MLB Daily Betting Model, 6/1: Can Jack Flaherty Push Cardinals Over .500 vs. Quintana, Cubs?
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jack Flaherty.
- 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 the full slate of games on June 1 with his model below and highlights Royals-Rangers (4:05 p.m. ET) and Cardinals-Cubs (7:15 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.
The 2019 MLB Draft is on Monday, June 3, and a potential No. 1 overall pick for Baltimore is Adley Rutchsman, a catcher for defending national champion Oregon State.
On Friday, Rutschman received the ultimate sign of respect from his opponents for his abilities as a hitter.
He was intentionally walked — his second free pass of the game — but this time with the bases loaded and nobody out:
Potential #1 pick in Monday's MLB Draft Adley Rutschman was just intentionally walked.
The bases were loaded. pic.twitter.com/lUSlDRYGLY
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 1, 2019
Whether optimal or not, the strategy worked! Cincinnati went on to win the game 7-6, putting Oregon State on the brink of elimination.
For all of you kids out there, this strategy is commonly known as giving someone the “Barry Bonds treatment.”
Somehow it keeps working.
Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model
At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 2-1 against full-game moneylines and 0-1 against moneylines for the first five (F5) innings.
My tracked plays went 2-4-1, and I finished down 1.22 units for the day.
For the month of May, I finished 85-92-5, -5.42 units. The really rough stretch was May 1-19, when my picks hit at a 39% rate and I lost 12.14 units.
Since May 20, I’ve hit at a 60% rate, taking 6.72 units back from my May loss column.
Overall, my 2019 MLB plays are 193-178-13, +15.43 units (7.1% return on investment).
Friday was a positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).
I gained 15 cents on the Cleveland F5 spread (-120 to -135), 11 cents on the St. Louis F5 moneyline (-108 to -119), 11 cents on the Angels moneyline (-116 to -127), 6 cents on the Houston F5 moneyline (-124 to -130) and a penny on the Reds moneyline (+112 to +111). I finished even with the Angels F5 moneyline (-125).
I played only the Yankees moneyline (+130 vs. +134) slightly too early.
On Deck for Saturday, June 1
The model recommends four full-game moneylines and four moneylines for the first five innings (F5) on Saturday.
As of writing, the 4% trigger threshold officially marked the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays as full-game plays. It also likes the Blue Jays and Pirates in addition to the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals as F5 plays.
The Pirates seem to show up a bunch here. I have no interest in playing Nick Kingham against this Brewers lineup with his inability to get lefties out.
The Marlins and Tigers are skips per usual for me without Caleb Smith or Matt Boyd involved.
I’ll take the Blue Jays for the full game at better odds instead of the first half, and I’ll also back the Nationals in the first half, which should keep me clear of their league-worst bullpen.
Marcus Stroman is an ideal pitcher to back at Coors Field, with his 58% groundball rate and ability to suppress home runs (career 0.80 home runs per nine innings).
Jon Gray is in the midst of another up-and-down season for the Rockies. His strikeout-minus-walk rate is down almost 2%, and he has a FIP of 4.49, nearly a run higher than Stroman’s (3.57).
Sorting through the model-recommended plays, I’ll also back the Yankees for the second straight day against Boston. I see an edge in their pitching matchup with Domingo German facing Rick Porcello.
Among qualified pitchers, German ranks 6th, just behind Charlie Morton and Stephen Strasburg, in terms of the average pitch value for his curveball:
Domingo Germán, Filthy 82mph Curveball (and Tracker). 😷 pic.twitter.com/jmabltSn9Z
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 5, 2019
I also took the Cardinals, Rays and Rangers (F5 spread) at slightly smaller edges. I felt that the lines on all three home teams should have been shaded more in their direction, about 10 cents for each.
I turned out to be incorrect on Tampa Bay, as Minnesota almost immediately took sharp action and might close as the favorite by game time, but I still do like the Tampa Bay side coming off of a blown three-run lead yesterday.
After making it through five innings just twice over his first five starts this season, Jack Flaherty has turned in three straight quality starts, including a scoreless performance against the Braves on Sunday Night Baseball.
Jose Quintana has also pitched well this season, with a 3.73 ERA, 3.72 FIP and a 3.86 xFIP. Those numbers are comparable to Flaherty’s: 3.77, 4.03, 3.84.
But Flaherty owns a 0.22 edge in xwOBA, ranking as an above-average pitcher.
Even with the wind blowing out, I do like the under in that matchup too, with Mike Estabrook as the home plate umpire. Per SportsInsights, the under has gone 166-123 (57.4%, +28.22 units, avg. 8.3 runs per game) with Estabrook behind the dish.
Unsurprisingly, Homer Bailey is the most profitable pitcher to go against on the F5 spread for favorites dating back to the beginning of last season. A $100 bettor would be 19-8, +$942.
But Bailey is 3-4 against the F5 spread as a dog in 2019 while raising his strikeout rate from 6.53 K/9 to a respectable 8.59 K/9. His defensive independent metrics also show that his ERA should regress from 5.79 to below 4.50.
But Bailey got lit up by Texas on May 16, as they are a team that feasts on right-handed pitching. The Rangers are roughly 9% above average against righties (8th in wRC+, 3rd in wOBA), but 15% below average against lefties (20th in wRC+, 18th in wOBA).
Joey Gallo is also hitting .272 with a 1.048 OPS and is on pace for 47 home runs while playing slightly above-average defense in center field at 6-foot-five, 235 pounds. This is a special player.
At this pace, Gallo might wind up on the fringes of the MVP discussion.
In his age-25 season, he’s striking out just as often as he whiffed in 2018, but he’s walking at a 19% clip and has reduced his swinging strike rate by 3.5%. He’s becoming more selective.
Gallo has swung 8% less often this year than last year, reducing all swings both outside (-7.7%) and inside (-9.1%) of the zone. After finishing at or near the top of the league in barrel rate (22%) over the past two years, he’s up to 25% in 2019.
Gallo is somehow hitting the ball harder than he was previously. His average exit velocity is up to 96 mph from 93.9 mph in 2018. His hard-hit rate is at 56%, up from 49% in 2018 and 52.2% in 2017.
On Friday, Gallo hit his first career grand slam.
You're gonna want your sound on. 💥 pic.twitter.com/axaXjpYNIv
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) June 1, 2019
- New York Yankees (-115) Game Moneyline
- St. Louis Cardinals (-138) Game Moneyline
- Tampa Bay Rays (-115) Game Moneyline
- Texas Rangers (-0.5, -120) F5 Spread
- Toronto Blue Jays (+135) Game Moneyline
- Washington Nationals (+115) F5 Moneyline
- Under 10.5, Indians at White Sox
- Under 9, Cubs at Cardinals
Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 6/1
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.