YRFI and NRFI MLB Best Bets for Sunday, July 23

By Jared Smith  (VSiN.com) 

July 23, 2023 11:35 AM

Best Bets on Today's MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets

I went 1-1 on my best bets yesterday thanks to a Marcus Semien leadoff homer in the bottom of the first inning off Bobby Miller. I was not as fortunate in Milwaukee, as Adrian Houser held the dangerous Braves offense at bay, and rookie Allan Winans got through his first big league inning unscathed. One of those matchups we will be revisiting today as I try to end the week on a positive note. 

Keep reading to find out my best bets for Sunday, July 23rd. I recommend three units for each. All odds are via DraftKings, but be sure to shop around for the best line.

Best Bets Season Record: 36-34 (51.4%) -9.71u -7.1% ROI

Los Angeles Dodgers at Texas Rangers

Another relatively simple handicap like yesterday. Two pitchers with subpar numbers against two of the more consistent first-inning lineups in baseball. Texas had no trouble scoring an early run against Bobby Miller yesterday, and even without Corey Seager in the lineup, I feel confident they can get another one today off another Dodgers rookie. Emmet Sheehan is just 2-3 to the NRFI through his first five starts with a 7.71 xFIP in the first inning, which is the highest of any pitcher on the board today. He has also allowed at least three earned runs in each of his first two road starts, including an early run in each game. 

Martin Perez has posted a 12-6 NRFI record this season with an elevated xFIP above 5.00 in the first inning. The lefty has also seen plenty of this Dodgers lineup with 40 career plate appearances against. Los Angeles also has the second-highest wRC+ in the first inning against LHP this season. They failed to score an early run yesterday, but their 65.4% scoring rate on the road is an encouraging sign they will get one today.

The price of this wager is also key, as I’m seeing a huge difference from book to book. For example, I would not consider making this wager at DraftKings, where the YRFI was -150 at the time of publication. I was able to find a -130 at Caesars on Saturday night, and several shops are still offering a similar price as of Sunday morning. 

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

Emmet Sheehan vs.:

Marcus Semien (never faced)

Corey Seager (never faced)

Nathaniel Lowe (never faced)


Martin Perez vs.:

Mookie Betts (6-for-14, HR, 2 BBs)

Freddie Freeman (3-for-4, HR, K)

Will Smith (never faced)

Bet: Yes Run First Inning (-150)


Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics

Kyle Tucker’s two-out solo homer burned me on Friday night, and his at bat in the top of the first will most likely be the scariest part of this wager again today. The good news is Luis Medina has never faced Tucker in his career, which is always an advantage for the pitcher. The rest of Medina’s numbers in the opening frame this season have been solid, with a 6-2 NRFI record and xFIP below 4.00. Besides Tucker, the top of the Astros lineup has not been producing lately in the first inning, with Mauricio Dubon and Jeremy Pena both hitting below .300 on balls in play since June 1st.

The other side of this handicap is relatively simple. Hunter Brown has been one of the better rookie pitchers in baseball with a 14-4 NRFI record and 2.39 xFIP in the first inning, the 4th lowest mark in MLB amongst qualified right-handed starters. Oakland’s lineup has scored just twice in eight games since the All-Star break, which is about on pace with their mediocre 27% rate on the season. The price of this wager has been relatively consistent market-wide with -115 and -120 widely available at the time of publication, I would not play anything more expensive than -125. 

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

Hunter Brown vs.:

Tony Kemp (1-for-2, K)

Zack Gelof (never faced)

JJ Bleday (0-for-2, K)


Luis Medina vs.:

Mauricio Dubon (never faced)

Jeremy Pena (never faced)

Kyle Tucker (never faced)

Bet: No Run First Inning (-115)


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