YRFI and NRFI MLB Best Bets for Sunday, September 3

By Jared Smith  (VSiN.com) 

September 3, 2023 08:50 AM

Best Bets on Today's MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets

I went 0-2 on Saturday’s best bets as my frustrating season continued. Frankly, we deserved better, especially in Houston, where both teams were retired easily in the first but then each pushed across two runs in the second. The result in Texas was also unfortunate as a two-out, two-strike home run from Adolis Garcia sank the NRFI. To be fair, both teams threatened in that inning, and the game flew over the total, but at worst, I felt I should have gone 1-1 yesterday. 

Barring a miraculous run over the final month, it’s clear to me I will not have a profitable season betting this market, despite my record still being slightly above the .500 mark. Part of that is bankroll management and poor selection by me, but I truly believe bad luck is heavily involved as well. I understand if some of you want to jump ship and focus on football, I don’t blame you based on my results, but I don’t quit a marathon on the final mile, so onward we go. 

Keep reading to find out my best bets for Sunday, September 3rd. 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: 54-52 (51.9%) -10.26u -4.4% ROI


Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Guardians

Taj Bradley is getting recalled from the minors to start his first game since late July. He made five starts during his stint in Triple-A and allowed at least one earned run in three of the five starts. His 11-5 (68.8%) NRFI record in the bigs this season is below league average. The Guardians have recorded a 35.3% (24-for-68) scoring rate in the first inning at home this season which is above average. The YRFI has hit in both games of this series so far with Cleveland scoring yesterday. 

Xzavion Curry has struggled in the first inning posting a 4-4 (50.0%) NRFI record this season and just 1-3 at home. He is allowing a .367 batting average against in the opening frame this season which is the highest of any pitcher starting today. The Rays have posted a 33.8% (23-for-68) scoring rate in the first inning on the road this season which is well above league average. 

I was able to find -110 in the market and would feel comfortable playing this up to -120 but not at the -140 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:

Taj Bradley vs.:

Steven Kwan (never faced)

Jose Ramirez (never faced)

Kole Calhoun (never faced)

Ramon Laureano (never faced)

Andres Gimenez (never faced)


Xzavion Curry vs.:

Yandy Diaz (2-for-3, 2B)

Brandon Lowe (0-for-2, K, BB)

Randy Arozarena (1-for-3, 2B)

Isaac Paredes (1-for-3, HR)

Luke Raley (0-for-2)

Bet: Yes Run First Inning (-140)


Toronto Blue Jays at Colorado Rockies

Kevin Gausman has posted an 18-8 (69.2%) NRFI record this season, but he’s been much better on the road at 9-3. His underlying data is solid with a 2.50 xFIP and 38.6% strikeout rate in the first inning this season. His 42.9% groundball rate is top 30 in the majors amongst starting pitchers this season, a crucial element to successfully navigating Coors Field. This Rockies lineup has been subpar all season long with just a 25.8% scoring rate at home this season, well below league average and inexplicable considering they play their games at altitude. Overall, they’ve failed to score an early run in four straight home games. 

Chase Anderson returns to the rotation today after spending the last five weeks on the IL with a sore shoulder. Prior to that, he posted a 10-2 (83%) to the NRFI this season with both of his blemishes coming at home. He faces a Blue Jays lineup that has recorded a below-average 25.6% (18-for-71) scoring rate on the road this season. This is obviously the tougher side of the matchup, but considering we are getting a nice plus-money price on the NRFI, I’m willing to take my chances in the top of the first. 

I was able to find +135 in the market, and I would feel comfortable playing this down to +125 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:

Kevin Gausman vs.:

Charlie Blackmon (6-for-17, 2B, 3B, 6 Ks, BB)

Ezequiel Tovar (never faced)

Ryan McMahon (2-for-9, 2B, HR, 3 Ks, BB)

Brendan Rodgers (1-for-6, 2B, 3 Ks)

Elias Diaz (1-for-9, HR)


Chase Anderson vs.:

George Springer (0-for-2, 2 Ks)

Davis Schneider (never faced)

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2-for-2, 2B)

Brandon Belt (4-for-20, HR, 5 Ks)

Alejandro Kirk (never faced)

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.