All 30 MLB teams will be in action on Friday, as another critical weekend begins ahead of the stretch run. The schedule is headlined by an interleague matchup of wild card contenders as the Blue Jays face the Cubs, plus the Rangers and Twins will face contenders on the road as they try to maintain a grip on their division leads.
Let’s take a look at some of the best NRFI bets on the board Friday.
MLB Best NRFI Bets For August 11
Here’s a look at the best NRFI bets from Friday’s slate of games.
NRFI Best Bet #1: Reds vs. Pirates (-113)
The Pirates are coming off an impressive offensive series against the Braves, averaging more than six runs per game across four games. They still aren’t a reliable team in the early innings, as Pittsburgh is 27th in baseball with an average of 0.41 first inning runs.
This is a nice opportunity for Reds rookie Andrew Abbott to get back on track after two rough starts. Abbott walked eight batters between his last two starts, but that’s pretty uncharacteristic for him based on his minor-league track record this season and the first eight starts of his career.
The Pirates do have some patient hitters, namely Andrew McCutchen and Jack Suwinski, but with Abbott allowing just 6.9 hits per nine innings, one mistake shouldn’t be too costly.
The Reds are hitting just .225 with a .716 OPS in August, both the team’s lowest marks since 2016. Johan Oviedo has a 2.32 ERA over his last five starts and was excellent in each of his last two outings. As long as the Reds are hitting like this, their threat of scoring early is diminished.
NRFI Best Bet #2: Orioles vs. Mariners(-130)
Kyle Gibson has replaced Jordan Lyles as the Orioles’ innings eater this season, but the stretch he’s having right now is better than anything Lyles gave Baltimore last season. Gibson has a 4.15 ERA and 3.45 FIP over his last seven starts, with opponents hitting just .213 against him. Gibson has allowed more than four hits in only two of his seven starts, which outlines why FIP expects even better results ahead.
Against a Mariners team that still can’t find any consistency offensively, Gibson could be in line for a strong start. It’ll help Gibson that Cal Raleigh, Seattle’s biggest power threat right now, is still batting fifth in the lineup and might not come to the plate in the first.
Luis Castillo has been prone to the occasional blowup this season, including an ugly start last week, but he limits hits well and continues to have a strikeout rate higher than 10 per nine. Home runs have plagued Castillo this season. Navigating the Rutschman-Henderson-Santander trio at the top of the Orioles’ lineup won’t be easy, but high strikeout rates for Henderson and Santander could be an issue against Castillo.
NRFI Best Bet #3: Rays vs. Guardians(-105)
Aaron Civale didn’t have the best start to his Rays tenure when he allowed 9 hits and 3 ER against the Tigers last week, but his track record this season is strong. Now, he gets to face his former team.
The Guardians have been rolling out a stunningly dismal lineup since the trade deadline, with the only real exception being Jose Ramirez as Josh Naylor remains on the IL. Civale has made a living dominating AL Central offenses this season, and this happens to be one in very bad shape at the moment. The Guardians already ranked 20th in first inning runs, and it feels like Ramirez is their only hope in the first this time.
Xzavion Curry has functioned as an opener for the Guardians, though he was stretched out to five innings in his last start. He’s given up a first inning run in three of his four appearances as an opener, but that seems to be more of an anomaly than anything. Curry’s walk rate is impressive, and his respectable home run rate has helped keep his ERA under 3.00. If he can work around the red-hot Wander Franco, Curry should be able to see some early success against the Rays.