MLB picks Saturday 9/23: YRFI & NRFI best bets today: Judge strikes again in the Bronx

New York Yankees hitter Aaron Judge
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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

If you don’t like sitting around for an entire baseball game waiting for your bet to cash, the YRFI/NRFI market may be for you. Just reserve about 10 to 15 minutes to watch the first inning and forget about the rest. We have a ton of MLB action today, starting in New York 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.

Our YRFI/NRFI picks are available at DraftKings Sportsbook, and if you sign up right now, then you can bet $5 and secure $200 in bonus bets! Head over to DraftKings now by clicking this link.

New York Mets vs Philadelphia Phillies: NRFI (-125)

To get this Saturday started, I’m backing a scoreless first inning at Citizens Bank Park. Jose Quintana did not start his season with the Mets until mid-July after rehabbing a fractured rib, but he’s been consistent in the Mets’ rotation. Through 11 starts, Quintana is pitching to a 3.02 ERA while giving the Mets at least 5.0 innings in each of his starts. Of those 11 starts, Quintana has surrendered 2 or more earned runs on just 2 occasions. In addition to that, Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper are a combined 1-for-12 lifetime against Quintana and Trea Turner is in the middle of an 0-for-13 slump.

The head-to-head matchups for Phillies’ starter Zack Wheeler haven’t been quite as good. Brandon Nimmo (.297), Francisco Lindor (.269), and Pete Alonso (.357) each have at least 26 at-bats against Wheeler and they’ve all found success. Jeff McNeil is the lone wolf, hitting just .172 in 29 tries. Even with the Mets winning the head-to-head matchup, I prefer Wheeler given how well he’s pitched since the All-Star break. Wheeler owns a 3.63 ERA on the year and a 3.05 ERA in 12 outings since the break, giving the Phillies at least 6.0 innings in 11 of those 12 starts. Most importantly, he’s given up first-inning runs in just 3 of those 12 outings.

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Arizona Diamondbacks vs New York Yankees: YRFI (-115)

For my second pick, we’re going to stay on the east coast, but instead back some first-inning action at Yankee Stadium. On Friday, the D-Backs were held to just 1 run after plating 27 in their previous 4 games, while the Yankees erupted for 7 runs on 12 hits. Leading the way in that effort was Aaron Judge, who finished the day a perfect 4-for-4 with 3 home runs and 6 RBIs. I think Judge and company have a great opportunity to get on the board early against the D-Backs’ starting pitcher Zach Davies. Across 17 starts, Davies is pitching to a career-high 6.81 ERA and 5.29 xERA and has given up first-inning runs in 3 of his 4 outings in September.

The Yankees will also send out a struggling starter when left-hander Carlos Rodon takes the hill. Rodon owns a 5.90 ERA and 1.36 WHIP across 12 starts and has really struggled to put things together this season. One of the biggest areas of emphasis for Rodon has been his inability to limit home runs. Through 58.0 innings, Rodon has given up 14 homers, with at least 1 in 11 of his 12 outings. To put that into perspective, Rodon allowed just 12 home runs last season in 31 starts and 178.0 innings with the San Francisco Giants. With the short porch in right field, it leaves Rodon susceptible to some early damage.

You can also read today’s MLB mega parlay

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