MLB picks Saturday 5/27: YRFI & NRFI best bets today: Scoreless in Seattle

Luis Castillo of the Seattle Mariners
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Kyle Lupas


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Born and raised in Northeast Pennsylvania and a former college baseball player, I'm an avid fan and handicapper of the MLB, NBA, NFL and NCAA's. Looking to find an edge by any means necessary. A lifelong Phillies fan, I was still unable to get my learner's permit the last time they made a postseason appearance. For Kyle Lupas media enquiries, please email

Don’t like sitting around for the entirety of a baseball game only for your bet to lose in the 9th inning? Well then, the YRFI/NRFI market is your new best betting strategy. Just reserve about 10 or 15 minutes to watch the 1st inning and let the chips fall where they may. Saturday’s 15-game slate sees every team in action, and I’ve got my eyes on a pair of games that show tremendous 1st-inning value. So, let’s get right into it, and don’t forget to check out our MLB picks on the side and total for every game today.

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Texas Rangers vs Baltimore Orioles: NRFI (-111)

At the beginning of the season, the Rangers and Orioles both had tremendous upside, but I’d be lying to say I predicted they’d have 2 of the top 3 records in the MLB now that we’re 50 games into the season. The Rangers put up 12 runs in a dominant showing last night, but I see today’s game getting off to a much slower start. Baltimore hands the ball off to right-hander Dean Kremer, whose 4.61 ERA might not impress, but his last 4 outings tell a different story. Through 4 starts in May, Kremer owns a 1.96 ERA and doesn’t hand out many free passes with a 6.6% walk rate.

The Rangers will counter with left-hander Andrew Heaney, who has pitched extremely well for his new team. If you factor out two blowup starts – one to kick off the season and another on May 3 – Heaney has done exactly what has been asked of him. Of his other 7 starts, he’s had 5 quality starts and two 5-inning shutouts. He’s also had a tremendous amount of success to begin ballgames, allowing just 2 earned runs in the 1st inning through 9 starts. The O’s are tough, but Heaney seems to have a great approach when starting off. I’m backing the pitchers and going with a scoreless 1st inning in Baltimore.

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Pittsburgh Pirates vs Seattle Mariners: NRFI (-138)

The full game total for this afternoon’s matchup between the Pirates and Mariners is set at just 7.5 runs, and my hypothesis is that bookmakers are expecting a pitcher’s duel. Vince Velasquez and Luis Castillo have both been superb for their respective ballclubs, and I’m expecting that to carry over into this game. Velasquez is having himself a career year since joining the Pirates, owning a 3.06 ERA and 1.16 WHIP across his first 7 outings. He did have to exit his last start with right elbow inflammation, but it doesn’t appear to be anything serious, and his rehab start went extremely well, throwing 4.2-shutout innings. With that impressive start, Velasquez has only surrendered 1 earned run over his last 25.2 innings.

Luis Castillo recorded his 1,000th career strikeout in his last outing, and the 30-year-old right-hander is far from being done. He’s having another spectacular season and bounced back from a 5-run outing against the Red Sox when he tossed a 6-inning shutout against the A’s his last time out. His hard-hit rate is way up from what he’s accustomed to, but his career-best 5.08 strikeout to walk ratio has bailed him out at times this season. I think both these pitchers bear down in the 1st inning and I think it’s a lower scoring game in general. Back a scoreless 1st in Seattle.

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