MLB Daily Betting Model, 5/31: Tyler Skaggs, Angels Look to Beat Skidding Mariners

MLB Daily Betting Model, 5/31: Tyler Skaggs, Angels Look to Beat Skidding Mariners article feature image

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tyler Skaggs

  • Sean Zerillo's MLB model helps you find edges when betting moneylines and over/unders for the full game and First 5 (F5) innings.
  • He analyzes the full slate of games on May 31 with his model below and highlights Reds-Nationals (7:10 p.m. ET) and Mariners-Angels (10:10 p.m. ET) as potential edges.
  • Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.

There are few things in sports as consistently funny as watching major league baseball players flail like little leaguers at the stuff that’s thrown at them.

When it’s something soft, the hilarity reaches new levels.

Zack Greinke is doing God’s work by keeping the slow curve alive for all of our entertainment. It’s also been an extremely dominant pitch for him, too:

Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model

At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 1-1 against full-game moneylines and 1-2 against moneyline for the first five (F5) innings.

My tracked plays went 2-4, and I down 1.32 units for the day.

Thursday was a very positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).

I gained 45 cents on the Cleveland F5 spread (-120 to -166), 27 cents on the Texas F5 moneyline (-143 to -170), 10 cents on the Mariners F5 line (-115 to -125), and 5 cents on the Phillies moneyline (-105 to -110).

I gained 10 cents on the Under in Philadelphia (-110 to -120) and finished even with the other total that I played.

On Deck for Friday, May 31

All odds as of Friday morning (view live MLB odds). Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Friday, May 31. 

The model recommends three full-game moneylines and one moneyline for the first five innings (F5) on Friday. 

As of writing, the 4% trigger threshold officially marked the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays as the full-game plays. It also likes the Los Angeles Angels as an F5 play.

I skipped backing Edwin Jackson and the Jays at Colorado but did take the other three plays.

On Thursday, I discussed why I like the Yankees in this spot against Chris Sale and the Red Sox. Nothing really changes today with the extra day of rest after a rainout. If anything, it helps the Yankees superior bullpen to take a full breather.

As of writing, favoritism has flipped in the Reds matchups from where the line opened last night, with Cincinnati moving from a +110 home underdog to a -102 favorite. I had the Reds pegged as a 51% favorite in the game, but only a 44% favorite in the first half — meaning that their +125 first half line is still spot on and not worth betting.

That being said, I do like Reds starter Tyler Mahle a little bit. He just has two problems, getting lefties out and giving up home runs, which aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive issues.

Since arriving in the big leagues, Mahle has allowed a .290 wOBA to righties, and a .404 wOBA to lefties. He’s allowed 21 home runs to lefties over 82.1 innings pitched, and 11 to righties over 106.0 innings pitched.

In 2019, Mahle’s strikeout to walk rate is 40:6 in 33.0 innings against righties. Against lefties, it’s 19:6 in 23.1 innings (six home runs allowed).

His home run to fly ball rate in 2019 is 20%, nearly double the league average, and is something that should regress going forward.

However, Mahle does give up more contact than the average pitcher (.326 xwOBA in 2019, .333 career), especially to those left-handed hitters, so he might be a guy who carries a home run per fly ball rate closer to 15% than 10% over his career.

The Nationals only have three left-handed bats who start regularly against righties — Adam Eaton, Juan Soto and Matt Adams — and have fared much better against left-handed pitching (.365 wOBA, fourth) than against righties (.303 wOBA, 23rd).

The Angels make for an interesting F5 play against one of my favorite pitchers to fade, Mike Leake, with the Mariners continuing to spiral. Seattle is 6-21 in May, with a -72 run differential (-2.667 runs per game).

Despite seeing his swinging strike rate drop from 11.0% last season to 9.4% in 2019, Tyler Skaggs has pitched effectively. His FIP (4.02) splits his marks in 2018 (3.63) and 2017 (4.56) but is on point with his career average (4.07).

Skaggs is a fastball, curveball, changeup pitcher, going to the wipeout breaking ball over one-third of the time:

I have the Angels winning the first half of this game 60% of the time, but only winning the full game 56% of the time, and feel that the F5 line should be weighed more heavily in their favor. That being said, I still saw value on the Angels full game line and essentially doubled down on the Halos by backing them in both markets.

I also played three other games in the first half at edges between 2-4%, including Cleveland, Houston and St. Louis. I saw a big enough of a starting pitching edge for all three of those teams as short-priced favorites (Cleveland F5 spread) to want to back them.

For Cleveland, a scuffling Trevor Bauer (who did pitch well last time out against Tampa Bay) faces Dylan Covey, who is 1-4 against the F5 spread.

For Houston, Brad Peacock will take the bump with a .260 xwOBA, which is 15th overall in all of baseball amongst pitchers who have faced 100 batters. Peacock ranks ahead of teammate Gerrit Cole (.264) and is tied with the Reds’ Luis Castillo. They aren’t far off from reigning AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell (.248).

I also see a slight edge for the Cardinals at a short price at home with not much on paper between Miles Mikolas and Yu Darvish.

Advanced metrics aren’t kind to either’s 2019 performance. FIP (5.55 for Darvish, 4.85 for Mikolas) and xFIP (4.34, 4.19 respectively) aren’t kind to either. Neither is xwOBA, which has Darvish at .342 and Mikolas at .346 this season. They’re both giving up a bunch of hard contact.

The Cubs lineup is slightly better, but the Cardinals play slightly better defense and have the better bullpen.

If bookmakers are essentially going to give me coin flip odds in this pitching matchup, I’ll side with the home team every single time — regardless of whether St. Louis or Chicago is at home.

Bets (So Far) for May 31

  • Cincinnati Reds (+112) Game Moneyline
  • Cleveland Indians (-0.5 Runs, -120) F5 Spread
  • Houston Astros (-124) F5 Moneyline
  • Los Angeles Angels (-125) F5 Moneyline
  • Los Angeles Angels (-116) Game Moneyline
  • New York Yankees (+130) Game Moneyline
  • St. Louis Cardinals (-108) F5 Moneyline

Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Friday, May 31.

Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 5/31

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.