MLB NRFI/YRFI Best Bets Today: Expert Picks & Predictions for Wednesday’s Slate (8/16/23)

There’s MLB action throughout the day on Wednesday, as all 30 teams take the field and most early-week series come to an end. Justin Verlander, Kevin Gausman, Clayton Kershaw, and Blake Snell are among the big names on the mound, setting up for some NRFI and YRFI opportunities on Wednesday. Let’s take a look at some of the NRFI best bets on the board.

MLB Best NRFI & YRFI Bets For August 16

Here’s a look at the best NRFI and YRFI bets from Wednesday’s slate of games.

Red Sox vs. Nationals YRFI (+125)

James Paxton has been a pleasant surprise for the Red Sox this season, but there are two factors that could put some value on this YRFI. The Nationals pretty shockingly rank fifth in the league in first inning runs per game, coming in behind four teams currently set to reach the postseason. CJ Abrams has thrived in the leadoff spot, and the presence of Lane Thomas makes the top of Washington’s lineup a threat.

The Nationals also hit significantly better against lefties. Washington has a .278 AVG and .773 OPS against southpaws, and the offense also hits better at home than on the road. On an 86-degree night, Paxton will have to be careful early on.

The Red Sox hit notably worse on the road and have dipped offensively of late, but MacKenzie Gore’s volatility is something to watch. Gore has allowed 5+ ER in five different starts this season, including a clunker against the Pirates in his last outing. The Red Sox hit lefties almost exactly as well as they do right-handers, so there shouldn’t be much of a dip in expectations against a young starter still trying to find his footing.

Orioles vs. Padres NRFI (-113)

Starting pitching is a work-in-progress for the Orioles, who saw Jack Flaherty take a step back on Tuesday but seem to have turned around Grayson Rodriguez’s season. One of the steadiest pieces of their rotation since the start of July has been Dean Kremer. Kremer has a 3.29 ERA and .189 opponent AVG in that span, and he’s only allowed a first inning run in one of seven starts since July began: A matchup with the Dodgers.

As much as the Padres tried to be the Dodgers, the top of their lineup is not producing like the Dodgers. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado just haven’t been hitting all that well after showing flashes in June and July, while Juan Soto’s on-base ability hasn’t translated to runs with little help surrounding him. Kremer is in good position to start strong on Wednesday.

Blake Snell has been borderline untouchable for two months now. Walks are just about the only issue that’s popped up for him, but teams just haven’t made enough contact to drive in those runs. With a 1.13 ERA and .162 opponent AVG over his last 14 starts (half of which were scoreless starts altogether), a scoreless first inning for the Orioles is likely.

Tigers vs. Twins NRFI (-110)

This might not be the most digestible game, but it could be a worthwhile NRFI opportunity. Kenta Maeda has really settled in well since returning from the IL in June, posting a 2.36 ERA and .190 opponent AVG over his last nine starts. He’s allowed just one run in 11 innings against the Tigers this season.

While that familiarity might make bettors uncomfortable, this doesn’t look like a Detroit offense that’s ready to pounce early on. With Kerry Carpenter still batting fifth in the lineup, high-contact and lower-power bat Riley Greene is the only intimidating hitter Maeda should face right away.

The Twins have a similarly uninspiring offense. While the power threat is greater with Max Kepler near the top of the lineup, Reese Olson totally shut down this lineup in his last outing and could get a sluggish lineup in this day game following a night game. With two low-contact AL Central lineups in play here, -110 is a pretty solid value for an NRFI.

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and graduate of Boston University. He’s covered several sports on Instagram since he was 12 and now writes about everything from betting trends to breaking news for Lineups.

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