MLB picks Friday 9/16: YRFI & NRFI best bets today - Jesus Luzardo locks down the Nationals

Miami Marlins pitcher Jesus Luzardo
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Mark Lammey


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I've been a capper since my love for sports met my proficiency with numbers and math. The NFL and NCAAF have always been my first loves, followed by the NHL. Although I prefer sports that involve hitting people, I still love capping MLB, soccer, tennis, and even some esports. Living in Florida has its perks like year-round sports of any kind. For Mark Lammey media enquiries, please email
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We’ve got a full MLB Friday slate to get our weekend started. It’s a perfect day for it while we wait for more NFL action in a couple of days. While that season is just kicking off, we have some heated matchups with teams battling for playoff spots. Some teams have also all but solidified their spots. That can make sides a bit more difficult to predict. That’s why we have a very specific market targeted for you. By predicting if a run will be scored in the 1st inning or not, we can boost your bankroll in just about 15 minutes. There are plenty of games, and we’ve broken down the top spots. Along with these early plays, be sure to check out our MLB picks for all of today’s games.

Let’s take a closer look at my 2 favorite YRFI/NRFI bets for today.

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Miami Marlins vs Washington Nationals: NRFI (-130)

It’s not quite the first game of the day, but it’s the earliest of the evening slate. The 2 worst teams in the NL East are battling it out for the next 2 weekends, beginning with this game. We’re targeting this matchup as these are both teams with depleted lineups. The Marlins have been the worst offense in the league since the all-star break, having scored more than 3 runs just a handful of times. That also has them as the lowest-scoring team in the 1st inning. That’s something Nationals starter Josiah Gray can take advantage of. He’s faced the Marlins 4 times this season and held them scoreless in the 1st inning in 3 of them. 

However, that one outlier involved players no longer in the lineup. That 1 run was driven in by Jesus Aguilar and Jazz Chisholm. On top of that, even Jorge Soler is still on the injured list. Similarly, the Nats lineup is a shell of what it once was. They traded away superstar Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the Padres at the trade deadline. Now they have to face Marlins lefty Jesus Luzardo. He hasn’t faced Washington this season, but has shut down the league’s best lineups recently. That includes the Dodgers, Braves, Mets, and Phillies all within his last 6 starts. This is simply a situation of the talent on the mound outperforming the hitters at the plate. 

Be sure to check out our full Miami Marlins vs Washington Nationals predictions

San Diego Padres vs Arizona Diamondbacks: NRFI (-115)

We’re going to have to wait for the nightcap for our last play, but our options are limited. Admittedly, Diamondbacks home games are usually a spot to target run production. However, the specific matchups in this battle of lefties is impossible to ignore. Let’s first break down Padres lefty Blake Snell and his biggest threats. That would be Ketel Marte and Christian Walker of Arizona. Marte’s 38 doubles are among the league leaders, but he’s just 2-for-20 for a .100 average against Snell. Similarly, power-hitter Walker is an embarrassing 0-for-15 against him. Those are no small sample sizes either. 

The same is the case for veteran lefty Madison Bumgarner. His biggest threats at the top of the Padres lineup would be Manny Machado and Juan Soto. Machado’s 152 hits are among the league leaders, but he’s just 8-for-37 against Mad Bum for a .216 average. As for Soto, he doesn’t have as much experience against him due to being a long-time National. However, he’s still 0-for-6 against Bumgarner. Arizona has some hitter-friendly conditions, but there’s been a run scored in the 1st inning just once at Chase Field during the season series between these teams. Both teams are in the nearing bottom-5 territory in terms of average runs scored in the 1st inning, so expect a slow start to this series opener.   

Be sure to check out our full San Diego Padres vs Arizona Diamondbacks predictions

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