The holiday weekend continues around baseball with a full slate of games on Saturday. The pitching will be great. Gerrit Cole, Zack Wheeler, Nathan Eovaldi, Eury Perez, and Justin Verlander are just some of the big names on the mound. Let’s take a look at NRFI and YRFI opportunities and best bets for Saturday’s action.
MLB Best NRFI/YRFI Bets for July 1, 2023
Here’s a look at the best bets from Friday’s slate of MLB games.
Marlins vs. Braves NRFI (+100)
The Marlins couldn’t keep the Braves’ offense in check in the series opener. On the road with Bryan Hoeing starting, maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise. It won’t be as easy for Atlanta when Eury Perez takes the mound on Saturday.
Perez has been unthinkably good for a 20-year-old, starting his career with a 1.34 ERA through nine starts. He’s coming off three consecutive scoreless starts and has allowed one total run in his last five outings.
That doesn’t mean regression can’t happen, but here’s what’s encouraging about Perez: His FIP was above 4.00 just a few starts ago — maybe he was getting a bit lucky, but he’s clearly worked on some things and has since lowered it to 3.04. This is a pitcher that is good enough to have even a loaded Braves lineup a little confused, at least the first time through the lineup.
Charlie Morton has had a pedestrian season and gets a pedestrian Marlins lineup on Saturday. Miami’s offense had some great moments earlier in the week, but it showed it’s not a finished product after nearly getting no-hit (in a win) vs. the Red Sox and only putting up four runs in Atlanta in the series opener. The chances of Morton and Perez getting through a scoreless first are good enough to make +100 a solid value.
Astros vs. Rangers YRFI (-113)
This should be a tremendous series between AL West contenders, and there will be some runs scored despite impressive pitching on both sides. This is one to watch for some YRFI value.
Nathan Eovaldi is still a Cy Young contender at the midway point of the season, but he’s looked much more vulnerable of late. Eovaldi allowed two home runs in back-to-back starts before settling in a bit and allowing 2 ER across 5.2 IP in his last outing.
The top of the Astros’ lineup has been heating up. Jose Altuve entered Friday 6-for-10 over his last three games, while Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker have started to hit for power. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a confident Astros lineup strike quickly against Eovaldi.
Rookie Hunter Brown is on the mound facing a loaded top of the Rangers lineup. Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, and Nathaniel Lowe are all impressive contact bats, while Adolis Garcia and Josh Jung bring the power. Garcia is tied for the MLB lead with 66 RBI, and that’s not a coincidence.
Brown has been hit-or-miss this season, mixing in gems with ugly outings. He pitched well against the Rangers at home in April, but in Texas, this lineup is a challenge for any pitcher.
Brewers vs. Pirates NRFI (-140)
This game was one of Friday’s NRFI best bets, and despite 15 runs being scored, it hit. In fact, no one scored until the third inning. It makes sense to go back to the well on Saturday.
The Pirates’ streaky offense has been very impressive lately, though it’s not the typical bats doing most of the work. Carlos Santana has actually been the unstoppable hitter in the lineup. Both Santana and Andrew McCutchen probably can’t sustain the pace they’re on right now – Santana is 10 for his last 18, so we know he can’t – and Corbin Burnes could be good enough to settle things down.
It’s been a tough year for Burnes, by his standards, but the Pirates do much of their work in the later innings and might need time to settle in after not facing the former Cy Young winner earlier this season.
I’m less concerned about the Brewers’ lineup doing early damage. Johan Oviedo is coming off back-to-back strong starts, and Milwaukee’s problem remains the same: No one other than Christian Yelich is hitting for consistent contact at the top of the lineup. Rowdy Tellez has been brutal for several weeks now, while both Willy Adames and Willson Contreras are hit-or-miss power hitters. Until we see more from the Brewers’ offense, they’ll remain a popular NRFI opportunity.