There are 10 games on the MLB slate Thursday, including the end of a Phillies-Diamondbacks series that’s been loaded with runs and the start of a key series between the Angels and Rangers. We’re looking for NRFI or YRFI bets, and there will be a few aces on the mound with Dylan Cease, Shohei Ohtani, Marcus Stroman, and Sonny Gray all on the bump.
MLB Best NRFI/YRFI Bets For June 15
Here’s a look at the best NRFI/YRFI bets from Thursday’s slate of MLB games.
Tigers vs. Twins NRFI (-120)
Sonny Gray has been one of the steadiest pitchers in baseball this season, and he proved in his last start that regression wasn’t on the way. Gray has allowed just one single home run this season and carries an AL-best 2.43 FIP into this start along with his 2.15 ERA.
The Tigers average just 3.18 runs per game on the road, the worst mark in baseball, so it’s safe to say it would qualify as a surprise if Gray let up an early run to this Detroit team. The Tigers are also coming off of a doubleheader and could have a sleepy start to this one.
On the other side, Matthew Boyd has been way too inconsistent for the Tigers. He’s the reason NRFI still has some value on it at -115, though he’s been able to get his walk rate in better shape lately. The fact Boyd has had some solid starts here and there indicates he might be close to settling in after battling a myriad of injuries.
The Twins are hitting just .228 this month, however, and haven’t hit well as a team since April. While they’ve taken a step forward offensively of late, it’s often been the pitching – including the bullpen – that has made the difference when Minnesota is winning. This could be another low-scoring one, at least early on.
Angels vs. Rangers YRFI (-118)
This has the potential to be a tremendous pitching matchup, but it wouldn’t surprise me much if we saw one of Ohtani and Nathan Eovaldi get off to a rocky start. Ohtani is the bigger danger here for anyone betting a NRFI. He’s looked out of sync in recent outings, walking 3+ batters in three of his last five starts and struggling with the home run ball in his last two.
The Rangers are well positioned to pounce on any pitcher struggling to find something. Marcus Semien is a constant on-base threat at the top of the lineup, and Corey Seager has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball since he came off the IL. As long as Nathaniel Lowe, Adolis Garcia, and Josh Jung are hitting behind them, the Rangers will have one of the best 1-5 combinations in baseball.
Ironically, Ohtani is also the reason a scoreless first inning isn’t a sure thing for Eovaldi. The former MVP entered Wednesday on a 10-game hitting streak, batting .487 with 5 HR and a 1.605 OPS over that stretch, and he added another home run later in the night. Between Mike Trout’s presence and Ohtani’s hot streak, don’t rule out a bump in the road for Eovaldi.
White Sox vs. Dodgers NRFI (-115)
It looks like there could be a lot of value in Dylan Cease going forward, even beyond just this bet. Cease has a 2.94 ERA over his last six starts, and he’s holding hitters to a 1.98 AVG over that stretch. The former Cy Young contender might not be where he was last season, but he’s starting to look like a frontline starter again.
That should play well against a potent top of the Dodgers lineup. Luckily for Cease, J.D. Martinez has finally cooled off. He’ll still have to be very careful with Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts, but Cease is at least a trustworthy arm.
Michael Grove hasn’t proven nearly as much as Cease, but the White Sox are one of the most NRFI-friendly teams. The top of the lineup is loaded with singles hitters (Tim Anderson, Andrew Benintendi), and the only real danger is the occasional Luis Robert home run.
Grove has some ugly numbers this year, partly the result of a terrible start in early April. He’s walked only one batter in two starts since returning to the Dodgers, so with the White Sox’ favorable top of the lineup, there’s a chance Grove could settle in and post a zero in the first inning like he did in each of his last two starts.