MLB picks Friday 8/11: YRFI & NRFI best bets today - Civale shuts down Guardians

Tampa Bay Rays Starting pitcher Aaron Civale (34) delivers in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
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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
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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 first inning and let the chips fall where they may. We have all 30 teams in action today, starting in Tampa Bay and winding down in San Francisco. So, let’s get right into it, and don’t forget to check out our MLB picks for every game today.

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Cleveland Guardians vs Tampa Bay Rays: NRFI (-102)

The Cleveland Guardians and Tampa Bay Rays are both in tight division races, with each team within 3.5 games of the first-place team they’re trailing. Division races aside, tonight’s storyline is Aaron Civale’s matchup against his former team. Civale was sent to Tampa Bay at the trade deadline after spending his first 4-and-a-half seasons with the Guardians and is having himself a career year. Through 14 starts, Civale owns a 2.55 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 3.74 xERA. Civale had a rough debut with the Rays after surrendering 3 earned runs in 4.1 innings, but was lights out in the month of July, pitching to a 1.45 ERA over 7 starts. I think this could serve as a bounce-back spot for Civale, especially at a time when the Guardians have plated only 6 runs in their last 4 games.

Cleveland counters with right-hander Xzavion Curry, who has primarily served out of the bullpen this season but will be given the chance to eat some early innings tonight. Curry has appeared in 29 games for the Guardians, 4 of which have been starts, and owns a 2.95 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, with opposing lineups hitting .236. The underlying metrics for Curry aren’t great, especially his 5.13 xERA and 46.7% hard-hit rate, but the results can’t be disputed. Curry has only given up 5 earned runs over his last 21.1 innings and hardly ever allows a walk. Don’t expect Curry to overpower an opposing lineup, but he’s been a reliable arm for Cleveland and has been used in a variety of roles. I’m backing a scoreless first inning in Tampa Bay.

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San Diego Padres vs Arizona Diamondbacks: NRFI (+104)

The Padres and D-backs will play each other 7 times in the next 10 days then won’t see one another for the remainder of the regular season. For two teams still fighting for an NL Wild Card spot, we could get a much clearer picture by the end of next weekend on whether either of these teams will cause some disruption. One thing is clear as day – the Dodgers are still the team to beat in the NL West, despite the high expectations for San Diego and the hot start out of Arizona. It was less than a month ago (July 19) that the D-backs were 54-42 and atop the Wild Card standings. Since then, Arizona has gone 3-16 and has scored fewer runs in the month of August than any other team in the MLB.

The D-backs are currently riding an 8-game losing skid, whereas the Padres have dropped 4 straight. I don’t foresee the D-backs’ offense improving tonight when they go up against the hottest pitcher in all of baseball. Blake Snell hasn’t improved his command whatsoever as he’s walked 30 batters over his last 37 innings. However, if we look at his last 13 starts, Snell is putting up ridiculous numbers. Since May 31, Snell has given up 8 earned runs, and 3 of those came in his last outing against the Dodgers. That’s good for a 0.97 ERA and is a good enough reason for me to back a scoreless first inning.

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