We’re almost out of MLB Friday nights, but this week brings another loaded slate of games as a pivotal weekend gets underway. Corbin Burnes, Tyler Glasnow, and Framber Valdez highlight Friday’s pitchers as we hunt for the best NRFI bets from the schedule.
Let’s take a look at some of the best NRFI and YRFI bets on the board.
MLB Best NRFI and YRFI Bets for September 22
Here’s a look at the best NRFI and YRFI bets from Friday’s slate of games.
Braves vs. Nationals YRFI (-130)
The value isn’t terrific here, but the Braves deliver on YRFI bets far more than any other team. Against Patrick Corbin, I’m ready to lock this one in.
Corbin has a 5.00 ERA and 5.11 FIP, which is actually a notable step forward from last season, but he’s been prone to early blowups. Corbin has a 6.90 ERA in the first inning, with opposing hitters batting .315 with a .924 OPS in that frame. He’s also allowed 30 home runs in 30 starts, which is of course a major red flag against a Braves lineup that has established itself as one of the best power-hitting offenses of all-time.
Sure, Atlanta hasn’t looked totally dominant of late, but it’s tough to argue with 0.9 first inning runs per game, especially when a volatile pitcher like Corbin is on the mound. Charlie Morton will be tough for the Nationals to get to early on, but Washington does have sneaky value as the sixth-best first inning offense in baseball (0.61 runs).
Tigers vs. Athletics NRFI (-130)
Sawyer Gipson-Long has gotten out to a very strong start to his MLB career, allowing 3 ER and striking out 16 batters in his first two starts. He has solid control and did a fine job of limiting hits in the minors this season. Offenses clearly don’t have the entire book on him yet, and it’s tough to imagine the A’s will be able to rough him up the first time they see him.
Oakland is 25th in first inning runs per game, but the A’s are an astonishingly bad first inning team at home with just 0.23 runs per game. That’s dead last in the league and nowhere close to the 29th-ranked team, which scores 0.41 first inning runs at home.
On the other side, A’s starter Ken Waldichuk is going up against a similarly uninspiring offense. Despite rough numbers on the year, he’s been pretty steady in the first with a 3.60 ERA. Waldichuk is holding hitters to a .208 AVG in the first inning, and a low-contact Tigers lineup without Riley Greene is unlikely to bash him in right away.
White Sox vs. Red Sox YRFI (-118)
The NRFI and YRFI lines are not far from even in this game because of the big gap between the two matchups.
On one hand, Chris Sale has looked terrific of late and is going up against a White Sox lineup that has very little potential outside of a scuffling Luis Robert. On the other hand, Touki Toussaint has struggled early in games and is facing a Red Sox offense that hits very well at home. The smart play might be to trust the Red Sox’ lineup.
Control has been the issue for Toussaint all season, and it’s been especially troubling in the first inning, when he’s walked 21.6% of batters. That walk rate drops to 8.5% in the second inning. The Red Sox’ home/road offensive splits have been a trend all year, with Boston hitting .282 with an OPS nearly 100 points higher at home compared to on the road.
If Toussaint is going to give out free passes, the Red Sox are in position to pounce – even without Triston Casas in the lineup. There’s enough value here to take that chance.