MLB Daily Betting Model, 5/18: Backing the Astros With a Rookie Pitcher at Boston

MLB Daily Betting Model, 5/18: Backing the Astros With a Rookie Pitcher at Boston article feature image

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch (14) and starting pitcher Corbin Martin (29)

  • 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 18 with his model below, and highlights Red Sox-Astros (7:15 p.m. ET) and Brewers-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.

The Rays suffered a bad beat on Friday following an eighth-inning rain delay where they held a 3-1 lead over the Yankees. They subsequently gave up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, with a projected 92% chance of winning going into the inning.

Gio Urshela has cost me a bunch of money this season. Fortunately, the Rays did cover the F5 spread, but this was yet another bad beat in a dreary May.

Recapping Yesterday’s MLB Model

At writing yesterday, the model would have gone 1-4 against full-game moneylines, only nailing the Marlins at around +200, and 0-3-1 against moneylines for the first five innings (F5).

I did correctly go against the Detroit plays, winning on the A’s runline. Oakland continues to dominate left-handed pitching.

My tracked plays went 3-3, and I was down 0.8 units for the day.

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

I gained 23 cents on the Oakland runline, 11 cents on the Rays moneyline (+108 to -103), 10 cents on the Rays F5 spread (-140 to -150), and finished even with the Giants moneyline and F5 spread.

On Deck for Saturday, May 17

All odds as of Saturday morning (view live odds). Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Saturday, May 18.

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

As of writing, the 4% trigger threshold officially marked the Detroit Tigers as both a full game and F5 play.

I would look to play the Tigers on the F5 spread or the moneyline, but I discussed yesterday how Oakland has been a profit machine against left-handed starting pitching.

Technically, I would have the Tigers as small favorites here. But it also wouldn’t make sense for me to go directly against that Oakland trend on Saturday. I’ll pass and look to play smaller edges.

One, in particular, is the Astros on the road against the Boston Red Sox.

Corbin Martin will be making his second career start for Houston. Teammates have called him wise beyond his years, and A.J. Hinch appreciates his advanced demeanor and cerebral makeup. Martin looks to be the real deal. 

He throws a fastball, changeup and a knuckle curve:

His opponent, Hector Velazquez, owns above average batted ball data but has pitched to a career 4.63 FIP (5.02 in 2019), with an 8.9% strikeout minus walk rate and 8.7% whiff rate in 2019.

The Astros lead the league in wOBA against both right-handed and left-handed pitching. I’m expecting fireworks from their offense and a strong performance from Martin.

I would also have leans to two first-half lines, on the Nationals with Stephen Strasburg (at around -145) and the Rays with Blake Snell (at around -125).

Lastly, I made a small play on Under 9.5 with Milwaukee playing at Atlanta. I would have projected that total closer to 8.5 with Kevin Gausman potentially taking a step forward this season.

Increased splitter usage has upped his swinging strike rate to a career-high 12.9%, and I think that he can continue to improve as the season goes along.

Gausman’s changeup and splitter are two of the toughest pitches to make a distinction between. It’s all about the grip and pronation:

Bets (So Far) for May 18

  • Houston Astros (-112) Game Moneyline
  • Under 9.5, Milwaukee at Atlanta

Stay tuned on Twitter or follow me in The Action Network App for my entire betting card for Saturday May 18.

Zerillo’s Full MLB Model, 5/18

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.