Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, 8/1: Where’s the Edge in Padres-Dodgers With Kershaw Pitching?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw
- 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 Padres-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.
The Trade Deadline didn’t heat up until the closing bell on Wednesday, and fortunately, Zack Greinke was out of his start against the Yankees by the time that he was traded to the Astros.
Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks’ bullpen blew Greinke’s lead, sending him off with a no-decision in his final start with the club.
Bad bullpens have been a theme in 2019, and on Thursday I’m going to play against the Boston Red Sox for the third straight day after they failed to address their leaky pen with any Wednesday trades. The Rays, meanwhile, made a few deals to shake up their roster.
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 2-5 against full-game moneylines and 0-0-1 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 2-5, and I finished down 1.45 units for the day.
It was a negative day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I lost 21 cents overall against the moneylines and spreads that I played, losing as much as 29 cents on the White Sox moneyline (+152 to +181) — a rare big miss, but I was clearly on the wrong side of that game.
The Rays-Red Sox under stayed at 11.0, while the Giants-Phillies under moved my direction, from 10.0 to 9.5
MLB Betting Model for Thursday, August 1
Today, the model recommends six full-game moneylines, and four moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Indians, Marlins, Orioles, Padres, Rays, and White Sox as full-game plays. The model also likes the same teams, except for the Orioles and Padres as F5 plays.
I immediately tossed aside a few of the plays for today. Allow me to elaborate.
The Marlins find themselves in the same position that they were in on Wednesday — as a good contrarian runline play against an elite team.
However, I don’t like how the two starters are trending from the Marlins’ perspective.
Miami’s Jordan Yamamoto had a hot start to his career, but he has allowed 14 runs in his last 13 innings pitched, with seven walks against 11 strikeouts, and his overall first-pitch strike rate (48%) and swinging-strike rate (8%) leave much to be desired.
Yamamoto is a polished pitcher with good command, but he was not a very highly regarded prospect, and he has little margin for error with his stuff. Now that there is MLB tape on him, and he’s starting to get hit, I won’t be looking to back him as this rough patch could continue.
Furthermore, over the past two months, Minnesota’s Michael Pineda has a 2.86 FIP and 3.90 xFIP, and he looks healthy for the first time since early 2016.
Sitting just three games back of the Twins in the AL Central, the Indians will be hoping that Danny Salazar is finally healthy, as he will be making his first MLB start since 2017 against the Astros tonight.
When he has been able to pitch, Salazar has generally been terrific (3.56 FIP, 3.42 xFIP), and in four minor league rehab appearances his numbers look sharp (28 K, 5 BB in 17.1 IP); but first I want to see how he looks against this Astros lineup before I go running to put my money behind him.
If Salazar is healthy, it makes more sense as to why the Indians felt comfortable dealing Trevor Bauer for offensive help in the midst of a playoff race:
Danny Salazar, Cruel 3 Pitch K Sequence (88mph Change, 87mph Change, 97mph Fastball). 🤢 pic.twitter.com/Zlbn9OKe9W
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 28, 2017
As for the White Sox, who host the Mets today, Dylan Cease is averaging one strikeout per inning, but he has also walked 12 batters in 21 IP while generating a 9% swinging-strike rate.
Cease threw a first-pitch strike just 40% of the time against the Twins, and while his slider has been effective, his fastball has been getting pounded as he consistently falls behind in counts.
I’m going to need to see more polish from the 23-year-old before I go back to the well with him.
As for the teams I selected for Thursday, I went with the Orioles, Padres and Rays.
Asher Wojciechowski has 23 strikeouts against three walks in his past three starts, and he will be going for his third consecutive win today against the Blue Jays.
“Woj” threw his slider only 18% of the time on July 16, but he has increased its usage to over 30% in each of his past two starts:
Baseball now has its very own Woj bomb — Asher Wojciechowski. #Orioles
Below are his fastball, slider and curve. 👌⚾️
Curve has above average ⬇️ mvmt for its velo, slider above average ⬅️ mvmt for its velo, fastball has decent lift.
The O's have something here. pic.twitter.com/HjipThjqzW
— Lance Brozdowski (@LanceBroz) July 27, 2019
There are some pitch classification issues going on here, as some think the arsenal includes a cutter-slider combination, while others think its a slider-curveball combo, but note that Woj has a big fastball he can bury upstairs, and two good secondary pitches that he can also put you away with.
This isn’t some flash-in-the-pan performance — Woj looks like an effective MLB arm.
I’ll be backing the Rays today for the third straight day against the Red Sox, and I played them both on the F5 and full-game moneylines.
Brendan McKay has shown terrific command through his first four MLB starts, with 18 strikeouts in 19.1 innings, while walking only one of the 78 batters that he has faced.
His 61.5% first-pitch strike rate, and 12.6% swinging strike rate are each encouraging metrics, and he has a varied arsenal, including a fastball (54%), cutter (17%), curveball (26%), and changeup (3%). He has changed his pitch mix in each of his starts, and thrown more changeups in his past two outings.
— CardsGonePro (@CardsGonePro) July 14, 2019
Steamer projects McKay for a 3.86 ERA and a 4.02 FIP for the rest of the 2019 season. It projects Cashner for a 4.97 ERA, and a 4.83 FIP.
Despite a 4.49 FIP, Cashner’s xFIP is still 4.85, and his strikeout minus walk rate (9.8%) is less than half that of McKay’s (albeit in a small sample).
I played the Rays both on the F5 and full-game moneyline, and they have been a sharp side for Thursday, seeing reverse-line movement from an opening number of +135 down to +114 while taking about one-third of the moneyline tickets.
Lastly. the Padres presently fit three separate profitable moneyline systems for Thursday. They are…
(1) A non-public road underdog:
(2) Visiting a better divisional opponent:
(3) In a contrarian spot against an elite team:
Clayton Kershaw is 221-113 (66.2%, +20 units, 6.2% ROI) on the moneyline for his career, and is receiving a ton of support tonight, but his 2.85 ERA should regress towards his 3.37 FIP and 3.41 xFIP.
Based upon my projections, there’s about 15 to 20 cents of free line value on the Padres for Thursday.
Bets (So Far) for August 1
- Baltimore Orioles (+105) Game Moneyline
- San Diego Padres (+184) Game Moneyline
- Tampa Bay Rays (+118) Game Moneyline
- Tampa Bay Rays (+112) F5 Moneyline
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 8/1
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.