MLB picks Friday 8/19: YRFI & NRFI best bets today

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval (43) pitches in the third inning of the game against the New York Mets at Angel Stadium.
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Keith

MLB · 1 month ago

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A Bostonian with a love for stats and baseball. Using knowledge and passion to find the right bet in MLB, NBA, NFL, and more. A lover of bold sports takes and sweat free plus odds picks.

One of the shortest-lasting bets you can make in an MLB game is if a run will be scored in the first inning. All it takes is 6 outs to glory, but one swing of the bat can make or break your bet. There is also a lot of value in these bets because the odds are usually very well priced and if you’re not a fan of sweating out your bets for 3 hours, this one will take only about 15 minutes to win or lose.

There are 2 YRFI/NRFI bets I like today, so let’s get right into it.

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Los Angeles Angels vs Detroit Tigers: NRFI (-140)

Both of these teams have less than two months left in their seasons since neither will be competing in postseason baseball. However, Friday night’s matchup will feature a solid pitching matchup between these two lackluster clubs. L.A.’s Patrick Sandoval will make his 20th start of the season and has had a rough second half of the year with an 0-3 record and a 4.26 ERA, but he has been dominant in the first inning. Opponents have a .191 batting average and nearly a 27% strikeout rate against the Angels lefty in the first inning this season. He has not allowed a first inning run in his last 3 starts, and based on Detroit’s recent top of the order, Sandoval will never have faced the top 3 hitters in the Tigers lineup.

Matt Manning has made only 5 starts for the Tigers in 2022, but he has already become a solid name in the NRFI market. He has held opponents to a .222 batting average in the first inning during his 5 starts and has seemed the sharpest in the first frame. The Angels have scored a first inning run in just 2 of their last 10 games, and even with Mike Trout possibly returning on Friday night I don’t see them putting up a run in the first frame. Anticipate another NRFI with Manning and Sandoval on the mound.

Texas Rangers vs Minnesota Twins: NRFI (-115)

Martin Perez has been the ace of the staff for the Rangers this season. That feels weird to say since he was horrific on the mound in Boston last season, but Perez has found his rhythm in Arlington. The lefty has also been a friend to the NRFI backers, as he has a 1.17 ERA and allows a batting average of only .195 in the first inning. He has not allowed a first-inning run in 7 consecutive starts, and some of those outings were against excellent first inning scoring teams such as the Astros, Mariners and Twins.

I backed the NRFI in Dylan Bundy’s last start and he went 1-2-3 in the first inning, but the Twins’ batters burned me with a Carlos Correa solo shot. Now with Perez on the mound instead of Reid Detmers, I’m once again backing a Bundy NRFI. He has been excellent in the first frame all season with a 3.15 ERA and has held opponents to a .227 batting average. His scoreless half frame against the Angels in his last start was his 7th consecutive outing of not allowing a first-inning run, and now that he is facing a weaker Texas lineup I think Bundy can make it 8 in a row. Back the NRFI in Minnesota.

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