MLB picks Friday 9/22: YRFI & NRFI best bets today: Braves' bats too hot to handle

Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley (27) reacts after hitting an RBI double against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Citizens Bank 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

Don’t like sitting around for the entirety of a baseball game to watch your bet cash? Well then, the YRFI/NRFI market may be your new favorite betting strategy. Just reserve about 10 to 15 minutes to watch the first inning and forget about the other eight. We have all 30 teams in action today, starting in Chicago with the Cubs and ending in Los Angeles with the Dodgers. 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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Atlanta Braves vs Washington Nationals: YRFI (-120)

The regular season is quickly coming to an end, and no team has figured out a way to slow down the Atlanta Braves’ lineup. Last night, the Braves put on an absolute clinic at the dish, scoring 10 runs on 18 hits, with every starter aside from Marcell Ozuna recording a hit. The Nationals starting pitcher Jake Irvin lasted just 2.2 innings and couldn’t escape an endless third in which he threw an absurd 50 pitches before getting yanked. The Braves didn’t get on the board in the first inning last night, but it’s been a trademark of their success all season long, with 137 first inning runs in 153 games.

With Patrick Corbin on the mound for the Nationals tonight, I foresee the Braves jumping out to an early lead. Through 30 starts, Corbin is pitching to a 5.00 ERA and 1.47 WHIP, which are improvements from seasons prior, but it’s still well below league average. Corbin owns a 5.90 xERA, a career-low 16.2% strikeout rate, and a 43.4% hard-hit rate. While my analysis is certainly backing the Braves while fading Corbin, I also have some faith in the Nats to get on the board against a struggling Charlie Morton. Through 29 starts, Morton has still been extremely efficient with his 3.66 ERA, but he’s begun to slide in the month of September, pitching to a 7.36 ERA across 3 starts. Don’t be surprised to see the Nats put together some quality at-bats and cause problems for Morton. Back the first inning over.

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Detroit Tigers vs Oakland Athletics: NRFI (-138)

For my second pick, we head to the Oakland Coliseum where I’m projecting a scoreless first inning with 2 below-average lineups. On the season, the Detroit Tigers and Oakland A’s rank 29th and 30th in runs scored, while the A’s haven’t scored more than 3 runs in a game since September 12. I don’t think that changes anytime soon either, especially going up against Detroit starter Sawyer Gipson-Long. Gipson-Long only has 10.0 innings of MLB experience, but he’s allowed just 3 earned runs on 6 hits and recorded 11 strikeouts against the Angels his last time out.

The A’s counter with left-hander Ken Waldichuk, who makes his 21st start and 34th appearance of the season. On the season, Waldichuk owns a 5.40 ERA and 1.58 WHIP, but his second half to the season has been a major improvement from where it started. After beginning the season in the starting rotation and posting an abysmal 6.85 ERA across 9 starts, Waldichuk was moved to the bullpen to work on his stuff. The move seems to have worked, and since August 7, Waldichuk is pitching to a 3.02 ERA while going at least 4.0 innings in each of his 8 appearances (6 starts). I’m siding with a scoreless first inning in Oakland.

This game is also involved in our expert’s MLB best bets for Friday

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