Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Sept. 21: Can Phillies Spoil Indians’ Wild Card Chances?

Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Sept. 21: Can Phillies Spoil Indians’ Wild Card Chances? article feature image

Eric Hartline, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jason Vargas

  • 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 Philadelphia Phillies at Cleveland Indians (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 Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays have an identical 91-63 record with eight games left to play — and might end up playing a 163rd contest to decide who will play Oakland (93-61) in a Wild Card game.

The Philadelphia Phillies (78-74) are technically still alive, but their elimination number is down to five, and they need a bunch of help to make the playoffs.

Under the hood, their starter, Jason Vargas, has a better FIP (4.71) than his opponent, Zach Plesac (5.06).

Is there value in backing the Phillies on Saturday?

All odds as of Saturday 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 1-7 against full-game moneylines and 1-5 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).

My plays went 3-6, and I finished down 1.65 units for the day.

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

I lost 30 cents overall against the individual sides that I played — but had more success with the teams I included in the parlays, which included the Dodgers and Indians.

The Dodgers’ moneyline moved 100 points from open to close (-300 to -400). The Phillies-Indians over also ticked up from 8.5 to 9.

MLB Betting Model for Saturday, Sept. 21

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

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

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



I also show a 2.5% edge on the Athletics in the first half at odds of -275, and they draw another left-handed opponent today after lighting up Mike Minor for six runs on Friday.

Updating their trends against left-handed starters (since July 1, 2018) after Friday’s win:

  • Moneyline: 50-21 (70.4%, +$2,226)
  • F5 Moneyline: 43-19-9 (69.3%, +$1,929)
  • F5 Spread: 46-22-2 (67.6%, +$1,753)

Rather than laying so much vig on either a moneyline or spread price, I opted for the over on Oakland’s team total (5.5) at plus-money. They have averaged 5.6 runs scored per game since the All-Star break.

Among the model recommended plays, I prefer the Reds and Phillies.

The Reds are in a contrarian spot as a small underdog coming off a loss:

That system is 63-66 but has produced a profit of over 28 units for a consistent $100 bettor this season, good for a 21.8% return on investment.

The Phillies’ moneyline price has dropped down from where I played it, but I still think they’re a solid value in the first half of the game.

Zach Plesac’s 3.64 ERA continues to defy his underlying metrics (5.06 FIP, 5.10 xFIP, 5.18 SIERA), and regression is inevitable.

The model also flagged several totals for Saturday, including a couple of games in Houston and Tampa Bay that are inside a closed dome:

Those are the two most profitable parks for closed dome unders in our database.

  • Minute Maid Park: 189-148-9 (56.1%, +$3,200, 9.2% ROI)
  • Tropicana Field: 301-254-21 (54.2%, +$2,773, 4.8% ROI)

Bets (so far) for Sept. 21

  • Cincinnati Reds (+121) Game Moneyline
  • Philadelphia Phillies (+155) Game Moneyline
  • Over 5.5 (+105), Oakland Athletics Team Total
  • Over 9 (-110), Pirates at Brewers
  • Over 8 (-115), Giants at Braves
  • Under 9.5 (-105), White Sox at Tigers
  • Under 9.5 (-105), Angels at Astros
  • Under 8.5 (+100), Red Sox at Rays
  • Under 8 (-105), Nationals at Marlins

Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Saturday, September 21. 

 Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 9/21

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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