MLB picks Friday 9/15: YRFI & NRFI best bets today: Pitchers' duel in Seattle

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby (68) reacts after getting a strikeout against the Texas Rangers to end the top of the seventh inning at T-Mobile Park.
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Caleb Wilfinger


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Deputy Editor for Pickswise with years of experience handicapping and giving out winning picks. Lover of all US sports and Southampton FC. For Caleb Wilfinger media enquiries, please email
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With plenty of MLB games taking place each day, one of the quickest bets you can make is if a run will be scored in the first inning. There is value to be had and this market has become very popular over time. If you don’t like sweating out your bets for 3 hours, this one will take only about 15 minutes.

I’m on a 30-14 run with my YRFI/NRFI plays, so let’s keep this momentum going! But before we dive in, don’t forget to check out our MLB picks for each of today’s matchups.

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Los Angeles Dodgers vs Seattle Mariners: NRFI (-120)

For my first pick on today’s slate, I’m going with the NRFI in this matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners. Both of these young pitchers have been stellar this season and I expect that outlook to hold in this contest. George Kirby gets the ball for the Mariners and the right-hander has been excellent this season with a 3.48 ERA and 3.89 xERA. Kirby has the 6th-shortest odds for the AL Cy Young award despite being only 25, a sign that he should be a great pitcher for this Mariners squad for years to come. Even with the firepower Los Angeles has at the top of the lineup, the Dodgers don’t have any experience against Kirby. The righty should set down Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and company in short order.

Kirby will be opposed by Bobby Miller, who has tremendous stuff and will be a future NL Cy Young Award winner and ace of this Dodgers staff in my view. Miller has done nothing but impress since being called up, as he holds above-average marks in xERA, walk percentage and ground-ball rate. The hard-throwing right-hander got off to a slow start against Washington in his most recent outing, before rallying to toss 7 innings while striking out 8 hitters. I like that we’re getting to back Miller in a pitchers’ park and I’m expecting a clean first inning from this future ace.

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Chicago Cubs vs Arizona Diamondbacks: NRFI (-110)

For my second pick on Friday’s card, I’ll be backing another NRFI, this time in Arizona where the Diamondbacks are hosting the Chicago Cubs. Any time that Justin Steele gets the ball for Chicago, I’m instantly looking at taking a NRFI. For my money, Steele should be the National League Cy Young Award winner for the season he’s had in 2023. The Cubs left-hander holds an ERA of 2.49 and is riding a tremendous run of form over his last 10 outings, especially in his 3 most recent outings where he’s surrendered just 1 earned run while striking out 21 batters over his last 26 innings pitched. I’m expecting another quick inning from Steele against this average Diamondbacks offense.

On the other side, Arizona will be countering with Brandon Pfaadt, who has a ghastly 6.25 ERA on the season. However, the right-hander has a significantly lower xERA of 4.94, showing that some serious positive regression is long overdue for the Diamondbacks starter. I expect him to limit the damage against this Cubs offense, at least in the opening frame.

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