MLB picks Saturday, 7/29 - YRFI & NRFI best bets today: It's an Adam Wainwright day in St. Louis

Best MLB player prop bets for today 6/4: Rangers run through Adam Wainwright
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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 weekend in Major League Baseball continues on Saturday with a full 15-game slate, which is a highlighted by a couple of regionally televised showdowns on FOX (Boston vs San Francisco and Tampa Bay vs Houston). Meanwhile, one of the afternoon contests pits Detroit against Miami on FS1. Needless to say, there is plenty to work with in an effort to come up with some successful YRFI/NRFI bets.

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 Saturday, and also be sure to check out all of our MLB picks.

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Minnesota Twins vs Kansas City Royals: NRFI (+104)

I’m generally keen on any NRFI that you can get at plus-money. There are obviously exceptions to this rule, but this game between Minnesota and Kansas City does not qualify. You especially have to like the Twins’ chances of throwing a blank in the opening frame. Bailey Ober is toeing the rubber and he is 6-4 with a 2.76 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. His ERA through 4 starts in July is 2.16 and he has allowed a first-inning tally just once in his last 10 appearances. The right-hander now faces as Kansas City bunch that is #24 in the league in first-inning runs scored.

Now, can Kansas City counter with a scoreless effort in the bottom of the first? Why not? Jordan Lyles may have awful numbers in 2023, but he has compiled a 3.38 ERA through 3 July outings and has pitched a scoreless opener in 2 of those 3 (the exception coming against the Yankees). Nobody near the top of the Twins’ lineup has ever done anything of note against Lyles throughout their careers; Carlos Correa, for example, is 4-for-21 lifetime. Give me the NRFI at plus-money odds.

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Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals: NRFI (-128)

The third game of this series between National League Central rivals will see Jameson Taillon of Chicago going up against St. Louis veteran Adam Wainwright. Taillon is 4-6 with a 5.75 ERA to go along with a 1.40 WHIP this season and he has allowed a first-inning run (or multiple) in 3 of his last 6 starts. Wainwright, 41, comes in with a laughable 7.31 ERA in addition to a 1.92 WHIP. The right-hander has pitched to the YRFI in each of his past 2 outings, giving up a total of 4 first-inning runs during this stretch.

The head-to-head matchup also bodes well for runs being scored early and often. Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado is 7-for-11 lifetime against Taillon, who is saddled with a 5.40 ERA against St. Louis as a whole so far this year. Things are even worse for Wainwright, who surrendered 7 runs on 11 hits to the Cubs in just 3.0 innings of work on June 24. Ian Happ, who bats third in Chicago’s order, is 13-for-34 (.382) all time at Wainwright’s expense with 3 doubles and a ridiculous 6 home runs. All things considered, you just have to love the YRFI in this particular matchup between a Cardinals team that plated 1 in the first on Friday and a Cubs squad that has won 7 in a row and has scored an amazing 49 total runs during this hot streak. 

You can also read our MLB mega parlay and today’s top baseball player props

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