Zerillo’s MLB Daily Betting Model, 7/6: Can Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks Get to .500 vs. Rockies?
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38).
- 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 whether Robbie Ray and the Diamondbacks are a sharp play vs. the Rockies.
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
Two days before the all-star break, the Diamondbacks and Rockies find themselves at 44-45 and 44-43 respectively, each over 14.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West, but within 2.5 games and striking distance of the NL Wild Card.
At +49, Arizona has the better run differential and expected record (49-40), while the Rockies (+9, 44-43 expected record) are looking to get back to the playoffs after being swept by the Brewers in the 2018 NLDS.
Zack Greinke led the Diamondbacks to an easy 8-0 win on Friday. He was locked in, allowing just four hits over seven shutout innings while striking out nine.
He even mixed in an Eephus curveball to a pitcher:
Zack Greinke, 59mph Slow Curve. 🐢
[And pitcher-on-pitcher crime. 🚨🚔] pic.twitter.com/XCBywt4dfr
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 6, 2019
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 3-4 against full-game moneylines, and 4-1 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My plays went 3-2, and I finished up 1.17 units for the day.
It was a positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained six cents against the Rays moneyline (+106 to +100), five cents against the Padres moneyline (+185 to +180), saw one of my unders drop from 11.0 to 10.5 and gained five cents against the other under (-115 to -120).
MLB Betting Model for Saturday, July 6
Today, the model recommends seven full-game moneylines and five moneylines for the first five-innings (F5).
As of writing, the 3.5% trigger threshold officially marked the Diamondbacks, Marlins, Orioles, Rangers, Rays, Royals, and White Sox as full-game plays. It also likes the Rangers, Rays, Royals, and White Sox, in addition to the Mets as F5 plays.
As you probably could have guessed, I’ll be on the Diamondbacks to make it two straight wins over the Rockies.
On the surface, Robbie Ray isn’t doing anything remarkable in 2019 — he’s mostly pitching to career norms with a 4.10 ERA, 3.99 FIP, and 3.85 xFIP. He has averaged a 4.05 ERA, 3.89 FIP, and 3.73 xFIP over the course of his career.
He walks nearly 4.5 batters per nine innings, but also strikes out close to 12 batters while allowing nearly 1.3 home runs per nine innings – making Ray something close to a three-true outcomes pitcher.
Statcast data does show some 2019 improvement, as Ray’s hard-hit rate allowed is down to 34.4%, and the average exit velocity against him is down to 86.5 mph.
Those marks stood at 41.6% and 89.6 mph in 2018, and 41% and 89 mph in 2017, ranking in the bottom 6% in 2018 and the bottom 3% in 2017 in those seasons.
There have been slight tweaks to his arsenal — Ray is throwing more sliders and two-seam fastballs, and fewer four-seam fastballs and curveballs:
Here are some 2017 examples of the slider in action:
Lucas Giolito had a small hiccup on June 19, allowing three home runs against the Cubs in an obvious trap spot, but he did post a 24% swinging-strike rate in that start and has had solid outings against the Red Sox (5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 7 K) and Twins (5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K) in the time since.
Giolito ranks 11th in MLB with a 3.15 FIP, and I trust him in the first half in a revenge spot at home.
Blake Snell finished off a rough June with 12 strikeouts in six innings against the Rangers on June 30. He had an 85% first-pitch strike rate and a 22.5% swinging-strike rate in the outing.
Even during the June downturn, there were no obvious indications as to why Snell was struggling; it appeared to be a confluence of poor luck.
There was excellent value on Snell and the Rays in his last outing due to the rough stretch in June, and I think some of that is still lingering – especially as he’s facing the Yankees.
The Rays bullpen has blown leads multiple times this season against the Yankees, so I’ll only look to make an F5 play with Snell facing CC Sabathia.
Sabathia has a 5.29 FIP and 4.82 xFIP on the season, each career worsts, but he improved in June with 32 strikeouts against nine walks, generating a 3.75 FIP and 3.64 xFIP.
Runs could be hard to come by tonight in Tampa Bay.
Bets (So Far) for July 6
- Arizona Diamondbacks (-120) Game Moneyline
- Chicago White Sox (-105) F5 Moneyline
- Tampa Bay Rays (-133) F5 Moneyline
- Under 9 (-120), Phillies at Mets
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 7/6
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.