The Major League Baseball week continues with a full 15-game slate on Friday. It is headlined by the start of a series between 2 of the best teams in baseball, the Rays and Rangers. We also get Yankees vs Red Sox. On the whole there are plenty of options with which to make some enticing YRFI/NRFI plays.
This market has become extremely popular in baseball betting. After all, you don’t have to sit around for 3 hours (or maybe a lot less now that games are not as long on average!) to see if your wager hits; the satisfaction (or in some cases disappointment) is immediate. It all comes down to the first inning.
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Arizona Diamondbacks vs Detroit Tigers: NRFI (-128)
The Tigers will get this game started by sending Michael Lorenzen to the mound. Lorenzen is sporting a 3.21 ERA and 0.99 WHIP with 41 strikeouts and just 12 walks through 53.1 innings of work. His last 2 starts spanned 13.2 innings, during which he allowed only 1 earned run. Lorenzen has pitched a clean first inning in 3 of his last 4 appearances.
Arizona is countering with Merrill Kelly, which is good news for the visitors and also good news for NRFI bettors. Kelly is 7–3 with a 2.80 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with 77 strikeouts and 28 walks through 70.2 innings. The right-hander has gone 5 consecutive outings without surrendering a first-inning run. It should also be noted that this is an interleague matchup in which the batters have little familiarity with the pitchers. Evan Longoria (1-for-4) is the only Diamondback who has gotten a hit off Lorenzen and Javier Baez (3-for-13) is the lone Tiger with more than 1 hit off Kelly.
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Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees: YRFI (+102)
Gerrit Cole is getting the nod for New York, but Boston’s bats won’t mind that. There is obviously a ton of familiarity there, and much of it has been favorable for the Red Sox. Rafael Devers is 8-for-32 lifetime against Cole with a whopping 6 homers, Alex Verdugo has taken the right-hander deep twice and Justin Turner is a solid 3-for-6. Meanwhile, Cole has given up 5 earned runs in 2 of his last 3 starts.
Garrett Whitlock is toeing the rubber for Boston. He is saddled with a 5.61 ERA and 1.29 WHIP through 25.2 innings so far this season. Giancarlo Stanton has homered once off him in 7 at-bats and Isiah Kiner-Felafa has left the yard once at his expense in 5 at-bats. At least 1 of these teams should cross the plate in the opening frame, so I’ll happily back the YRFI at plus money.
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