Best Bets on Today's MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets
I went 1-1 on Friday’s best bets with the YRFI hitting in Houston but losing in the Bronx. We deserved better from the Yankees who had two on and nobody out in the bottom of the first but failed to score off Colin Rea. Two innings later, rookie Jasson Dominguez slugged his fourth homer in six games, but sadly it was one at bat too late for us to cash. On the flip side, Blake Snell’s struggles in the opening frame continued as he gave up an RBI single to Yordan Alvarez. If I can just summon the gambling gods to grant me some good fortune, I feel confident I can go on a run down the stretch and get back close to breakeven on the season.
Keep reading to find out my best bets for Saturday, September 9th. 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: 56-54 (50.9%) -9.96u -4.1% ROI
Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago Cubs
Merrill Kelly is 19-6 (76%) to the NRFI this season which is above league average. The long ball has been a concern lately, with Kelly allowing 1.3 HR/9 over his last seven starts, up slightly from his overall rate of 1.03 HR/9 this season. He draws a Cubs lineup that has posted a 37%(27-for-73) scoring rate at home this season which is well above league average.
Justin Steele is 22-4 (84.6%) to the NRFI this season with elite data across the board. His recent form has also been stellar with a 2.61 xFIP over his last seven starts, the lowest of any starting pitcher on the board today. He draws a Diamondbacks lineup that has posted a 37.7% (26-for-69) scoring rate on the road this season which is well above average and actually leads the majors. That rate doesn’t concern me as much because Steele will be amongst the toughest pitchers Arizona has faced on the road all season. Lefties also do a better job neutralizing rookie sensation Corbin Carroll whose OPS drops over 200 points when facing southpaws this season compared to righties.
I was able to find -135 available in the market and would feel comfortable playing this up to -140 but not at the absurd -155 price currently being offered by DraftKings at the time of publication. Here’s how the starting pitchers have fared against the projected top of each lineup:
Merrill Kelly vs.:
Mike Tauchman (0-for-3, 2 Ks, BB)
Nico Hoerner (0-for-4, K)
Ian Happ (2-for-5, 2B, K)
Cody Bellinger (6-for-22, 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 5 Ks, 2 BBs)
Dansby Swanson (1-for-9, 2 Ks)
Justin Steele vs.:
Ketel Marte (0-for-5)
Emmanuel Rivera (never faced)
Tommy Pham (2-or-4, 2B, BB)
Christian Walker (1-for-5, K)
Evan Longoria (0-for-2, K)
Bet: No Run First Inning (-135)
Pittsburgh Pirates at Atlanta Braves
Johan Oviedo is 18-10 (64.3%) to the NRFI this season which is below league average. His recent form has been trending down with a 5.60 xFIP and just 6.6 K/9 over his last seven starts. He draws the toughest assignment in all of baseball, the Atlanta Braves, who lead the majors with a 48.6% scoring rate in the first inning at home this season.
Dylan Dodd is getting recalled from the minor leagues to make his first start since June. The numbers were not great during his earlier stint in the rotation with a 7.44 ERA, and things haven’t improved since with an ugly 6.55 ERA and 5.28 xFIP in Triple-A. The Pirates have a 27% scoring rate in the first inning on the road this season which is basically league average. I like the matchups at the top of the order with right-handed hitters Ke’Bryan Hayes, Bryan Reynolds, Liover Peguero, and Connor Joe all with above-average numbers against lefties since August 1st.
I was able to find -125 available in the market and would feel comfortable playing this up to -140 but not at the -145 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:
Johan Oviedo vs.:
Ronald Acuna Jr. (never faced)
Ozzie Albies (never faced)
Austin Riley (never faced)
Matt Olson (never faced)
Marcell Ozuna (0-for-1, K)
Dylan Dodd vs.:
Ke’Bryan Hayes (never faced)
Bryan Reynolds (never faced)
Liover Peguero (never faced)
Connor Joe (never faced)
Miguel Andujar (never faced)
Bet: Yes Run First Inning (-145)
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