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Best NRFI Bets This Weekend, July 1-2

Written by: Michael Savio
Published July 1, 2023
13 min read
Blue Jays vs Rays Predictions

Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays - RHP Kutter Crawford (BOS) vs LHP Yusei Kikuchi

Under 0.5 Runs (-104 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

While this pitching matchup may not jump out to you, it is better than it looks. That is especially true for Yusei Kikuchi (7-2, 3.75 ERA), who rebounded from a rough May by posting a 2.28 ERA across five June starts. He has only allowed seven total runs across those five starts, and he has allowed just four hits across the last two (13 innings). In his lone start against Boston this season, Kikuchi held them scoreless in the first inning.

While Kikuchi did struggle against Boston in May, that came against a very different Boston offense. The Red Sox have been held to two or fewer runs in four of their last five games and have a .197 batting average over the previous week. While they managed to put up more than two runs last night, the Sox took until the fifth inning to get a run on the board. They also relied on the home run ball as their struggles to get runners on base continued. Those will continue against red-hot Kikuchi tonight, which is why we love this bet. 

Another reason we like this bet is that Kutter Crawford (2-4, 4.01 ERA) will be on the mound for Boston tonight. The 27-year-old reliever turned spot-starter has been a mixed bag, but he has not allowed a first-inning run across his last five starts. Toronto’s offense is good, but MVP candidate Bo Bichette has struggled against Crawford in the past, which could mean an easy out in the first inning. We’re not sure if the Boston starter will last long in this game, but we are confident he will get through the first inning without any damage.

Houston Astros vs Texas Rangers - RHP Hunter Brown (HOU) vs RHP Nathan Eovaldi (TEX)

Under 0.5 Runs (-115 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

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This AL West battle features one of the best pitching matchups of the weekend, which is why we are locking in the under. 24-year-old Hunter Brown (6-4, 3.62 ERA) has played a significant role for Houston after they lost three starters to injury. It hasn’t always been pretty, but he has been dominant in the first inning of games. Brown has allowed a score just once over his last nine starts, and we see that trend continuing tonight. 

Nathan Eovaldi (9-3, 2.82 ERA) will be on the bump for the Rangers this evening. He has been fantastic for Texas all season, serving as their defacto ace, with Jacob deGrom sidelined for the remainder of the season. He has had some issues in June, but not in the first inning. In fact, the 33-year-old has allowed just one first-inning run across his last 11 starts. We expect him to cruise in the first inning tomorrow.

The Astros' offense has been a funny thing this season. While they can put up monster run totals as they did against the Cardinals this week, they are usually followed by extended droughts. It's a big reason they have underperformed this season, and we see it leading to them having a quiet day against Eovaldi and the Rangers.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Angels - RHP Ryne Nelson (ARI) vs LHP Tyler Anderson (LAA)

Over 0.5 Runs (-135 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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This is our favorite bet of the weekend, as we have a matchup between two good offenses facing bad pitching. The D-backs and Angels both rank in the top ten in the league in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. The Angels have been especially hot of late, including a 25-1 win against the Rockies last weekend. Shohei Ohtani has been leading the charge, putting up eight hits and four home runs in their series against the White Sox this week. Look for him and Trout to put up some offense tonight with a struggling Ryne Nelson on the mound.

Nelson (4-4, 4.97 ERA) will get the start for the D-backs, and we think he will have issues early against the Angels' offense. While he is coming off one of his best starts of the season, Nelson still owns a 4.10 ERA in June. He has been walloped by good offenses all season, and we see that trend continuing tonight.

Tyler Anderson (4-2, 5.54 ERA) is a pitcher we have been betting against a lot this year. The 33-year-old was supposed to help anchor this Angels rotation, but instead, he has become a liability. Anderson has a 5.88 ERA at home and a 5.92 ERA in night games, which will be factors tonight. He has surrendered a first-inning run in two of his last five starts, and the D-backs offense will be able to add to that total.

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Michael Savio

423 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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