MLB picks Tuesday, 9/26 - YRFI & NRFI best bets today: Tampa Bay is a YRFI wagon
There is less than a week to go in the 2023 Major League Baseball regular season and we are coming down the home stretch with a more-than-full 16-game slate on Tuesday. That’s because the Dodgers and Rockies are facing off in a doubleheader. Also on the schedule are Yankees vs Blue Jays, Rays vs Red Sox and Astros vs Mariners.
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 is my favorite YRFI/NRFI play for Tuesday, and also be sure to check out all of our MLB picks.
New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays: NRFI (-140)
There is no need to overthink this one: the pitching matchup is such that you have to like the NRFI. Kevin Gausman will be taking the mound for Toronto in the top of the first inning and he is sporting a 3.29 ERA, including a 3.18 mark in September. Gausman’s most recent start came against none other than the Yankees last Wednesday and he pitched 6.0 innings of shutout baseball with 10 strikeouts. The veteran right-hander will be opposed by Michael King, who has been red hot. King is posting a 1.66 ERA through 21.2 innings in September, which has lowered his overall ERA to 2.66. He went toe-to-toe with Gausman last week and allowed only 1 run in 7.0 innings while mowing down 13 batters.
Nobody in Toronto’s lineup has ever done anything notable against King. Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Aaron Judge have enjoyed some success at Gausman’s expense in the past, but not to the extent that I’m overly concerned. Given how Gausman took care of the entire Yankees order last week (including Judge, who went 0-for-2 with 2 Ks), you should feel good about the NRFI.
Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox: YRFI (-104)
Tampa Bay is an absolute YRFI machine at the moment. The Rays have scored at least 1 run in the first inning of 4 consecutive contests and 8 early runs in total during this stretch. Factor the opponent into the equation and this team has played 8 straight games in which at least 1 run has been scored in the opening frame.
I see no reason why you should expect the trend to end on Tuesday. Tanner Houck is taking the mound for Boston and he is 5-9 with a 4.92 ERA. The right-hander faced Tampa Bay on June 4 and allowed 4 runs in 5.0 innings. The Rays are countering with Zach Eflin, who is in solid form but has struggled in this matchup. Rafael Devers is 5-for-8 lifetime with 2 home runs against the righty, Justin Turner is 4-for-14 with a pair of doubles and Adam Duvall is 7-for-20 with 2 homers. Eflin saw the Red Sox earlier this month and surrendered 3 runs on 5 hits in 5.0 innings. I think each side has a good chance of crossing the plate right away in this one.