MLB Daily Betting Model, 5/7: Can Max Fried Keep the Braves Chopping?
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Max Fried
- Sean Zerillo's MLB model helps to find edges in betting moneylines and over/unders for the full game and First 5 (F5) innings.
- He analyzes the full slate of games on May 7 with his model below, and highlights the Marlins-Cubs (8:05 p.m. ET) and Braves-Dodgers (10:10 p.m. ET) matchups as potential edges.
- Plug in your odds to the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article to see where you might have an edge.
Today marks the three year anniversary of one of my favorite all-time sports moments.
— The 7 Line (@The7Line) May 7, 2019
With one swing, Bartolo Colon became the oldest player in baseball history to hit his first career home run, at 42 years and 349 days old. He achieved this feat at a more advanced age than the final career home runs by Hank Aaron (42 years, 166 days), and Willie Mays (42 years, 103 days).
Colon owns a career .084 batting average (25-299) with 1 walk, 166 strikeouts, four doubles, and that one homer.
Every hack he ever took was a thing of beauty:
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 29, 2014
I own not one, but two bobbleheads (featuring a bobble stomach) commemorating the big moment.
Bartolo played the game with boundless joy and knew that the odds were up against him anytime that he stepped into the batter’s box, but that never stopped him from trying to hit the cover off of the ball.
Eventually, one of his violent swings connected, and the world is permanently a happier place because of it.
Happy May 7 to all of you.
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 1-2 against full-game moneylines, and 2-1-1 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).
My actual picks went 2-4-1, and I was down 1.09 units for the day after the Nationals bullpen and defense blew a seventh-inning lead.
Washington is beginning to look like a team that should only be played in the F5 portion of games; they have difficulty holding a lead in the late innings until closer Sean Doolittle enters.
It was a mostly positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained 12 cents on the Giants moneyline (+137 to +125), seven cents on the Blue Jays moneyline (-108 to -115), 13 cents on the Blue Jays F5 line (+103 to -110), and four cents on the Cardinals F5 line (-123 to -127).
I lost 14 cents on the Nationals full game line (-115 to -101) and finished even with their F5 line (-125);
On Deck for Tuesday, May 7
The model recommends four full-game moneylines and four moneylines for the first five innings (F5) on Tuesday.
As of writing, the 4% trigger threshold officially marked all of the usual suspects — the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants as the full-game plays. It also likes the Marlins and Royals, in addition to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Pittsburgh Pirates, in the F5 portion of their games.
Surprisingly, the only team out of this group that I am particularly interested in taking is the Marlins, and just in the first half of their game.
Marlins starter Caleb Smith is responsible for 83% of the Marlins’ Wins Above Replacement in 2019; he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball.
He’s in the top 10 for strikeout rate (33.6%) with aces like Blake Snell, James Paxton, Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander, by using his fastball (with above average spin) up in the strike zone, generating a ton of whiffs.
After refining his pitch locations with his above-average command, Smith is now tunneling his pitches better.
He is just a three-pitch lefty (four-seam fastball, slider, changeup), but all three offerings are returning positive pitch values in 2019, as his swinging strike rate has increased by over 5% (to 16.8%) from last season.
Caleb Smith – @CalebASmith12 – was fantastic again tonight against the Indians:
– 38% CSW rate
– 21 whiffs!
– Great command of all his pitches
Final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8 K pic.twitter.com/2fCVzOv4hV
— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) May 2, 2019
I’m playing the Marlins both on the F5 moneyline, and the F5 spread (+0.5), as Smith is 4-2 against the F5 runline this season.
One pick that I’m going off of the board for is with the Braves and Max Fried on the F5 spread against the Dodgers tonight.
Fried, a Santa Monica native, is undefeated on the F5 moneyline in his six starts and is finally showing some signs of a breakout after being selected with the No. 7 pick in the 2012 amateur draft (Carlos Correa went first overall).
The 25-year-old lefty is pounding the zone (65.8% first strikes) and has seemingly swapped his changeup for a slider, which he introduced this season and is throwing over 9% of the time.
He’s been fortunate to pitch to a 2.11 ERA, but his combined FIP is under 3.50 since the beginning of 2018, and Fried is shaping up to be a nice mid-rotation arm.
On paper, there isn’t much of a gap between Fried and Dodgers starter, Hyun-Jin Ryu, making the Braves an interesting play as an F5 underdog.
As a National League pitcher, he just needs to be a little more careful when he reaches base:
PitchingNinja watching Max Fried Pinch Running.**
**No Max Frieds were harmed in the making of this GIF. pic.twitter.com/ZPzSOlEKkd
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 6, 2019
A second pick off of my board is with the Oakland Athletics on the moneyline against the Cincinnati Reds. The A’s are in a good spot tonight at home on a day of rest, facing a Reds bullpen that got roughed up all weekend by San Francisco.
American League teams are historically the right side in interleague play, with a 54.2 winning percentage since 2005; netting a $100 bettor $12,515, a 3.2% return on investment.
However, that trend has reversed since the start of the 2018 season, with the AL winning just 47% of matchups, a -5% return on investment.
Bets (So Far) for May 7
- Atlanta Braves (+0.5, -120) F5 Runline
- Miami Marlins (+140) F5 Moneyline
- Miami Marlins (+0.5, -110) F5 Runline
- Oakland Athletics (-120) Game Moneyline
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 5/7
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.