YRFI and NRFI MLB Best Bets for Saturday, September 2

By Jared Smith  (VSiN.com) 

September 2, 2023 09:10 AM

Best Bets on Today's MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets

I went 1-1 on Friday’s best bets as I continue to ride the highs and lows of betting this market. Both the Marlins and Nationals scored in the first inning, so NRFI was the dead nuts wrong side in that game. Later in Kansas City, we had to sweat a bit, but eventually, James Paxton served up a pair of dingers to Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Perez who went back-to-back and cashed the YRFI. It continues to be the NRFI side of the market that torments me the most. I’m not sure if it’s my process or just plain bad luck, but my spreadsheet indicates I’ve been much stronger at capping the YRFI this season. Take that for what you will as we push onward. 

Keep reading to find out my best bets for Saturday, September 2nd. 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: 54-50 (51.9%) -6.26u -2.7% ROI


New York Yankees at Houston Astros

Luis Severino has a dismal 9-7 (56.3%) NRFI record this season and just 4-5 on the road. His recent form has been slightly better than expected with a 4.56 ERA in August, a far cry from his 11.22 mark in July. The top of the Astros lineup might be without Jose Altuve, who left Friday’s game after fouling a ball off his leg. Altuve’s absence isn’t a huge concern if you consider the other top sluggers in Houston’s lineup have all seen plenty of Severino with good power numbers against him. The Astros have posted a 32.8% (22-for-67) scoring rate in the first inning this season which is slightly above average. 

Hunter Brown has posted a 17-7 (70.8%) NRFI record this season which is just below average. His recent form is trending down with a 6.23 ERA and five home runs allowed in just 21.2 innings pitched last month. The Yankees lineup got a jolt of energy last night from rookie Jasson Dominguez, who homered off Justin Verlander in his first big league at bat. DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton also took Verlander deep last night. Overall, the Yankees lineup has posted a 28.8% (19-for-66) scoring rate in the first inning on the road this season which is slightly above average. 

I was able to find +100 in the market and would feel comfortable playing this up to -115 which was the price offered by DraftKings at the time of publication. Here’s how the starting pitchers have fared against the projected top of each lineup:

Luis Severino vs.:

Jose Altuve (9-for-33, 2B, HR, 7 Ks)

Alex Bregman (4-for-23, 2 2Bs, HR, 5 Ks, 2 BBs)

Yordan Alvarez (2-for-9, HR, 4 Ks, 2 BBs)

Kyle Tucker

Chas McCormick


Hunter Brown vs.:

DJ LeMahieu (0-for-2)

Aaron Judge (never faced)

Anthony Volpe (0-for-2)

Giancarlo Stanton

Jasson Dominguez

Bet: Yes Run First Inning (-115)


Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers

Dallas Keuchel has surprised everyone including me by posting a clean 3-0 NRFI record since being recalled by the Twins last month. Perhaps he found something in the minors, where he’s logged almost 70 innings over the last two seasons. I’m not saying he is going to throw a no-hitter, but he’s pitching to a 3.50 ERA in his first 18 innings back in the bigs with a 0.67 WHIP in the first inning. The Rangers offense has posted a 34.3% (23-for-67) scoring rate at home in the first inning this season but has trended down of late, especially against lefties. 

Jordan Montgomery has posted a subpar 18-8 (69.2%) NRFI record this season, but he’s done a good job limiting walks and home runs, which is why his xFIP in the first inning is below 4.00. Monty’s recent form has also been stellar with a .188 batting average against and 0.80 WHIP in the first inning last month. The Twins lineup has recorded a 24.4% (16-for-66) scoring rate on the road this season which is below average. Overall this season they have the third-lowest wRC+ vs. LHP in the first inning. 

I was able to find +100 in the market, and I would feel comfortable playing this up to -110 but not at the absurd -125 price being offered by DraftKings at the time of publication. Here’s how the starting pitchers have fared against the projected top of each lineup:

Dallas Keuchel vs.:

Marcus Semien (13-for-45, HR, 6 Ks, 4 BBs)

Corey Seager (3-for-8, K)

Nathaniel Lowe (2-for-6, 2B)

Adolis Garcia (0-for-4)

Mitch Garver (7-for-19, 2B, 2 Ks, BB)


Jordan Montgomery vs.:

Donovan Solano (1-for-3, K)

Jorge Polanco (2-for-9)

Jordan Luplow (1-for-6, 2B)

Carlos Correa (4-for-12, HR, 2 Ks, BB)

Royce Lewis (0-for-2, K)

Bet: No Run First Inning (-125)


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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.