Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, Sept. 17: Can Blake Snell Rebound From Injury Against Dodgers?
Kim Klement, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Blake Snell
- 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 Tuesday's slate of games, including how to bet the Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles 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 Tampa Bay Rays (89-62) are in sole position of second place in the AL Wild Card race; a game and a half ahead of the Cleveland Indians (87-63), and a game behind the Oakland Athletics (90-61) for home-field advantage in the one-game playoff.
Their next eight games present a tough test. After a pair of games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, they’ll return to Tampa Bay for a six-game homestand against the Red Sox and Yankees.
2018 Cy Young Winner Blake Snell makes his return to the Rays rotation tonight, and if healthy he will certainly provide a boost to Tampa Bay’s chances as a World Series darkhorse.
Is Snell worth betting as a road underdog in his first start back?
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 2-2 against full-game moneylines and 1-2 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 1-5, and I finished down 2.84 units for the day.
It was a positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained 26 cents against the sides that I played, only losing a few pennies against the Tigers moneyline (+132 to +135); my only wager that won on Monday – so it goes.
MLB Betting Model for Tuesday, Sept. 17
Today, the model recommends five full-game moneylines and three moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Angels, Rangers, Rays, Reds and Padres as full-game plays. The model also likes the Rays and Reds as F5 plays.
I played all of these teams except for the Angels – who are both without Mike Trout (for the remainder of the season) and using a left-handed pitcher against the Yankees.
Since the All-Star break, the Yankees lead MLB in wRC+ (148) against left-handed pitching; besting the Astros (131), Twins (127), and Athletics (118).
Luis Severino, who has been injured all season, will make his 2019 debut for the Yankees. The righty looked strong in his rehab at Double-A last week (hitting 98 mph) but today’s start essentially amounts to a late-season spring-training-type tuneup.
The Bombers are getting their best pitcher ready for a potential playoff run; that is the singular focus on Tuesday.
The four games that I did select each feature an intriguing pitching matchup.
Sonny Gray (2.80 ERA, 3.43 FIP, 3.65 xFIP, 3.98 SIERA) takes on Yu Darvish (3.97 ERA, 4.40 FIP, 3.59 xFIP, 3.72 SIERA) in Chicago.
Darvish is coming off of a 14 strikeout performance against the Padres:
Yu Darvish, 14Ks in 33 Seconds. pic.twitter.com/NvWe1CLVAp
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 12, 2019
It was, undoubtedly, an excellent performance. But Darvish also benefited from some generous calls, and the Padres struggling to see the ball in daytime shadows.
Make no mistake, Darvish is in the midst of an incredible run. Since June 15, he has a 2.78 xFIP with 123 strikeouts against 11 walks in 91 innings pitched.
But Sonny Gray is also having a career year, recording 4.1 Wins Above Replacement:
I set the Reds fair odds at +123 in this game, and still see around 20 cents of line value.
I’ll also be on the away side of another strong pitching matchup in Milwaukee, as Brandon Woodruff (3.75 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 3.47 xFIP, 3.68 SIERA) takes on Chris Paddack (3.38 ERA, 4.00 FIP, 4.14 xFIP, 3.93 SIERA).
The Brewers have won three games in a row and are 9-1 in their past 10, but I view this game as a coin-flip.
Their offense has ranked below average over the past two months, and Josh Hader has pitched for four of the past six days. I doubt that they make it five out of seven – especially after he threw 26 pitches on Sunday. Conversely, Kirby Yates has not pitched for the Padres in nearly a week
Paddack hit a rough patch in the middle of the season, but he has been lights out in his past three starts (18.1 IP, 12 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 23 K). ‘
Overall, he’s putting up numbers as a rookie that have only been bettered by José Fernández and Walker Buehler.
His fastball-changeup combination is dominant and should continue to thrive even as he loses velocity later in his career:
Chris Paddack, Disappearing 85mph Changeup. 🤠👻 pic.twitter.com/b6fW173xBS
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 12, 2019
Staying on theme, the AL pitchers who rank second (Lance Lynn) and third (Justin Verlander) in WAR will square off in Houston.
Lynn (3.72 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 3.94 xFIP, 3.96 SIERA) is in the midst of a career year, with the best fastball velocity (94.8 mph) and swinging-strike rate (12.3%) he has ever shown:
Justin Verlander (2.58 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 3.29 xFIP, 2.99 SIERA) continues to add to his hall-of-fame resume.
But despite a 21-10 record on the moneyline this season, Verlander is just 5-2 as a favorite of greater than -300 in 2019; costing a consistent $100 bettor $60. And if you bet the vig to win $100 in each of those starts, you would be down $480.
For his career, Verlander is 263-186 (58.6%) on the moneyline, but a consistent $100 bettor would be down $192.
I set the Rangers fair odds around +190 for Tuesday, and you can get them over +300 – so there is considerable value.
They also fit a number of profitable BetLabs systems:
That system is 37-64 in 2019 (36.6%) but has generated a profit of $767, with a 7.6% return on investment.
I also like the under 4.5 runs in the first five innings and made the same bet on the next game, as Blake Snell (4.28 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 3.25 xFIP, 3.53 SIERA) makes his return for the Rays.
LHP Blake Snell emerged as the Ace of the Rays pitching staff in 2018 and will be crucial to their future success. The Cy Young candidate has a 21-5 record with a 1.90 ERA. #FILTHY pic.twitter.com/CexYwuMKpH
— Chase Denton (@ChaseDenton_) September 29, 2018
Snell had arthroscopic surgery on his elbow in July but recently rehabbed his arm over a couple of two-inning stints in the Triple-A playoffs.
He left the most recent performance feeling healthy and confident, and Tampa Bay wouldn’t rush back a player that they had recently signed to an extension if he was less than 100%.
He will face Ross Stripling (3.40 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 3.74 xFIP, 3.91 SIERA) in yet another terrific matchup of starting pitchers, but I actually show the Rays as a small favorite in both halves.
The Rays are taking less than 35% of the moneyline tickets, but have the majority of the cash behind them – and they also fit the following system for Tuesday:
Bets (so far) for Sept. 17
- Cincinnati Reds (+142) Game Moneyline (1 unit)
- San Diego Padres (+125) Game Moneyline (1 unit)
- Tampa Bay Rays (+115) F5 Moneyline
- Tampa Bay Rays (+110) Game Moneyline
- Texas Rangers (+265) and (+315) Game Moneyline (1 unit total)
- F5 Under 4.5 (-110), Texas at Houston
- F5 Under 4.5 (-115), Tampa Bay at LA Dodgers
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 9/17
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.