MLB Sunday YRFI/NRFI best bets: We are 17-3 in our last 20 first-inning plays

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Mike Clevinger (52) throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
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Ricky Dimon

MLB · 3 weeks ago

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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.

Here at Pickswise we have started 19-5 on our YRFI/NRFI bets, including a 17-3 run in our last 20. This first-inning market is a fun way to wager because the outcomes are obviously decided right at the start of games. You don’t have to slog through 3-plus hours of baseball to reach a conclusion. There is plenty of value on this market, too; look no further than our sparkling record to see as much.

Now let’s try to keep the YRFI/NRFI momentum going with my two favorite plays for Sunday as the first half of the season comes to an end.

Philadelphia Phillies vs Miami Marlins: YRFI (+124)

The Phillies scored 10 runs on Saturday, so their hitters should be confident heading into Sunday’s series finale against the Fish. They have a favorable matchup, too, with Trevor Rogers toeing the rubber for Miami. The left-hander is 4-8 with a 5.42 ERA this season. He has faced the Phillies once in 2022 and that June 14 contest ended with 20 runs scored in an 11-9 Marlins victory. Miami crossed the plate 4 times in the first inning of that game and held on even though Rogers surrendered 4 runs on 5 hits and a ridiculous 6 walks in just 3.2 innings of work. Rhys Hoskins, who bats in the 2-hole for Philadelphia, homered on Saturday and is an incredible 7-for-14 lifetime against Rogers with 3 dingers. Nick Castellanos, who hits after Hoskins, is 2-for-4 against Rogers.

Miami has scored only 1 run through 2 games in this series, but a date with Aaron Nola could be just what the doctor ordered. Nola is 5-7 with a 3.35 ERA this year and is coming off a 5-run outing against St. Louis on Monday. Leadoff batter Miguel Rojas is 8-for-28 (.296) against Nola with a home run and 2 doubles. I would be willing to play this with even odds (approximately -110) on each side of the ledger, so getting it at +124 is an absolute steal.

Don’t forget to check out our free picks on the side and total for every MLB game.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs San Diego Padres: NRFI (-136)

The Diamondbacks have scored only 6 total runs through the first 2 games of this series. In Saturday’s contest neither team crossed the plate in the first 3 innings. There doesn’t figure to be much more offense when Mike Clevinger of San Diego takes the mound against Arizona’s Merrill Kelly. Clevinger (3.79 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) has worked 10.0 innings against the Diamondbacks this year and has surrendered just 1 run. Kelly (3.36 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) is sporting a 2.21 ERA in July and he did not allow a run in 4.0 innings in his first appearance against the Padres in 2022.

Eric Hosmer is the only San Diego batter who has had success against Kelly in the past, but he bats fifth and should not factor into the first inning if the right-hander is effective early. More importantly, Jake Cronenworth is 2-for-12 lifetime against Kelly and Manny Machado is 5-for-26. No one on the Diamondbacks has ever done anything to speak of against Clevinger, so I see both starters dominating at the beginning of Sunday’s showdown.

Check out out Sunday MLB mega parlay (+873 odds!)

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