YRFI and NRFI MLB Best Bets for Saturday, August 12

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Best Bets on Today’s MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets

It was a rough start to the week as I went 0-2 on Friday’s best bets. We deserved better in Boston, as a throwing error on a relatively routine play by Javier Baez led to an unearned run in the bottom of the first. Gross, but that’s why they call it gambling. The ugly truth with this market is your handicap can be spot on and you can consistently beat the closing number, but if the baseball gods frown on you that particular day, your bet is doomed. Onward we go, one wager at a time. 

 

Keep reading to find out my best bets for Saturday, August 12th. I recommend two units for each. All odds are via DraftKings but be sure to shop around for the best line as prices vary dramatically in this market. 

Best Bets Season Record: 45-41 (52.3%) -3.56u -1.9% ROI

 

St. Louis Cardinals at Kansas City Royals

Steven Matz has looked better since rejoining the Cardinals’ rotation with a 2.06 ERA since July 1st. The underlying metrics reveal his fastball velocity is up and barrel rate has been cut in half year over year. The Royals raked early and often last night pummeling Adam Wainwright with four runs in the first inning, but they will be in for a much stiffer test early in this game against Matz. 

Cole Ragans is 3-0 to the NRFI record since joining the Royals as the centerpiece of the Aroldis Chapman trade. The southpaw’s last two starts have been dominant, striking out 19 in 12.2 innings pitched and allowing just one earned run. The cutter has been his go-to pitch, bearing in on right-handed hitters. That’s a big reason why his batting average against drops from .267 against lefties to .211 when facing righties. That will be the key to getting out Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in the top of the first.

I was able to find +100 widely available in the market on Saturday morning and would feel comfortable playing this up to -110, which was the price offered by DraftKings at the time of publication. 

Here’s how the starting pitchers have fared against the projected top of each lineup:

Steven Matz vs.:

Maikel Garcia (never faced)

Bobby Witt Jr. (1-for-2)

Michael Massey (0-for-1)

 

Cole Ragans vs.:

Lars Nootbaar (never faced)

Paul Goldschmidt (0-for-1)

Nolan Arenado (never faced)

Bet: No Run First Inning (-110)

 

Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers

Peter Lambert is 5-0 to the NRFI through his first five starts with Colorado, but his 6.55 xFIP in the first inning tells me he is due for regression soon. That will likely come tonight against a Dodgers lineup that has the highest first-inning scoring rate in baseball this season at 40% (46-for-115), and that rate increases to 45% at home (25-for-56). Los Angeles is also due for a breakout after failing to score an early run in five straight games, one of their longest droughts of the season.

Tony Gonsolin is an impressive 16-2 to the NRFI this season and 9-0 at home, but his xFIP in the first inning is nearly a run higher than his actual FIP (3.60 to 4.51) which tells me he’s gotten a little fortunate. His overall data has also taken a big nosedive over the last few weeks with a 6.19 ERA and 5.20 xFIP since July 1st. Despite failing to score in four straight games, I’m still high on this Rockies lineup, which has a 33% scoring rate in the first inning on the road this season (20-for-61) above the MLB average of 26%. 

I was able to find -110 in the market on Saturday morning and would feel comfortable playing this up to -125 but not at the absurd -150 which was the price offered by DraftKings at the time of publication. 

Here’s how the starting pitchers have fared against the projected top of each lineup:

Peter Lambert vs.:

Mookie Betts (1-for-3, K, BB)

Freddie Freeman (1-for-1)

Will Smith (1-for-3)

 

Tony Gonsolin vs.:

Jurickson Profar (5-for-11, 3 2Bs)

Ezequiel Tovar (0-for-1, K)

Ryan McMahon (3-for-11, 2B, 3 Ks)

Bet: Yes Run First Inning (-150)

 

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