YRFI and NRFI MLB Best Bets for Saturday, July 29

By Jared Smith  (VSiN.com) 

July 29, 2023 11:10 AM

Best Bets on Today's MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets

Another close but no cigar 1-1 day with the YRFI cashing easily in Los Angeles thanks to a leadoff triple by Elly De La Cruz. Unfortunately, more unforeseen circumstances, like Ronald Acuna Jr. getting doubled off second base on a routine pop fly, prevented an early run in Atlanta. But that’s gambling, and when you’re swimming in a market that spans only six outs, preparing your brain to deal with volatility is part of the game. Onward we go. 

Keep reading to find out my best bets for Saturday, July 29th. I recommend three 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: 38-36 (51.4%) -11.06u -7.3% ROI

Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves

The Braves just missed an early run in the opening frame yesterday, but if their nearly 50% scoring rate at home in the first inning holds true, it makes sense to back them again today. It’s not like yesterday’s game didn’t feature fireworks, with five runs combined in the second inning and a 10-7 final. The pitching matchup today doesn’t give me pause for concern. Julio Teheran has pitched out of his mind since joining the Brewers in late May and is a strong regression candidate. His 9-1 NRFI record is impressive. So was his solid performance against Atlanta last week. However, if I dig deeper, a lot of the underlying metrics behind Teheran have been mediocre at best, like his average exit velocity in the 48th percentile among MLB pitchers. He’s also not missing many bats, with a whiff rate in the 13th percentile and his fastball velocity in the fourth percentile.

Bryce Elder has tailed off a bit after a hot start, with a 1.92 ERA in April and May followed by 5.14 in June and July. Overall, Elder is 15-5 to the NRFI this season, which is a solid rate. However, if I dig deeper, his xFIP in the first inning this season is almost a full run higher than his actual FIP (4.58 to 5.48) which tells me he’s gotten a little fortunate and is due for regression. Milwaukee’s offense didn’t score yesterday, but they are still pushing across an early run in nearly 30% of road games this season (15-for-51) which is slightly above league average. I also expect Carlos Santana to make his Brewers debut tonight, and will likely bat in the cleanup spot. 

I was able to find plenty of -130 and -135 available in the market and would feel comfortable playing this up to -140, but not at the ridiculous -155 price offered by DraftKings at the time of publication. 

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

Julio Teheran vs:

Ronald Acuna (1-for-3)

Ozzie Albies (0-for-2, K)

Austin Riley (0-for-3, K)

Matt Olson (0-for-6, 3 Ks, BB)


Bryce Elder vs:

Christian Yelich (1-for-3)

William Contreras (0-for-3)

Willy Adames (0-for-2, K, BB)

Carlos Santana (never faced)

Bet: Yes Run First Inning (-155)


Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are almost an auto YRFI bet every night when playing at home, and last night was a perfect example as to why with four combined runs being scored. Tonight’s pitching matchup is actually worse, with Luke Weaver (7-10) and Emmet Sheehan (2-4) a combined 9-14 to the NRFI this season, yikes. Both pitchers have some pretty eye-popping numbers, like Weaver’s .410 batting average against in the opening frame. Not to be outdone, Sheehan has the highest first-inning xFIP of any starting pitcher on the board today, which is nearly four runs higher than his actual FIP (9.07 to 5.28) which tells me he’s actually pitching worse than his subpar NRFI record indicates. 

Both offenses have pop at the top, but the Dodgers have been particularly potent in the first inning with a nearly 47% scoring rate (23-for-49) which is the third-highest in the league. I also love that Los Angeles lost a tight 6-5 game last night, which should add some urgency to today’s matchup. I was able to find a -135 available in the market and would feel comfortable playing this bet up to -145 but not at the absurd -170 being offered by DraftKings at the time of publication. 

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

Luke Weaver vs:

Mookie Betts (3-for-16, K, 2 BBs)

Freddie Freeman (4-for-14, K, BB)

Will Smith (1-for-7, 2 Ks)

JD Martinez (2-for-3, 2 HR, K)


Emmet Sheehan vs:

Elly De La Cruz (never faced)

TJ Friedl (never faced)

Matt McLain (never faced)

Jake Fraley (never faced)

Bet: Yes Run First Inning (-170)


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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.