YRFI and NRFI MLB Best Bets for Saturday, July 22

By Jared Smith  (VSiN.com) 

July 22, 2023 12:10 PM

Best Bets on Today's MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets

It was a tough start to my week, going 0-2 on my NRFI wagers on Friday night. I’ve now dropped four straight, which has put a major dent in my ROI because of the juice associated with these bets. The good news is my record is still slightly above .500 for the season with these written recommendations, but that doesn’t matter if we are laying 30 and 40 cents per bet. This is why you should always consider the price before pulling the trigger. I will do my best to give you a price threshold on each bet that you can use as a guide. Also, consider opening multiple accounts at different sportsbooks, as the price of each bet can vary drastically from book to book in this highly volatile market. 

Keep reading to find out my best bets for Saturday, July 22nd. I recommend two units for each. All odds are via DraftKings, but be sure to shop around for the best line.

Best Bets Season Record: 35-33 (51.5%) -9.33u -7.0% ROI

Los Angeles Dodgers at Texas Rangers

This handicap is relatively simple, as two of the best first-inning offenses in MLB are facing subpar starting pitchers at a relatively fair price. I got in at -115 this morning over at Caesars, and I’m still seeing plenty of -120 and -125 prices available at other shops. I would use -130 as my threshold for this wager. 

Bobby Miller is a rookie making his first-ever trip to Globe Life Park. Miller has posted a 7-2 NRFI record this season, and his underlying data in the first inning has been relatively strong, with the exception of his 11% walk rate. That is concerning if you consider the Rangers have the seventh-highest walk-rate against RHP since June 1st (9.6%). Texas has also scored an early run in three of seven games since the All-Star break, which is on par with their 36.5% scoring rate at home this season. 

The other side of this matchup is where I think the most damage could be done. Dane Dunning is just 8-5 to the NRFI this season and 3-3 at home with poor underlying data across the board, including a .319 batting average against in the first inning. The larger sample of data for Dunning also does not paint a pretty picture. He is in the seventh percentile of strikeout rate and ninth percentile of fastball velocity among all MLB pitchers. I expect the Dodgers to clinch this bet for us in the top of the first.

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

Bobby Miller vs:

Marcus Semien (never faced)

Corey Seager (never faced)

Nathaniel Lowe (never faced)


Dane Dunning vs:

Mookie Betts (1-for-2, HR, K)

Freddie Freeman (never faced)

Will Smith (never faced)

Bet: Yes Run First Inning (-145)


Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers

The Braves were the hottest first-inning offense in all of baseball until the All-Star break. Since then, they’ve scored in just two of seven games (28.5%) which is significantly lower than their full-season rate of 40.5%. Today they get to face a subpar starting pitcher who they’ve seen a ton. Adrian Houser has posted a 7-3 NRFI record this season and just 2-2 at home. He’s allowed a .350 batting average against in the opening frame with a walk-rate above 10% and an xFIP of nearly 5.00.

We have very little data on the other side of the matchup with Allan Winans making his MLB debut. The rookie has made 18 appearances (13 starts) with AAA this season and has a relatively average 4.06 xFIP in those outings. However, this is a tough situation for someone making their first big league start, on the road against a first-place team coming off a loss in the heat of a pennant chase. I feel better about the Braves pushing across an early run against Houser in the top of the inning, but if they fail, Milwaukee’s chances are decent as well. 

I was able to find a -120 available for this wager and would feel comfortable playing it up to -130. At the time of publication, DraftKings was pricing this bet at -140, which would be slightly more than I’m willing to pay. 

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

Allan Winans vs:

Christian Yelich (never faced)

William Contreras (never faced)

Willy Adames (never faced)


Adrian Houser vs:

Ronald Acuna Jr. (3-for-7, K)

Ozzie Albies (3-for-9, BB)

Austin Riley (3-for-10, 2 Ks)

Bet: Yes Run First Inning (-140)


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