YRFI and NRFI MLB Best Bets for Saturday, August 19


Best Bets on Today’s MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets

I went 1-1 on Friday’s best bets as Akil Baddoo ambushed Gavin Williams on the second pitch of the game to sink the NRFI in Cleveland. To be fair, the Guardians also scored in the bottom of the first against Tarik Skubal so that pick was destined to lose. On the flip side, we only needed one pitch to cash the YRFI in Denver as Elvis Andrus homered on the first offering from Peter Lambert. Michael Kopech then imploded in the bottom half of the inning and allowed five earned runs, so our cap was spot on in that game. Onward we go.


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Keep reading to find out my best bets for Saturday, August 19th. 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: 49-43 (53.3%) -0.06u -0.0% ROI

Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels (Game 1)

Tyler Glasnow is 12-1 to the NRFI and 6-0 on the road this season with an impressive 2.38 FIP and 38.8% K-rate in the first inning. The Angels offense was able to push across an early run-in last night’s game, but overall this season they’ve been slightly below average with just a 28.4% scoring rate overall. Shohei Ohtani is absolutely a problem in the bottom of the first inning, and he’s had success against Glasnow going 2-for-3 lifetime with a home run. However, those at bats came back in the 2021 season so it’s fair to say this will be a relatively fresh look.

Chase Silseth has pitched well since returning to the rotation last month. In four starts, Silseth is pitching to a 2.34 xFIP and 0.88 WHIP, which is the lowest of any pitcher on the board today. Overall, the Rays’ offense has steadied itself a bit after some massive regression over the middle part of the season after a sweltering start. As a team, they are 42-24 (63.6%) to the NRFI since June 1st.

I like the spot as well for a slow start considering these teams played extra innings last night and now are saddled with a doubleheader on Saturday as the league takes a proactive weather approach to the hurricane sweeping up the west coast this weekend. I was able to find –115 available in the market and would feel comfortable playing this up to -125.

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

Tyler Glasnow vs.:

Nolan Schanuel (never faced)

Shohei Ohtani (2-for-3, 2B, HR, K)

Brandon Drury (2-for-3, 2B, HR)

Chase Silseth vs.:

Yandy Diaz (never faced)

Brandon Lowe (never faced)

Randy Arozarena (never faced)

Bet: No Run First Inning (-120)

Chicago White Sox at Colorado Rockies

Jesse Scholtens is 5-0 to the NRFI through his first five big league starts, but the underlying data says he might be due for regression. While the first-inning numbers have been good, if you zoom out to include the full picture, Scholtens is allowing a .304 batting average and .349 on balls in play since July 1st. He also has an above-average 30% fly ball rate which is less than ideal at altitude. As detailed in yesterday’s column, I expect the Rockies to break out of their season-long slumber at home now that Charlie Blackmon has returned to the lineup. Last night was a good indication of the upside as Colorado scored five in the first en route to a 14-run outburst.

Kyle Freeland is 16-7 to the NRFI this season and just 7-5 at home. Nothing about his underlying data impresses me, which is why I faded him in this spot last week against the Dodgers. He proved me wrong in the first inning but then allowed runs in the second, third, and fourth. Since July 1st, Freeland is allowing a .319 batting average and 5.69 xFIP which is the highest of any pitcher on the board today. Meanwhile, his 11% strikeout rate is the lowest in that span. The White Sox have struggled against lefties all season long, but Elvis Andrus looks comfortable in the leadoff spot, and Luis Robert Jr. is a home run waiting to happen.

I was able to find -145 in the market and would feel comfortable playing this up to -150 but not at the -160 currently offered by DraftKings at the time of publication.

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

Jesse Scholtens vs.:

Charlie Blackmon (never faced)

Jurickson Profar (never faced)

Ryan McMahon (never faced)

Kyle Freeland vs.:

Elvis Andrus (3-for-10, K)

Andrew Benintendi (2-for-6, HR, 3 Ks)

Luis Robert Jr. (1-for-3)

Bet: Yes Run First Inning (-160)

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