YRFI and NRFI MLB Best Bets for Friday, August 11

By Jared Smith  (VSiN.com) 

August 11, 2023 12:01 PM

Best Bets on Today's MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets

I went 1-1 with last Sunday’s best bets and closed out the week with a very mediocre 3-3 record. Since the calendar is now firmly entrenched in August, the finish line of a marathon baseball season is coming into clear focus. One thing I’ve noticed so far this month is that early scoring has tailed off a bit. The NRFI is 75-59 (55.81%) so far in August netting over 16 units. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on that trend down the stretch. Onward we go into a new week.

Keep reading to find out my best bets for Friday, August 11th. I recommend two units for each. All odds are via DraftKings but be sure to shop around for the best line as prices vary dramatically in this market. 

Best Bets Season Record: 45-39 (53.6%) +0.54u +0.3% ROI

Chicago Cubs at Toronto Blue Jays

Javier Assad has made just two starts this season, but he’s gone NRFI in both. He’s also been pitching really well since July 1st with a 1.17 ERA in nine total appearances. If the Blue Jays miss the postseason, it won't be Jose Berrios’ fault. The ace is pitching like one with a 19-4 NRFI record and an impressive 2.89 ERA in five starts since the break. He’s only allowed one first-inning home run in 23 starts all season. 

Neither lineup really scares me in this spot, especially Toronto. The Blue Jays have scored just four times in 26 games since the All-Star break. Their 24% first-inning scoring rate at home this season is one of the lowest in MLB and well below the 32.5% average for home teams. Meanwhile, the Cubs have the second-lowest road scoring rate of any team this season at 16% just in front of the Mets. 

I particularly like the price of this bet being in plus-money territory. I was able to find plenty of +105 and +100 in the market and would feel comfortable playing this one all the way up to -110. 

Here’s how the starting pitchers have fared against the projected top of each lineup:

Javier Assad vs.:

Whit Merrifield (never faced)

Brandon Belt (never faced)

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1-for-3)


Jose Berrios vs.:

Mike Tauchman (never faced)

Nico Hoerner (1-for-3)

Ian Happ (1-for-6, 2 Ks, 2 BBs)

Bet: No Run First Inning (+105)


Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox

Tarik Skubal is a perfect 6-0 to the NRFI this season since returning from injury. His overall ERA of 3.67 over those six starts is pretty impressive. More impressive is the fact that his xERA is over a full run lower at 2.30, so it’s fair to say even the runs he’s given up have been a little unlucky. Today, he draws a Boston lineup that is slumping and has failed to score an early run in nine straight games. 

Chris Sale returns from the 60-day IL tonight to make his first start with the Red Sox since early June due to shoulder inflammation. The southpaw has slowly made his way back and pitched well in two starts with Triple-A Worcester, tossing 6.1 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts. Of course, I’m concerned about this being Sale’s first start in two months, but he’s facing a Tigers lineup that has just a 19% first-inning scoring rate on the road, which is one of the lowest in baseball. 

I was able to find plenty of -105 and -110 in the market today and would feel comfortable playing this up to -115. 

Here’s how the starting pitchers have fared against the projected top of each lineup:

Tarik Skubal vs.:

Pablo Reyes (never faced)

Rafael Devers (1-for-3)

Adam Duvall (never faced)


Chris Sale vs.:

Matt Vierling (0-for-2, BB)

Riley Greene (0-for-3, 2 Ks)

Spencer Torkelson (1-for-3, K)

Bet: No Run First Inning (-110)


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A Numbers Game: Be careful betting baseball games right now, if they don’t involve teams still trying to make the playoffs. Teams that have clinched or teams that are completely out of it will be approaching games far differently. View more tips.

Ian Cameron: USC at Colorado - OVER (73.5). View more picks.