MLB Daily Betting Model, 5/24: Can Astros Beat Chris Sale, Boston as Home Dogs?
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Carlos Correa
- 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 24 with his model below, and highlights Marlins-Nationals (7:05 p.m. ET) and Red Sox-Astros (8:10 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.
We have our first entrant for the wackiest walk-off win of the 2019 season.
That nomination goes to the LSU Tigers, who managed to score two runs on a catcher misplay while trailing by one run in the bottom of the ninth inning of an SEC Tournament elimination game:
Condolences to Auburn bettors…
How LSU won: pic.twitter.com/bN5CihfKOV
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) May 23, 2019
To me, the best part of the video is the LSU batter signaling to his teammates to stay on their bases, just before the catcher kicks the ball toward the dugout. The batter then sets a beautiful screen, and the rest of the insanity unfolds around him.
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 1-1 against full-game moneylines, and 0-0-1 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My tracked plays went 3-0, and I was up 1.52 units for the day.
Thursday was a mixed day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained 48 cents on the Phillies F5 moneyline (+110 to -138) but lost 9 cents on the Mets moneyline (+143 to +154), and could have played it as high as +163.
On Deck for Friday, May 24
The model recommends four full-game moneylines and six moneylines for the first five innings (F5) on Friday.
As of writing, the 4% trigger threshold officially marked the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays as the full-game plays. It also likes the Blue Jays, Marlins and Orioles, in addition to the Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays as F5 plays.
Let’s start with the latter three teams, each of which I have listed as big first-half favorites.
I’m not typically looking to lay big money (especially over -160) on any bet, but I do see Blake Snell, Griffin Canning and Noah Syndergaard all as value plays to back in the first half today. Canning’s name is the outlier on this list, but he has been extremely effective in a small 2019 sample.
The 23-year-old righty gets strike one (68%) and can generate swinging strikes (17.7%) later in the count with his slider and curveball.
"Does Griffin Canning have a good breaking ball?"
Yes. Yes he does. pic.twitter.com/oH0vL8AVaK
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) May 1, 2019
Today will be his first start against Texas’ potent lineup, and though Canning has surrendered three of his four home runs to lefties, he also has 13 strikeouts against them in 11 innings with a positive platoon split.
I would expect to see a few more changeups from Canning tonight to counteract the Rangers’ lefties.
The Mets could be the largest favorite I’ve seen on paper this season, at least in the first half, at 80.6%. That equates to a fair odds of about -418. I have them winning the F5 portion of the game by 1.5 runs.
Instead of laying over -265 on the moneyline, I took the Mets F5 spread at -175. I also played the Mets full game spread at -130.
I also took the Rays F5 spread at -140. Shane Bieber is coming off of a masterful 15-strikeout, complete game shutout over the Orioles, but there is still nearly a 90-point gap in xwOBA data between Bieber and Snell; representing an expected 2.55 ERA for Snell, and a 4.67 ERA for Bieber.
Bieber is certainly a better pitcher than his batted ball data suggests; he owns excellent command (career 5% walk rate) and his swinging strike rate (13.7%) is improving from last season, but the Orioles do have a habit of making good pitchers look even better than they are.
Chris Sale’s re-emergence appeared to begin against Baltimore three starts ago, with his 14-strikeout and no walk performance, before he followed that up with a 17-strikeout and no walk outing against Colorado.
The Orioles have swung at 32.9% of pitches outside of the zone, the sixth-worst rate in baseball. The Rockies are second-worst, at 33.7%. Conversely, the Astros are the fourth best team, at 28%.
Bieber averages a 33.6% outside swing rate on the season, but the Orioles offered at 49.3% of his pitches outside of the zone.
Sale owns a 33.8% outside swing rate on the season. The Orioles and Rockies each swung at more than 40% of his pitches outside of the zone, but the Astros only swung at 27.6% of those pitches on May 19.
Houston earned five walks against 10 strikeouts in that game and knocked Sale out in the sixth inning with the score tied 3-3 before they eventually lost 4-3. The World Series favorites are a worthy play against Sale once again today, but this time as a home underdog.
The Blue Jays and Marlins are two worthy plus-money plays to me today, each flagged as edges and also seeing sharp action. Of the two plays, I actually prefer the Marlins. The Nationals are reeling, and Pablo Lopez has been terrific.
Lopez’s 5.06 ERA belies a 3.52 FIP and 3.67 xFIP. He’s seen a velocity uptick from 92.4 mph to 93.5 mph over last season and his strikeout rate has increased too, from 18.6% to 24.5%.
Lopez is a fastball, sinker, changeup, slider pitcher who shows good movement on his pitches which helps to generate a lot of groundballs:
Pablo Lopez, 86mph Changeup and 78mph Slider, Overlay. pic.twitter.com/9pIMbAx4hw
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 1, 2018
The Nationals are returning home after dropping four straight games to the Mets, during which Strasburg, Scherzer, and Corbin all started, and Washington is throwing a 27-year-old rookie today ahead of its league-worst bullpen.
If there is ever a spot to play the Marlins, it is on Friday.
Lastly, I’m going to continue to ride the Oakland Athletics on the runline against left-handed starting pitchers. Oakland is 6-2, and a $100 bettor would have netted a 54.8% return on their investment by betting Oakland in every game as a spread favorite against a lefty this season.
Bets (So Far) for May 24
- Houston Astros (+135) Game Moneyline
- Los Angeles Angels (-160) F5 Moneyline
- Miami Marlins (+130) Game Moneyline
- New York Mets (-0.5, -175) F5 Spread
- New York Mets (-1.5, -130) Game Spread
- Oakland Athletics (-1.5, +110) Game Spread
- Tampa Bay Rays (-140) F5 Moneyline
- Toronto Blue Jays (+112) Game Moneyline
- Under 9.5, Atlanta at St. Louis
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 5/24
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.