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Best NRFI Bets This Weekend, August 12-13

Written by: Michael Savio
Published August 12, 2023
13 min read
Cubs vs Astros Predictions

Chicago Cubs vs Toronto Blue Jays - LHP Justin Steele (L) vs Chris Bassitt (R)

My Pick: Over 0.5 Runs (+100 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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This is the best bet of the weekend, and we are going to take advantage. One big reason we love this bet is the Cub's red-hot offense. Chicago has charged up the NL Central standings thanks to an offense that has been scoring a ton of runs. While they cooled off against the Mets this week, they snapped back to form in Toronto last night. They have been doing a lot of their damage early in games, scoring in the first run in five of their last ten games, including last night.

The Cubs have also been vulnerable to surrendering first-inning runs, and it has led to a lot of YRFI payouts. A run has been scored in the first inning in eight of their last ten games. In fact, we have seen a first-inning run in Chicago’s previous four games. The Blue Jays offense is loaded with young talent, and we see them making five straight tonight.

Chris Bassitt (11-6, 3.87) has had some trouble in the first inning of late and has allowed a first-inning run in two of his last three starts. He came close to doing so in three straight games, getting out of a bases-loaded jam in his previous start. As well as Bassitt has pitched for Toronto, opponents own a .249 batting average against him the first time through the lineup. That isn’t a great stat, and we see a fantastic Cubs offense taking advantage of those struggled today.

Los Angeles Angels vs Houston Astros - Tyler Anderson (L) vs J.P. France (R)

My Pick: Over 0.5 Runs (-140 at PointsBet Sportsbook)

This is a big matchup for both of these AL West rivals, and we see the action getting going early. While the odds aren’t great, this is one of the safest bets you can make this weekend. One reason is Angels’ starting pitcher Tyler Anderson (5-3, 4.92). The veteran has been a major disappointment for the Halos and has been at his worst when on the road. Anderson has a 5.01 ERA away from Anaheim, which won’t get better against an Astros lineup with a combined .362 batting average against him.

Speaking of the Astros lineup, they have been one of the best in the league over the last few weeks. Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve are both back and have been raking for the Astros. Altuve has been especially great, with two home runs and a .462 batting average over the last seven days. Then there is Kyle Tucker, who has been playing at an MVP level and is five for six against Anderson in his career. Opponents are batting .300 against Anderson the first time they see him, meaning this talented offense will be set up for a big first inning.

Rookie pitcher JP France (8-3, 2.75 ERA) has been incredible this season, but he has been underwhelming early in games. France has allowed a run in two of his last four starts, including an outing last weekend against the Yankees. France has also struggled at home this season, where his ERA goes up to 3.74. While we are more confident in the Astros' ability to score, the Angels should have a chance to do damage early in this one.

St. Louis Cardinals vs Kansas City Royals - Stevan Matz (L) vs Cole Ragans (L)

My Pick: Under 0.5 Runs (+100 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

This is another excellent value bet that we love this weekend. This matchup features two struggling offenses and one of Saturday's most underrated pitching matchups. On one side is veteran Cardinals starter Steven Matz (3-7, 3.91 ERA), who has been turning his season around. Matz has posted a quality start in his last three games, allowing a total of just one run between them. The lefty has posted a 1.96 ERA since June 3 and has not allowed a first-inning run in seven straight starts. Considering the Royals' lousy offense, we see that hot streak continuing tonight. 

On the other side is the young Cole Ragans (3-3, 3.86 ERA), who the Royals got in return for Aroldis Chapman a few weeks ago. The 25-year-old has been fantastic since, posting a 1.02 ERA across three starts (17 ⅔ innings). All three starts were against impressive teams in the Red Sox, Mets, and Rays. Ragans did not allow a first-inning run in those starts. While the Cardinals' offense has been good, they will need at least an inning to get used to the streaking young starter.

While the Royals did put up a big run total last night, it was primarily thanks to a terrible Adam Wainright being on the mound for St. Louis. The Royals' offense is still one of the worst in all of baseball, and last night was the first time they have scored in the first inning in his previous five games. Expect them to have a big cooldown tonight against Matz. 

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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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