Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, 8/7: How to Bet Zac Gallen in Diamondbacks Debut vs. Phillies
Photo credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Zac Gallen
- 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 Giants-Nationals (3:45 p.m. ET) and Phillies-Diamondbacks (9:40 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 their win over the Phillies (59-54) on Tuesday, the Diamondbacks (57-57) got back to a .500 record and within 2.5 games of Philadelphia for the second NL Wild Card spot.
Arizona’s run differential (+71) suggests an expected win/loss record of 64-50, whereas the Phillies’ differential (-21) suggests a projected record of 55-58. Based on their performance to date, perhaps these teams should be flipped in the standings, but all that matters is what’s in the win column.
Although they traded away Zack Greinke, the Diamondbacks still have more than enough talent to remain in the Wild Card hunt all the way to to the finish line.
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 1-5 against full-game moneylines and 1-4 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 5-5, and I finished up 0.86 units for the day.
It was a positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained 87 cents against the sides I played, losing only three cents against the Giants moneyline (+102 to +105), while gaining as much as 20 cents each against the Royals F5 moneyline (+175 to +155) and Orioles game moneyline (+200 to +180).
MLB Betting Model for Wednesday, August 7
Today, the model recommends eight full-game moneylines and seven moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Blue Jays, Giants, Marlins, Mariners, Orioles, Rangers (Game 1), Royals and Twins as full-game plays. The model also likes the Giants, Marlins, Orioles and Royals, in addition to the Cardinals, Diamondbacks and Tigers, as F5 plays.
I also played the Oakland Athletics for the second straight day against a lefty starting pitcher, despite showing just a small line edge.
After smashing Jon Lester for 11 runs on Tuesday (raising Lester’s season ERA from 3.86 to 4.46), Oakland is now 20-8 (+$1,063, 38% ROI) on the full-game moneyline vs. lefty starters this season.
If you include July, August and September of 2018, the A’s are on a 39-17 run against left-handed starters (69.6%, +18.6 units), thanks to an offense whose only regular lefty, first baseman Matt Olson, hits lefties well (110 wRC+ vs. LHP; 147 in 2019).
The A’s ranked second in wRC+ against lefties in 2018 (121) and rank third in 2019 (117), so I’ll continue to ride them against southpaws even though they will need a good outing from Homer Bailey.
There’s a couple of other teams I like against lefty starters today, too…
With a 126 wRC+, the Minnesota Twins have the fourth-most potent offense against southpaws dating back to 2002, behind only the 2019 Astros, 2002 Dodgers and 2003 Giants.
They lead MLB with 1.96 home runs per game and are on pace for 316 home runs, which would shatter the single-season MLB record of 267.
And find me a hotter hitter on earth than Nelson Cruz, who has 16 homers in his last 23 games:
Nelson Cruz's last 9 starts for the #MNTwins:
19-38 .500/.558/1.368 13 XBH 10 HR 23 RBI
Since the All Star Break:
23 G .357/.449/.964 19 XBH 16 HR 30 RBI
— Ted (@tlschwerz) August 7, 2019
After the Astros, Twins and A’s, the Arizona Diamondbacks round out our top four teams in wRC+ (115) against southpaws, so this is a poor matchup for Jason Vargas.
Zac Gallen will also make his debut for the Diamondbacks after being flipped by the Marlins in one of the more controversial trade deadline maneuvers.
Gallen has looked polished in his first seven MLB starts, amassing 43 strikeouts against 18 walks with an above-average 12.2% swinging-strike rate and 64.2% first-pitch strike rate.
His arsenal has also evolved throughout those starts, with Gallen alternating his curveball and changeup usage depending on the opponent, but also reducing his cutter usage overall from 30% to less than 10%:
Gallen raised his prospect status this season by increasing his velocity by a couple of ticks, so it’s interesting to see that he has relied upon the four-seam fastball/changeup combination of late:
Zac Gallen, 95mph Fastball (foul) and 87mph Changeup (swinging K), Overlay. pic.twitter.com/hWEfwXZygU
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 30, 2019
With increased speed, it certainly makes sense to throw additional four-seam fastballs — but the cutter was always Gallen’s bread-and-butter pitch, so it remains to be seen how the Diamondbacks will optimize his pitch usage.
Though Gallen’s .270 wOBA is due to regress toward his xWOBA of .291, there are a lot of things to like about this young righty, who easily led the Triple-A PCL with a 1.77 ERA before his call-up.
Lastly, I want to mention the under in the Rays-Blue Jays matchup, as one wouldn’t typically look to bet the under in a game involving Wilmer Font.
I projected that total for 8.0 runs, and, historically, betting totals under 8.5 or higher in a stadium with a closed dome is a profitable play:
Bets (So Far) for August 7
- Arizona Diamondbacks (-125) F5 Moneyline
- Arizona Diamondbacks (-136) Game Moneyline
- Minnesota Twins (-105) Game Moneyline
- Oakland Athletics (+127) Game Moneyline
- San Francisco Giants (-102) Game Moneyline
- St. Louis Cardinals (+127) F5 Moneyline
- Texas Rangers (+180) Game Moneyline
- Under 9.5 (-115), San Diego at Seattle
- Under 9.0 (-110), Toronto at Tampa Bay
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 8/7
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.