The weekend rolls on with 16 more games on Saturday, including starts by Zac Gallen, George Kirby, Spencer Strider, and Sandy Alcantara. Could the pitching talent on the mound translate to some great NRFI opportunities?
Let’s take a look at some of the best NRFI bets on the board Saturday.
MLB Best NRFI Bets For August 12
Here’s a look at the best NRFI bets from Saturday’s slate of games.
Rangers vs. Giants NRFI (-120)
Andrew Heaney has looked pretty great lately, with more scoreless outings than not in his last seven starts. He allowed six hits and no earned runs over 11.2 IP (two starts) last week alone, and it certainly seems like he’s hitting his stride.
The Giants have a lineup every pitcher wants to face right now. San Francisco hit a putrid .209 with a .632 OPS in the month of July, and this offense has been even worse in August with an OPS barely hovering above .600. Heaney should be able to build momentum early, particular with the Giants hitting for very little power since June.
On the other side, Alex Cobb is trying to bounce back from two extremely uncharacteristic starts. He’s allowed five home runs in his last two outings, which just isn’t on par with his recent track record. In a pitcher-friendly ballpark, can Cobb snap back to reality even against a very talented top of the Rangers lineup? Even when he gave up three blasts to the Diamondbacks 11 days ago, none came until the middle innings.
Twins vs. Phillies NRFI (+100)
The value here is just too great to ignore, even with the way the Phillies have been hitting of late. Pablo Lopez has started to pitch like the pitcher the Twins expected, posting a 1.80 ERA over his last four starts and giving Minnesota plenty of length. If you go back past a mid-July blowup against the A’s, Lopez has a complete game shutout of the Royals plus a 10-strikeout showing in late June.
The former Marlin has familiarity with the Phillies, and his strikeout rate is a career-best 11.0 per nine. A scoreless first inning isn’t too much to ask.
It’ll be a bit easier for Taijuan Walker, who gets a Twins offense that isn’t producing consistently. Max Kepler has been the team’s only real power threat of late, but he’s been stuck late in the order. While he wasn’t making much contact himself, Byron Buxton’s absence also removes a real power threat from that top of the lineup.
Walker is holding opposing hitters to a .193 AVG at home this season, so a scoreless first seems likely.
Guardians vs. Rays NRFI
The NRFI bet hit in this matchup on Friday, and there’s again a pretty solid chance on Saturday.
The Guardians managed to put eight runs on the board against the Rays on Friday, but this is still a disappointing lineup post-deadline with Josh Naylor on the IL and Josh Bell gone. Jose Ramirez remains the only real power threat near the top of Cleveland’s lineup, and the Guardians are tied for 21st in baseball in first inning runs per game – expect that ranking to drop even further with Naylor out.
The Rays have an opener on the hill in Shawn Armstrong, and it’s hard not to be confident in him. Armstrong has allowed a run in just one of his last 11 appearances, including two opener roles, and has a 1.15 ERA on the year with a 2.18 FIP. The Rays have the more threatening offense. Wander Franco has been hitting out of his mind lately, though Randy Arozarena’s struggles balance things out.
Tampa is facing Gavin Williams, though. The rookie totally dominated the Blue Jays in his last start and has allowed a first inning run in just one of his nine MLB starts. It could take the Rays a few innings to settle in against the dynamic young starter, like it did for a few other lineups.