If you aren’t already on the YRFI/NRFI bandwagon, it’s time to climb aboard. This first-inning market is becoming popular because the outcomes are obviously decided right at the start of baseball games. You don’t have to slog through three-plus hours of action to find out whether or not your bet cashes.
There is clearly a ton of value to be found on this market, too; look no further than our record to see as much. Here at Pickswise we are 28-10 in our last 38 YRFI/NRFI plays and I nailed both of mine on Wednesday. Let’s keep the momentum going with my two favorite wagers for Friday’s slate. Also be sure to read all of today’s MLB previews.
Philadelphia Phillies vs Pittsburgh Pirates: YRFI (+100)
The Phillies are starting Bailey Falter on Friday and I would not be surprised if he does just that in the first inning. Falter is 0-3 with a 5.18 ERA and he has given up a first-inning run in two of his last three starts. Although the Pirates’ lineup is far from formidable, second hitter Oneil Cruz was on a six-game hitting streak prior to Thursday’s contest.
Even if Philadelphia’s left-hander doesn’t falter right away, there is a good chance his team will already put a run on the scoreboard. The Phillies’ lineup, which plated three first-inning runs on Thursday, is facing Pittsburgh’s Jose Quintana and he has produced only one quality start in four appearances this month. Quintana surrendered a run in the first inning against Colorado on July 15 and eventually gave up six in 5.0 innings of work. If Nick Castellanos can get up to the plate in the first inning, he is batting .290 lifetime against the lefty with two homers. At +100 odds, the YRFI has intriguing value.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs Atlanta Braves: NRFI (-120)
It may be a stretch to say that Madison Bumgarner is in resurgent form for the Diamondbacks, but he has at least pitched well for the most part this season. Bumgarner is sporting a 3.71 ERA and in two of his last three sets he has worked at least 7.0 innings without giving up more than two runs. In his previous start against the Braves on June 1, Bumgarner went 6.0 innings and surrendered just two runs. Although the Braves’ lineup is formidable, they have lost three of their last four games and in two of them they scored no more than two runs. Leadoff hitter Ronald Acuna Jr. is in a huge slump, which obviously helps MadBum’s chances of throwing a perfect opener.
Atlanta is countering with Kyle Wright, who is 12-4 with a 2.95 ERA. The Braves have won each of his last six starts and in four of them has yielded two runs or fewer. Wright blanked the Angels through the first three innings of his most recent appearance, while Bumgarner has hurled a scoreless first in his last two outings. Nobody in Arizona’s lineup has done anything to speak of against Wright in their careers, so there is no reason to think the right-hander’s form is suddenly going to dip.
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