MLB NRFI Best Bets Today: Expert Picks & Predictions for Friday’s Slate (6/30/23)

All 30 MLB teams are back in action on Friday as the extended Fourth of July weekend begins. Shane McClanahan, Jon Gray, and Justin Steele are among the big names on the mound, and there will undoubtedly be some NRFI opportunities on the board. Let’s take a look at some of the odds and best NRFI bets.

MLB best bets for June 30

Here’s a look at the best NRFI bets from Friday’s slate of MLB games.

Rays vs. Mariners NRFI (-145)

Shane McClanahan returns to the hill on Friday, after leaving his last start with a back issue. That’s a minor red flag for this NRFI bet, but facing a Mariners team that strikes out a ton and has become a laughing stock offensively at times this season, the Cy Young contender should be able to get through the first inning.

The bigger situation to watch is Bryce Miller. The rookie has looked downright dominant at times and disastrous at others. Fortunately, two of Miller’s last three starts have been terrific. His most recent outing was less than impressive, but he held the Orioles scoreless in the first inning. That’s three consecutive starts with a scoreless first for Miller.

The Rays are always a threat to score early because contact machines Yandy Diaz and Wander Franco are at the top of their lineup, but the lack of power from Diaz, Franco, and even Randy Arozarena over the past month has limited that potential.

Entering their series finale against the Diamondbacks, the Rays had gone three consecutive games without a first inning run. There’s enough of a chance that continues Friday to make this bet.

Red Sox vs. Blue Jays NRFI (-110)

These starters are two of the most interesting success stories of 2023. James Paxton just couldn’t keep himself healthy over the last three seasons, and whether he could ever be a capable pitcher again was up in the air. So far, so good.

He has a 3.19 ERA through eight starts and his 1.016 WHIP reflects how well he’s limited hits – something he was pretty great at before the injuries started piling up. He’s allowed a few home runs this year, so Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s brief power resurgence is something to watch, but the top of this Toronto lineup has often relied on stringing together hits and might have a tough time doing that against Paxton.

Jose Berrios will face a struggling Red Sox offense. Boston scored a grand total of three runs in its series against the Marlins, and now the Red Sox are going on the road where they hit just .228 with a .675 OPS. Berrios has recovered from his ugly 2022. While he hasn’t looked perfect in his last two outings, Berrios is allowing fewer home runs this year and has gone seven consecutive starts without allowing a first inning run. -110 is a nice value on this NRFI.

Brewers vs. Pirates NRFI (-110)

It’s a matchup of one team that can’t hit much at all and another that is completely hit-or-miss offensively. Only a recent surge by Christian Yelich has kept the top of the Brewers’ lineup interesting. The power still isn’t there for the former MVP and might never be, but he’s once again making consistent contact and getting on base at a high rate.

The hitters that follow him up aren’t doing enough. Rowdy Tellez has been abysmal over the past month-and-a-half, while Willy Adames has struggled to do anything more than the occasional home run when healthy. Willson Contreras also hasn’t lived up to the contact or power he flashed in Atlanta.

Rookie Osvaldo Bido is making his fourth career start for the Pirates, and the Brewers’ lineup might have a hard time striking early against a pitcher they’ve never seen before with a high strikeout rate.

Freddy Peralta has had a painfully mediocre season for the Brewers, but he only allowed two hits against the Pirates his last time out. This Pittsburgh offense has been tough to gauge and is coming off a big series against the Padres, but they only scored a first inning run in one of their three wins.

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and graduate of Boston University. He’s covered several sports on Instagram since he was 12 and now writes about everything from betting trends to breaking news for Lineups.

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