22 MLB teams will be in action on a busy Thursday around baseball, with Max Scherzer’s Rangers debut a highlight of the slate. Let’s take a look at some NRFI and YRFI bets worth making before the weekend begins.
MLB Best NRFI/YRFI Bets for August 3
Here’s a look at the best NRFI and YRFI bets from Thursday’s slate of games.
Twins vs. Cardinals NRFI (-104)
The Twins have a major pitching advantage in this game with Sonny Gray facing. Gray has been steady all season, allowing just four home runs in four months, while Matthew Liberatore has been anything but steady for the Cardinals. Gray hasn’t allowed a first inning run in any of his last six starts. While he’s had a tougher time lasting late into games, that won’t matter to bettors who see the all-star’s early-game track record.
Liberatore has been brutal this season for the Cardinals, carrying a 1.844 WHIP into August, but for someone who’s struggled so much, his 0.6 HR/9 rate is pretty great. Liberatore wrecks his starts by giving up hit after hit. Is a Twins team that hits .237 collectively and has struggled of late ready to come right in and pounce on Liberatore? It isn’t the most likely scenario.
If it matters, the Twins notoriously give Gray very little run support. Minnesota is averaging a shockingly low 2.2 runs per game in Gray’s starts since the start of May. Is that just a coincidence? In some ways, sure, but it’s a reminder of how hit-or-miss this power-reliant Twins lineup is.
Athletics vs. Dodgers YRFI (-118)
JP Sears has actually had a pretty encouraging season for the A’s, but one vulnerability can’t be ignored: Home runs. He’s allowed a whopping 25 home runs in just 21 starts, averaging just shy of two home runs allowed per nine innings.
The Dodgers hit three home runs in the first three innings against Oakland on Wednesday night and can hit for as much power as any team in the league. With Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Will Smith at the top of their lineup, the chances of a first inning run off of Sears are solid enough to consider a YRFI bet.
The A’s lineup is considerably less promising, but the lingering struggles of Julio Urias give Oakland at least a chance to make some early noise. He’s given up eight hits in each of his last two starts, including an eight-run blowup against the Orioles, and has a concerning home run rate himself. At -118, there are enough pitching questions here to go with a YRFI bet.
Phillies vs. Mets NRFI (+100)
This is a 12 p.m. game just a day after a four-hour, 12-inning marathon that resulted in a Marlins win. It might take a couple innings for the exhaustion to wear off after a grueling battle.
Michael Lorenzen makes his Phillies debut on Thursday, less than 48 hours after a trade out of Detroit. He’ll face an intriguing top of the Marlins lineup. Luis Arraez fortunately isn’t a power threat, so Lorenzen will have to focus on working around Jorge Soler and Josh Bell. He’s allowed just three earned runs over his last four starts and has continually posted strong home run rates throughout his career. He’s well positioned to prevent a Soler bomb.
Which Johnny Cueto will the Marlins get on Thursday? The veteran has had his share of highs and lows since coming off the IL, but he’s kept hits to a minimum. The challenge will be making sure Kyle Schwarber doesn’t hit a leadoff home run. If Cueto can limit hits as well as he has so far, Alec Bohm and Bryce Harper won’t be such dangerous threats with their lack of power right now. +100 is a solid value for what could be two sluggish offenses.