Best Bets on Today's MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets
The 2023 MLB season is underway and VSiN has you covered with every way you can possibly bet on a baseball game. I'm tackling YRFI and NRFI markets here, where you only have to sweat out your bet for about 15 minutes. These markets have increased in popularity over the last couple of years and I will do my best to find you the edge.
We went 2-0 in yesterday's column and have gotten off to a solid 7-3 start so far with the YRFI and NRFI picks I've written up for VSiN. For consistency's sake, let's make all wagers a flat risk of 1.5 units. Keep reading to find out my best bets for Sunday, May 14th.
(All odds via DraftKings)
Chicago Cubs at Minnesota Twins
Marcus Stroman puts his perfect 8-0 NRFI record to the test in this interleague series finale. The righty’s overall numbers have been pretty solid too, pitching to a 2.28 ERA and 3.37 FIP in his 2nd season with Chicago. He’ll face the top of the Twins lineup which pushed across a run in the first inning yesterday for just the ninth time all season thanks to a wall-scraping home run off the bat of Alex Kirilloff, who has never faced Stroman before. The other top-dwellers in the Twins lineup, Byron Buxton (1-for-2), Jorge Polanco (1-for-2), and Carlos Correa (3-for-8) all have limited exposure against Stroman.
Louie Varland is coming off his best start of the season for the Twins, allowing just one run over 6.0 solid innings against the Padres last time out. His NRFI record leaves something to be desired at just 1-2, but his xFIP in the first inning is significantly lower than his actual FIP (13.29 to 3.46) so it’s fair to say he’s gotten unlucky in the opening frame. He also has yet to allow an early run in three career starts at Target Field and will get his first look at the Cubs lineup, which is always advantage NRFI. Chicago has been below average scoring early runs on the road this season with a rate of just 23.5% (4-for-17).
Considering this is also one of the lowest totals on the board with game-time temperatures barely touching 60 degrees in Minneapolis this afternoon, I’ll take my chances on a sleepy start in the Twin Cities.
Bet: No Run First Inning (-135)
Philadelphia Phillies at Colorado Rockies
Almost 25% of the way through the regular season the worst-performing first-inning offense at home throughout all of MLB is the Colorado Rockies. It’s hard to believe considering their home games consistently feature the highest totals on the board and they play at altitude, but the pebbles have only scored an early run in 11% of their games at Coors Field so far this season (2-for-18). Besides variance, there’s really no logical explanation for this, but we can try to capitalize on Colorado’s struggles when the opportunity presents itself, which I believe it does today.
Aaron Nola and Kyle Freeland have a combined 11-5 NRFI record this season, and both pitchers have xFIPs lower than their actual FIPs, so it’s fair to say they have also been slightly unlucky in the opening frame. The Phillies lineup really struggles against lefties this season, especially early, with the second lowest wRC+ against southpaws in the opening frame this season.
This game features one of the lower totals you will see for a game at Coors Field, which is your first indicator that we might get through the first inning unscathed. The game-time temperature in Denver is also barely expected to touch 50 degrees, with a slight breeze blowing in from centerfield, so environmental factors might also aid us with this wager.
Bet: No Run First Inning (+115)
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