MLB picks Monday, 8/28 - YRFI & NRFI best bets today: Buy the YRFI when Astros face Sale

Chris Sale warms up for the Boston Red Sox
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email
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The week in Major League Baseball begins with 14 games on Monday. It begins with the Angels visiting Philadelphia and the Yankees going on the road to Detroit, while the nightcap pits Arizona against the Dodgers. In between have an 8:10 pm ET showdown on FS1 between Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

The YRFI/NRFI market has become extremely popular in baseball betting. After all, you don’t have to sit around for 3 hours (or maybe a lot less now that games are not as long on average!) to see if your wager hits; the satisfaction (or in some cases disappointment) is immediate. It all comes down to the first inning.

Here are my favorite YRFI/NRFI plays for Monday, and also be sure to check out all of our MLB picks.

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Houston Astros vs Boston Red Sox: YRFI (-138)

The Astros and Red Sox faced each other last week and a ridiculous 53 total runs were scored in 4 games. Unsurprisingly, the YRFI cashed on all 4 occasions. I can’t see either Houston’s Cristian Javier or Boston’s Chris Sale being able to stop the barrage. When Javier faced the Red Sox last week it was a 9-4 win for the Astros as he allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in 5.0 innings. The last time Sale took the mound was a 7-5 victory for the Red Sox in which he gave up 4 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk in 5.0 innings.

Struggling against the ‘Stros is nothing new for Sale. Jose Altuve is 11-for-37 against him with 3 home runs; Alex Bregman is 6-for-16 with 2 homers; Yordan Alvarez is 4-for-4 with 1 HR and 1 double. The Sox aren’t quite as familiar with Javier, but both Rafael Devers and Adam Duvall have taken him deep. I expect at least 1 team – and maybe both – to cross the plate in the opening frame today.

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Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Dodgers: NRFI (-113)

A fantastic pitching matchup awaits fans in Los Angeles, as Bobby Miller of the Dodgers is going up against Zac Gallen of the Diamondbacks. Miller (7-3, 3.86 ERA) has compiled a 2.45 ERA this month and in 3 of his last 4 starts he has allowed no more than 1 earned run. He has surrendered a first-inning run just once in his last 4 appearances. Gallen (14-5, 3.11 ERA) has been even better. The right-hander is sporting a 2.01 ERA through 5 August outings and has given up a mere 2 runs in his last 19.1 innings of work. It was 10 appearances ago when Gallen last allowed a first-inning run.

There is no reason to think anything will change today. Mookie Betts (5-for-15) is the only hitter near the top of L.A.’s order who has enjoyed any success against Gallen. Freeman is 2-for-12 lifetime in the head-to-head matchup and Max Muncy is 2-for-20. The Dodgers’ lineup is scary of course, but they have crossed the plate just once in the first inning over their past 4 games. Meanwhile, nobody on Arizona has more than a single lifetime hit of Miller. Give me the NRFI.

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