MLB Saturday NRFI/YRFI best bets 7/9: Pitchers' duel in the NL West

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (16) throws against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning at Oracle Park.
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Caleb Wilfinger


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With more than a dozen MLB games taking place each day, one of the quickest bets you can make is if a run will be scored in the first inning. There is value to be had and this market has become very popular over time. If you don’t like sweating out your bets for 3 hours, this one will only take 15 minutes.

Before we dive in, don’t forget to check out our free picks on the side and total for every MLB game today.

There are 2 NRFI/YRFI bets I like on Saturday, so let’s get right into it.

San Francisco Giants vs San Diego Padres NRFI (-165)

One of the better pitching matchups on Saturday comes in this NL West showdown between the Giants and Padres. Carlos Rodon gets the call for San Francisco, while Yu Darvish takes the mound for San Diego. Both of these starters have been strong in 2022, particularly in the opening frame. Rodon has surrendered a first-inning run in just 2 of his last 9 starts, while Darvish has done so in 1 of his last 5 appearances.

Both starters are coming off underwhelming efforts in their most recent outings. Rodon gave up 4 runs in only 5.0 innings against the Diamondbacks, while Darvish allowed 5 runs in 6 IP against the Dodgers. With both pitchers looking to bounce back after disappointing performances, I think they’ll get off to hot starts in this one. To help matters, neither the Giants or Padres are packing a punch at the plate. At the moment, San Francisco’s offense is in a tailspin while injuries have slowed the Padres production at the dish. Therefore, I like backing the NRFI in San Diego.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for SF Giants vs San Diego Padres

Washington Nationals vs Atlanta Braves: YRFI (-130)

While the Braves have rebounded from a slow start, the 2022 season has been a nightmare for Washington. The Nationals continue to struggle on the mound, and that won’t change with Patrick Corbin on the hill. The left-hander holds an ERA of 5.68 on the season even after 2 straight excellent starts. Corbin has allowed just 2 runs over his last 15.0 innings pitched, but those outings came against the Marlins and Pirates. Those offenses aren’t exactly setting the world on fire. Meanwhile, the Braves’ lineup has plenty of talent and can explode on any given night. Ronald Acuna Jr, Austin Riley and Matt Olson can all do serious damage in their first plate appearance against Corbin.

On the other side, the Nationals’ offense can also produce. While its pitching is suspect, Washington’s lineup features the likes of Juan Soto and Josh Bell; Bell, especially, has been mashing baseballs in 2022. He leads the league in hits and Cesar Hernandez isn’t far behind. They could easily see success against Kyle Wright, who has regressed to the mean following a stellar start in 2022. I could easily see an extra-base hit from one of Washington’s best hitters in the first frame. Expect some early action in hitter-friendly Truist Park.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Washington Nationals vs Atlanta Braves

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