MLB picks Sunday 10/8: YRFI & NRFI best bets today: Quick start in Houston

Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez (59) looks up before the first pitch against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park
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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

The MLB Divisional Series began on Saturday with a quartet of fascinating matchups, including a couple of big upsets in the National League. While there are plenty of ways to wager on all of the action this postseason, one of the quickest bets you can make is if a run will be scored in the first inning. Even at this point in the season, 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 the season on a 38-20 run with my YRFI/NRFI plays, so let’s keep this momentum going! But before we dive in, don’t forget to check out our MLB picks for each of today’s postseason matchups.

Minnesota Twins vs Houston Astros: NRFI (-120)

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing. 

Seeing as we have only a 2-game slate in store on Sunday, I have only one pick in the YRFI/NRFI market for Sunday’s Divisional Series games. And for this pick, I’ll be going with the NRFI in this AL showdown between the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros. This is a series that I believe to be long from over, and I’d certainly favor the Twins in the starting pitching department. One area where both teams should see success early is one the mound, so we’ll start with what the hosts will be throwing out there.

Framber Valdez takes the mound for the host Astros, who are looking to build on a series-opening win. Valdez had an extremely inconsistent final few months, allowing 6 runs in 3 of his last 10 outings while walking 24 batters in that span. However, he should get off to a good start against a Twins team that should start a bit slow again at the plate in front of a hostile Houston crowd.

With the Astros turning to a starter who has excelled in the playoffs in his career, the Twins have Pablo Lopez to rely on for what is essentially a must-win Game 2 on the road. Lopez has been flat-out terrific since joining the team this season, posting an ERA of under 3.50 while striking out nearly 8 batters per every 9 IP. Lopez already turned the Blue Jays lineup into mush and while the Astros are a much tougher team, I expect another solid outing from the Venezuelan native, one that could move him into rarified air (you’ll see). I could very well see both teams going down in order in the opening frame, so let’s back the NRFI in Houston for Game 2 of this Division Series matchup. 

You can also read our Twins vs Astros Same Game Parlay

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