YRFI and NRFI MLB Best Bets for Sunday, May 21st, 2023


Best Bets on Today’s MLB YRFI and NRFI Markets

The 2023 MLB season is underway and VSiN has you covered with every way you can possibly bet on a baseball game. I’m tackling YRFI and NRFI markets here, where you only have to sweat out your bet for about 15 minutes. These markets have increased in popularity over the last couple of years, and I will do my best to find you the edge. You can track the results of my MLB wagers this season here. Keep reading to find out my best bets for Sunday, May 21st. 


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All odds via DraftKings


Miami Marlins at San Francisco Giants

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The NRFI in Marlins games improved to 22-4 yesterday when priced at -125 or higher, which it currently is hovering right around that mark again today. We’ve won with it in this writeup two straight days, and overall, the Marlins lineup has failed to score in the first inning in nine straight games, so I feel comfortable returning to it again. I also really like the pitching matchup today, with two funky lefties taking the mound. 

Jesus Luzardo has posted an 8-1 NRFI record this season and is 3-0 on the road. He’s only allowing an .063 batting average in the opening frame with an xFIP below 3.00, and he is coming off back-to-back starts of six innings with just one run allowed against the Nationals and Diamondbacks. I would rank the top of the Giants’ lineup somewhere slightly below Arizona but just above Washington, however, San Francisco struggles against lefties. As I detailed yesterday, they are ranked 26th in first-inning wRC+ against southpaws in the month of May.

Alex Wood counters for the Giants and will put his unblemished 3-0 NRFI record this season to the test. Wood has allowed just a .143 batting average against in the first inning this season and just .188 in 76 career plate appearances against the current Marlins lineup. The most dangerous hitter at the top of the Miami order is Luis Arraez, but the lefty is just 0-for-1 against Wood in his career. 

Bet: No Run First Inning (-130)


Minnesota Twins at Los Angeles Angels

Anytime Shohei Ohtani takes the mound in Anaheim, I feel very strongly about the NRFI. Ohtani is 6-3 to the NRFI this season on the mound but 4-0 at home. Also, the Halos’ offense has only scored once in the first inning in his nine starts. Maybe Ohtani himself is a bit gassed from the pregame routine of warming up to pitch, which translates to his first-inning AB, but a clear NRFI trend has emerged when Shohei is on the mound at home this season. 

Pablo Lopez will counter for the Twins, and while his 4-5 NRFI record this season is nothing to brag about, his FIP in the first inning is almost twice as big as his xFIP (6.52 to 3.95), so it’s fair to say he’s gotten a little unlucky in the opening frame. He also has very limited exposure against this current Angels lineup, with just 12 plate appearances and one hit allowed, a single to Hunter Renfroe. Ohtani, Mike Trout, and projected leadoff man Mickey Moniak will all get their first look at Lopez. 

Pitching matchups aside, neither team has been particularly adept at pushing across early runs this season. Minnesota has scored just six times in 24 road games (25%) while the Angels just six times in 21 home games (28.5%). Both rates are below the MLB average. 

Bet: No Run First Inning (-140)


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