Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, 7/22: Will Marco Gonzales Have Another Quality Outing vs. Rangers?
Troy Taormina, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Marco Gonzales
- 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 Monday's slate of games, including how to bet Mariners-Rangers.
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
It’s been a rough season thus far for under bettors, but things might finally be turning the corner in July. Inflated totals have guided under bets to a 121-105-9 record this month, good for a profit of $1,063 (4.5% ROI based on $100 bets) despite the recent heat waves which have swept across the country.
With four additional under bets on my card for Monday, here’s to hoping that we keep seeing inflated over/under lines in this summer heat.
Orioles pitcher Asher Wojciechowski was the best story on Sunday.
The 30-year-old has pitched for eight different organizations and is in his second stint with the Orioles. He is a living reminder to never give up on your dreams; making some of MLB’s best hitters, including Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, look completely foolish on Sunday afternoon:
Sunday’s start notwithstanding, “Woj” has looked like an extremely competent starting pitcher to this point, and I’ll be very curious to see if he ends up as a back end starter on a contending club in 2020.
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 4-3 against full-game moneylines and 2-2 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 6-4, and I finished up 0.97 units for the day.
It was a mostly positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained 12 cents overall against moneylines and spreads, saw two unders move by half of a run in my direction, and only had one increase from my number by half of a run.
MLB Betting Model for Monday, July 22
Today, the model recommends four full-game moneyline and four moneylines for the first five-innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Marlins, Rays, Rockies, and Twins as full-game plays. The model also likes the Marlins, Rays, and Twins, in addition to the Mariners as F5 plays.
The Mariners narrowly missed the full-game cut, likely due to the current 5.23 FIP carried by their bullpen – third-worst in baseball.
I typically look to fade the Rangers against left-handed starting pitchers. As a team, they have an 82 wRC+ vs. lefty pitchers, good for 26th in MLB.
Mariners southpaw Marco Gonzales has also pitched very well against the Rangers, compiling the following line in eight starts since 2016: 45.1 IP, 3.39 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3 HR, 8 BB, 38 K.
Gonzales has just a 7.1% swinging-strike rate, and punches out fewer than 6.5 batters per nine innings, while he uses his cutter and changeup to attempt to generate weak contact:
However, that’s a problematic strategy when you pitch in front of the worst defensive team in the American League (-37.6) – but I still like him on Monday.
Rangers starter Adrian Sampson has exhibited a real home-run problem in his young career, allowing 27 home runs over his first 127 MLB innings – good for an HR/9 rate of 1.95.
His HR/9 rate in the minor leagues was below 1.0, but Sampson’s Statcast data shows an xwOBA (.363), xwOBA on contact (.427), hard-hit rate (46.7%) and average exit velocity (90.7 mph) that each ranks amongst the bottom 8% in MLB.
As for the Twins and Yankees matchup, I’m going to give you two quick stat profiles, and you can decide which pitcher you’d want to support:
- Pitcher A: 4.10 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 4.34 xFIP, 4.73 SIERA, .290 xwOBA
- Pitcher B: 4.06 ERA, 5.29 FIP, 4.77 xFIP, 4.62 SIERA, .312 xwOBA
Pitcher A, pretty clearly, right? Well, Pitcher A is Martin Perez, and Pitcher B is C.C. Sabathia.
I should add the fact that Perez has a 10.5% swinging-strike rate, 3.2% above his career average while allowing an average exit velocity below 85 mph – in the top 3% amongst all pitchers.
Sabathia ranked in the top 1-2% in average exit velocity allowed from 2016-2018 (around 84.5 mph), but he’s allowing an exit velocity of 86.5 mph in 2019.
The Twins have smashed lefties all season long, ranking behind only the Astros with a 123 wRC+; while the Yankees have an 88 wRC+ against southpaws.
That being said, the Yankees rank in the top ten vs. lefties since the start of June, and in the top eight since against southpaws since the start of July.
Like Marco Gonzales, Perez relies on his cutter-changeup combination to generate weak contact, but he’s also bumped his fastball velocity by 1.5 mph this season (from 92.7 mph to 94.2 mph) – and I think there’s value in backing him at home at plus-money against the Yankees fifth starter.
I also like the Rays a bunch today at home vs. the Red Sox. Tampa Bay is the most profitable home underdog in our database, generating a return on investment of 10.3% (180-186, 49.2%, +$3,784) going back to 2005.
Surprisingly, the Rays are starting Jalen Beeks instead of using him as a bulk pitcher in the middle innings, and he’s yet another lefty with an effective cutter-changeup combination that I’ll be backing on Monday.
Beeks is probably best knowing for his eye-catching curveball:
But his cutter (+4.9) and changeup (+8.0) are the pitches that have shown positive value in his first 115 MLB innings, and a career 4.05 FIP places him on par with his opponent, Eduardo Rodriguez (4.02).
Bets (So Far) for July 21
- Colorado Rockies (+140) Game Moneyline
- Minnesota Twins (+109) F5 Moneyline
- Seattle Mariners (+100) F5 Moneyline
- Tampa Bay Rays (+115) Game Moneyline
- Under 9.5 (-105), St. Louis at Pittsburgh
- Under 8.5 (+100), Boston at Tampa Bay
- Under 9 (-120), Oakland at Houston
- Under 10 (-110), Texas at Seattle
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 7/22
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.