mets and White Sox as F5 plays.

I selected the Orioles and both of the F5 plays, but would not bet on the Marlins today.

Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara ranks dead last (5.64) amongst qualified starters in xFIP, and also ranks last with a 5.2% strikeout minus walk rate.

The 23-year-old could still break out in the future, in the same way that Lucas Giolito has this season, but Alcantara’s profile is not one worth betting on at the moment. Don’t be mistaken by his inclusion in the 2019 All-Star game.

At the other end of the xFIP spectrum is NL-leader Max Scherzer (2.84), who I show slight value on today as a -200 favorite in Pittsburgh. I paired Scherzer and the Nationals in a parlay with the Dodgers F5 moneyline, where I also saw slight line value.

If I multiply my fair odds of those two independent events together, I get a probability of 50.1%; so a parlay at +116 (implied 46.3% probability) gives me an expected edge of 3.8%. That’s how I look to parlay favorites in baseball.

I also bet under 9.5 in that Blue Jays-Dodgers game, as I projected the total for 8.4 runs

As for the model recommended plays, I’ll continue to back Asher Wojciechowski at big plus-money when he pitches for the Orioles; mostly because I can think of a million ways to rhyme”Woj with “O’s, Stroh’s, and Natty Boh’s.”

So long as Woj maintains his above-average first-pitch and swinging-strike rates, he can be a capable back-end MLB starter.

I’m mostly concerned about his home run problem (12 in 49 IP), which is a plague amongst this Baltimore pitching staff headed by Dylan Bundy.

Ross Detwiler (5.05 xFIP) and Ariel Jurado (4.89 xFIP) will square off in a relatively meaningless game in Chicago.

Both offenses rank near the bottom of the league in wRC+ over the past two months, and Detwiler has been the more unlucky pitcher, with a 31.8% HR/FB rate (career 10.4%).

Detwiler’s 56.3% ground-ball rate is a career-high, and he’s been introducing a cutter more frequently into his pitch mix:

This is undoubtedly an ugly play, but I show the White Sox as a 55% favorite in the first five innings of the game; so I’ll play them at plus-money here.

I’ll also be playing Noah Syndergaard and the Mets in the F5 portion of their game against Cleveland.

He had a rough go of it earlier this season, but his FIP is trending back in the right direction, standing at 2.22 over his past seven starts:

Thor has re-sharpened his slider, and is more confident in throwing the pitch of late:

Following the strikeout on a changeup, you can see him get a couple of strikeouts and a weakly hit groundball using the slider in the video below:

Syndergaard is re-entering the circle of trust, and the odds on him have shaded a little low for Thursday.

I’m willing to buy into the performance uptick.

Bets (so far) for August 22

  • Baltimore Orioles (+199) Game Moneyline
  • Chicago White Sox (+105) F5 Moneyline
  • New York Mets (-145) F5 Moneyline
  • Parlay (+116): LA Dodgers F5 Moneyline (-225) / Washington Nationals Game Moneyline (-202)
  • Under 9.5 (-117), Blue Jays at Dodgers

Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Thursday, August 22.

Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 8/22

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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