MLB picks Monday 4/8: YRFI & NRFI best bets today: Runs expected in Minnesota

Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith (16) celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Dodger Stadium.
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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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The long wait is over! After an eventful offseason that featured plenty of moves that shook up the sport, the MLB regular season is finally here. While there are plenty of ways to wager on all of the action on the diamond this season, one of the quickest bets you can make is if a run will be scored in the first inning. There is still value to be had in this market, so it’s no wonder that these bets have become very popular over time. If you don’t like sweating out your wagers for 3 hours, this one will take only about 15 minutes.

I ended last season on a 42-23 run with my YRFI/NRFI plays so let’s keep that momentum going for the 2024 season! But before we dive in, don’t forget to check out our MLB picks for all of today’s games on the diamond.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Minnesota Twins: YRFI (-110)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -120.

Much has already been made of the elite quartet at the top of the Dodgers lineup, and those 4 hitters are a big reason why I’m targeting the YRFI in Minnesota for my first best bet in this market on Monday. It’s been damn near impossible to get Mookie Betts out this season, and being followed by Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith certainly doesn’t help opposing pitchers. To make matters worse for Minnesota, Bailey Ober is coming off arguably the worst opening start of any pitcher in the majors, surrendering 9 runs in just 1.1 innings pitched, good for a whopping 70.57 xERA. Ober will be opposed by James Paxton, whose scoreless first outing against the Giants wasn’t without flaws (5 walks, xERA of 3.46). The Dodgers are as good as it gets at the top of the lineup and Minnesota should see success against Paxton at home, so let’s go with the YRFI in the twin cities.

Read our full Los Angeles Dodgers vs Minnesota Twins predictions

Chicago Cubs vs San Diego Padres: NRFI (-110)

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -125.

One of the better value spots on the board in this market on Monday takes us back to San Diego, where the Padres will host the red-hot Cubs. Yu Darvish has been in rock solid form to start the 2024 season and I expect that to continue against Chicago at home. It helps that the Cubs have a trio of left-handed hitters in the top 6 of their lineup, and Darvish has thrived against lefties this season, striking out 11 of the 34 left-handed batters he’s faced while posting an ERA of 0.00 in those matchups to this point. On the other side, the Cubs are countering with Javier Assad on the mound, who stymied the Rockies to the tune of 6 scoreless innings in his first outing in 2024. The top of the Padres lineup is stacked with right-handed hitters, which should favor the righty on the mound (0.25 WHIP vs right-handers in his previous outing). Let’s back a scoreless first inning in San Diego.

Read our full Chicago Cubs vs San Diego Padres predictions

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