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Best NRFI Bets This Weekend, August 19-20

Written by: Michael Savio
Published August 19, 2023
13 min read
Red Sox vs Yankees Predictions

The Friday MLB slate is loaded with intriguing games, including contests that will feature Cy Young contenders and contests featuring postseason contenders as well. Several of those marquee matchups feature intriguing angles in the NRFI and YRFI betting markets, including those highlighted here.

Milwaukee Brewers vs Texas Rangers

Under 0.5 Runs (-120 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

Our first NRFI bet of the day is also our favorite of the weekend. While we saw an offensive slugfest between these two division leaders last night, tonight’s pitching matchup should cool these lineups down. Milwaukee will have Freddy Peralta (9-8, 4.08 ERA) on the mound for this one. The 27-year-old struggled in the first half of the season, but things have turned around over the last month. He has five quality starts in his previous six outings and has held teams scoreless in three. Peralta’s control has finally improved, decreasing his ERA while his strikeout ratios increase. It will take Texas time to figure Peralta out today, leading to a quiet first inning.

Dane Dunning (9-4, 3.10 ERA) has been one of the Rangers' most reliable starters in 2023, and he’ll be on the bump for Texas this afternoon. He is having the best season of his career and has been hot lately, with a 2.18 ERA through three August starts. Dunning has lasted at least seven innings in two of his last three starts, and we think that will happen again tonight.

While the Rangers' offense is among the league’s best, they have scored a first-inning just once over their last 12 games. They continue to score plenty, just later in games. Conversely, the Brewers' offense ranks in the bottom ten of the league in every significant category. They are scrappy, but their -4 run differential tells you everything you need to know about this team.

Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees

Under 0.5 Runs (-135 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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We like this pitching matchup, but a big part of the reason we like this bet is how bad the Yankees are. The team has sputtered this season, but things have gotten even worse lately. New York is riding a six-game losing streak, and they have been shut out in two of their last three games. They have scored a first-inning run once in their previous ten games, and we see that slump continuing against a talented Boston starter tonight.

Kutter Crawford (5-6, 3.80 ERA) is in the midst of the best season of his career. While he doesn’t go deep into games, Crawford has been fantastic at the back end of this Red Sox rotation. He has not allowed a first-inning run since April 28, holding opponents to a .203 batting average the first time through the lineup. Crawford has a very impressive 2.13 road ERA this season and a 2.63 ERA in day games. Given the Yankees' struggles, he should have no issue keeping them off the board.

The Yankees will turn to Gerrit Cole (10-3, 2.76 ERA) today, one of the favorites to win the AL Cy Young award. His numbers speak for themselves, and he has posted a quality start in seven of his previous eight games. Cole shut down Boston in June, and we don’t expect much to change. Given his past success and a .188 opponent batting average the first time through the lineup, expect a 1-2-3 inning.

Detroit Tigers vs Cleveland Guardians

Under 0.5 Runs (-120 at PointsBet Sportsbook)

While the odds aren’t great, this is a safe NRFI bet. We have two lackluster division rivals facing off, who rank in the bottom three of the league in runs scored. They are only ahead of the lowly A’s and below an awful Royals team. The poor offense was on display last night, and we expect a repeat performance with these two pitchers on the mound.

Eduardo Rodriguez (8-6, 3.13 ERA) will be on the hill for the Tigers tonight. The veteran has impressive numbers on the season but has regressed a bit over the last two months. We like his chances for an impressive start tonight because this is the third time he will be seeing the Guardians. In the first two starts, Rodriguez threw 15 scoreless innings, allowing eight hits and two walks while striking out 18. He has the Guardians' number, which will lead to a bounce-back game tonight.

Guardians’ starter Tanner Bibee (9-2, 2.90 ERA) has been one of the best young pitchers in the league in 2023. The rookie had a rough June but has a 1.89 ERA since July 1. Bibee has been near unhittable at home, with a 1.70 ERA and .188 opponent batting average. The Tigers were able to handle Bibee earlier this season, but he has come a long way since then. He will finish with a monster stat line that does not include a first-inning run.

Feel free to check out other MLB betting sites for more betting opportunities!

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Michael Savio

412 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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