YRFI and NRFI MLB Best Bets for Saturday, July 8

By Jared Smith  (VSiN.com) 

July 8, 2023 10:10 AM

Best Bets on Today's MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets

It was a profitable start to the week as I went 2-0 with Friday’s best bets and I’ve hit four straight dating back to last Sunday! The Marlins offense truly is the gift that keeps on giving, and I’m sure we’ll go back to them again soon. I also timed the market correctly on Cleveland snapping their 16-game scoreless drought. Fading lengthy streaks like that can be quite valuable when the right matchup presents itself, and clearly, Daniel Lynch was the ideal candidate. 

Keep reading to find out my best bets for Saturday, July 8th. I recommend 2 units for each. All odds are via DraftKings but be sure to shop around for the best line.

Season Record: 32-24 (57.1%) +6.59u +6.3% ROI

Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins

This game has the highest NRFI probability on my sheet today, and I would even boost that number a little more because this is a day game after a night game, which in my eyes is always advantageous for pitchers. I also really like the Twins side of the pitching matchup with Sonny Gray facing an Orioles lineup that scored a run in the first inning just six times in 43 games on the road this season (14%). Gray is 16-2 to the NRFI this season and has yet to allow a home run in the opening frame. 

I don’t hate the other side of the matchup either. Tyler Wells has been serviceable for Baltimore and his first-inning data is solid. The righty is 12-4 to the NRFI this season with a batting average against below .200 and a walk rate below 5% in the opening frame. Minnesota’s lineup has perked up a bit during this recent homestand scoring twice in four games, but this is on the heels of a 19-8 (70%) NRFI record during the month of June, just behind our beloved Marlins (74%) for the highest rate in MLB. 

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

Tyler Wells vs:

Carlos Correa (0-for-5, K)

Edouard Julien (never faced)

Byron Buxton (0-for-2, 2 K)


Sonny Gray vs:

Gunnar Henderson (0-for-1, BB, K)

Adley Rutschman (0-for-3, 2 K)

Anthony Santander (1-for-7, HR, BB)

Bet: No Run First Inning (-120)


Chicago Cubs at New York Yankees

Another day game after a night game. Cubs starter Drew Smyly is above the 80th percentile in average exit velocity and hard hit % this season. To put that in perspective, Yankees starter Gerrit Cole, who is a Cy Young candidate, is barely above 40% in both categories. Obviously, Cole throws significantly harder and has a higher strikeout rate, which is also one of the reasons he has a 14-4 NRFI record this season. Smyly is just one step behind at 14-3. Both have solid enough data to back up those records.

Neither lineup is particularly potent at the moment. Chicago has one of the lowest first-inning scoring rates on the road this season at 16% (7-for-44). Meanwhile, New York is 27th in 1st-inning wRC+ vs. LHP since June 1st. More perspective—that ranking is down from 7th in April and May, which is a massive dropoff and is tangible evidence of Aaron Judge's absence. 

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

Drew Smyly vs:

DJ LeMahieu (1-for-3)

Gleyber Torres (never faced)

Giancarlo Stanton (never faced)


Gerrit Cole vs:

Mike Tauchman (never faced)

Nico Hoerner (never faced)

Ian Happ (0-for-2, K)

Bet: No Run First Inning (-120)


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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.