MLB Daily Betting Model, 5/16: Will Adam Wainwright Shut Down the Braves?

MLB Daily Betting Model, 5/16: Will Adam Wainwright Shut Down the Braves? article feature image

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright.

  • 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 16 with his model below, and highlights Rangers-Royals (1:10 p.m. ET) and Cardinals-Braves (7:20 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.

MLB favorites have been on a complete tear in May, winning 65.7% of the time on the full-game moneyline.

I was alerted of this fact this morning and went into BetLabs to confirm it for myself:

Betting MLB favorites in May has been the only short term financial strategy as profitable as dumping all of your money into Bitcoin (up 57% over the past month).

Home favorites are 90-48 (8.7% ROI), and road favorites are 38-20 (10.6% ROI). A $100 bettor would be up almost 20 units, with a 9.8% return on their investment (ROI).

Coinflip games are still going in either direction. Favorites at odds of -104 to -120 are only 23-23 over this same span, meaning that favorites at -121 or higher have gone 107-45 (+$2,203, 14.5% ROI).

This is an unsustainable run. We will continue to press on, and wait for regression to pay us back in spades.

Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model

At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 0-4 against full-game moneylines, with the Rockies losing in 10 innings at Boston.

My tracked plays went 2-6, and I was down 1.61 units for the day.

Wednesday was another positive day in terms of generating Closing Line Value (CLV).

I gained 10 cents on the Tampa Bay F5 spread (-125 to -135), 9 cents on the Rockies moneyline (+137 to +128), 7 cents on the Cardinals moneyline (+131 to +124) 6 cents on the Mets moneyline (+148 to +142), 3 cents on the Pirates moneyline (+150 to +147), and only lost 8 cents on the Rangers moneyline (-125 to -117).

On Deck for Thursday, May 16

All odds as of Thursday morning (view live odds). Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Thursday, May 17.

The model recommends three full-game moneylines and four moneylines for the first five innings (F5) on Thursday. 

As of writing, the 4% trigger threshold officially marked the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, and Washington Nationals as the full-game plays. It also likes those same three teams, in addition to the Cincinnati Reds, as F5 plays.

Zack Wheeler has been throwing the ball much better lately for the Mets, with 10-plus strikeouts three of his last four games, and I won’t look to fade him today with Washington.

However, I do like all of the remaining plays and will jump at the chance to go against Homer Bailey this afternoon with a powerful Rangers lineup.

Bailey finished the 2017 season with a .372 xWOBA against, ranking in the bottom 7% of all pitchers. He finished the 2018 season with a .366 xwOBA, in the bottom 2% of all pitchers.

Bailey’s wOBA thus far in 2019 is at .302, but batted ball data places his xwOBA at .360. He is striking hitters out 7% more often than last season and has bumped his whiff rate back over 10% by mostly dismissing his sinker and increasing the usage of his splitter.

One lefty bat that he will have to get through is the Rangers’ Joey Gallo, who is on pace for 49 home runs, 126 walks, and 231 strikeouts this season.

Gallo has made real strides in his age 25 season, cutting his swinging strike rate by 3% (15.6% in 2019 vs. 18.8% career) by swinging less often at pitches outside of the zone (22.8% in 2019 vs. 32.2% in 2018), leading to deeper counts and additional opportunities to mash:

I have a 25-1 ticket that says that Gallo will lead the major leagues in home runs this season. If someone would have given me nice plus-odds that he would hit 50 or more, I would have bet on that too. We’re entering the peak Gallo seasons — watching out for flying objects.

In a matchup of underrated pitchers in Detroit, I’ll take Spencer Turnbull in the first five innings on the moneyline. He is 5-0 in the first half of his last five outings, pitching on the road at Boston, Minnesota, and Philadelphia over that span.

Turnbull is a high-floor, league average pitcher who has a fairly large platoon split (career .262 wOBA vs. righties; .312 wOBA vs. lefties). Oakland’s offense ranks in the top 6 by both wOBA and wRC+ against left-handed pitching but is 22nd and 20th respectively against righties.

However, they should be slightly better against righties now that Matt Olson is back in the lineup.

Luis Castillo and the Reds will also be an F5 play for me. Castillo was spinning some devil magic in his last start against the Giants, tying a career-high with 11 strikeouts:

The Reds offense has shown a massive platoon split, ranking 11th against lefties, about 4% better than league average, but 27th against righties, about 27% worse than league average. They will face Cubs southpaw Jose Quintana today.

I’ll also take the Cardinals on the moneyline, which was flagged by my projections when I made the play. Adam Wainwright’s has generated soft contact (.312 xwOBA; .318 is league average) on 249 batted balls since the beginning of last season.

This actually places him ahead of Braves starter Julio Teheran, who has below average career markers by xwOBA.

Wainwright isn’t generating whiffs anymore (under 7%), but he can still use his cutter and big curveball in the zone (zone rate back up to 44% after 38% in 2018; 46% career) and let the Cardinals splendid defenders (not Marcell Ozuna) make plays behind him.

Bets (So Far) for May 16

  • Cincinnati Reds (-130) F5 Moneyline
  • Detroit Tigers (+125) F5 Moneyline
  • St. Louis Cardinals (+104) Game Moneyline
  • Texas Rangers (-102) Game Moneyline
  • Texas Rangers (-115) F5 Moneyline

Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Thursday, May 16.

Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 5/16

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.