There is a full slate of 15 games on the MLB schedule on Wednesday, September 6, including six early games. Today’s slate includes a marquee pitching matchup of former teammates with Justin Verlander against Max Scherzer, and Braves ace Spencer Strider also takes the mound today.
Let’s dive into today’s NRFI and YRFI betting odds and pick some of the NRFI bets and the best YRFI bets to make on MLB games on 9/6/23.
9/6 NRFI/YRFI Best Bets
Here are the best NRFI and YRFI bets to place on Wednesday, September 6, 2023.
Dodgers at Marlins YRFI (-120 at DraftKings)
Starting pitchers: RHP Lance Lynn (10-10, 5.81 ERA) vs. JT Chargois (1-0, 3.78 ERA)
Let’s start with a YRFI pick in a matchup of two teams that have been raking recently. The Dodgers have been doing it all season, but the Marlins have really picked it up in recent weeks.
Miami has been one of the weakest offenses both overall and in the first inning for most of this season, but they have started turning it on recently. Over the last month they are 11th in first-inning offense and in the past week they are 6th. Their advanced metrics are even more encouraging, as they are 4th in wRC+ in the first inning over the last month and 2nd over the last week.
That might be a relatively small sample size that doesn’t yet inspire a ton of confidence, but Miami also has a great matchup against Dodgers starter Lance Lynn. Since being acquired from the White Sox at the trade deadline, Lynn has been much better as a Dodger than he was for Chicago. He has a respectable 3.57 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 6 starts for L.A., a big improvement from the 6.47 ERA and 1.46 WHIP he had before the trade.
While he has also been better in the first inning since joining L.A. (1 run allowed), Lynn has been one of the worst pitchers in the first inning for most of the season. He has pitched a scoreless first inning in just 17 of his 27 starts, and his 8.33 ERA in the opening frame is the 11th highest in the league (minimum 10 starts). That is not unique to this season either, as for his career Lynn has a 5.09 ERA in the first inning, his highest in any inning.
The Marlins have a good chance to score an early run off Lynn in this game and cash the YRFI, and that’s assuming the Dodgers don’t do any damage in the top of the first, which is always a possibility with that explosive lineup. Miami is using reliever JT Chargois as an opener in this game, which makes it tough to evaluate recent first-inning performance. Chargois has been solid for Miami this season, but the Dodgers can score on just about anybody.
One of these teams will cross the plate in the opening frame today and the YRFI will hit at -120 odds.
Astros vs. Rangers YRFI (-108 at FanDuel)
Starting pitchers: RHP Justin Verlander (10-7, 3.34 ERA) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (12-5, 3.55 ERA)
We can’t possibly see a pitching matchup like Justin Verlander vs. Max Scherzer on the schedule and not bet on a NRFI, right? We definitely want some action on this game – if only because it’s such a fun matchup – but while the NRFI looks obvious on the surface, a deeper analysis reveals the YRFI as the right play.
Let’s start with the odds, where there are some different options depending on the sportsbook. As of this writing, DraftKings has both the NRFI and YRFI with equivalent -115 odds. BetMGM slightly favors the YRFI at -115 compared to -110 on the NRFI, and FanDuel favors the NRFI at -118 compared to -108 on the YRFI. If you want to ignore our advice and bet the NRFI, head over to BetMGM. If you’re tailing the YRFI pick, your best odds are at FanDuel.
The key matchup for the YRFI bet is Scherzer against the Astros. Scherzer has been uncharacteristically vulnerable in the opening frame this season. He has allowed a run in the first inning in 8 of his 25 starts this season and has a 5.04 ERA in the opening frame.
Houston is 3rd in the league in runs scored in the first inning and 5th in wRC+. They are 8th in runs and 2nd in wRC+ over the last month. They also lead the league in overall runs scored and wRC+ over the last month. As talented as Scherzer is, his performance this season and the Astros’ recent performance look like a good combination that could lead to runs in the opening frame today.
On the other side, Verlander has also been uncharacteristically vulnerable in the first inning this season. He has pitched a scoreless first inning in just 13 of his 22 starts and has allowed runs in the first inning in back-to-back starts (5 runs total). Overall Verlander has a 5.73 ERA in the opening frame this season.
The good news for Verlander is that Texas is slumping a bit offensively right now. A team that was the best offense in baseball for parts of this season and remains 3rd overall in run scored is just 22nd in runs over the last month. Even during their great stretches offensively this season, they have been middle-of-the-pack in the first inning. They are 15th in runs scored and 17th in wRC+ in the opening frame this season, and they are 26th and 28th in those categories over the last month.
Of course, both of these pitchers and both of these lineups are capable of having dominant performances in just about any game, regardless of matchup or recent performance. So there is some inherent risk in betting either the NRFI or the YRFI in this matchup, but we want some action in this game, and between those two options, we like the chances of a runner crossing the plate in the first inning.