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Best NRFI Bets This Weekend, August 26-27

Written by: Michael Savio
Published August 26, 2023
13 min read
Blue Jays vs Orioles Predictions

Colorado Rockies vs Baltimore Orioles - RHP Chris Flexen vs (R) vs Kyle Bradish (R)

My Pick: Over 0.5 Runs (-110 at PointsBet Sportsbook)

Baltimore scored two runs in the first inning of last night’s game against the Rockies, and we see that happening again tonight. The Orioles have managed to do so in three of their previous five games, thanks to an impressive offensive surge over the last week. Over the previous seven days, they have averaged 6.8 runs per game and posted a .529 slugging percentage. The Orioles scored in the first inning in four of those seven games, and they will have a great chance to do so again with Chris Flexen on the mound for the Rockies.

Flexen (1-5, 7.18 ERA) was acquired by the Rockies at the trade deadline, but his struggles have followed him. He has a 6.43 ERA across five starts with the Colorado, which includes two ugly road starts. The veteran’s struggles cost him a starting spot with the Mariners, but things were even worse when he was moved to the bullpen. The Orioles lineup has a .323 batting average against Flexen, and opponents have a .368 average against him the first time through the lineup. That is all we need to take the YRFI bet in this one.

While we are confident that the Orioles will score a first-inning run on Flexen, there is reason to believe that the Rockies could answer. Orioles starter Kyle Bradish (8-6, 3.03 ERA) has been electric over the last two months, but he is only in his second season in the MLB. The Rockies' offense hasn’t been great, but the top of their lineup has been hitting well lately. Leadoff man Charlie Blackmon has a .333 batting average over the last six games, while catcher Elias Diaz carries a .474 average. We don’t see the Rockies doing much tonight but don’t be surprised to see them tag Bradish before he settles.

San Diego Padres vs Milwaukee Brewers - Pedro Avila (R) vs Freddy Peralta (R)

My Pick: Under 0.5 Runs (-115 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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This is by far our favorite bet of the weekend. We have an underrated pitching matchup combined with two of the league’s least intimidating offenses. The Brewers have been seeing the ball well lately, but this is still the same team that ranks in the bottom ten of almost every major offensive category. The Padres offense has better talent, but they haven’t delivered much more than the Brewers. Considering tonight’s pitching matchup, expect a quiet first inning in Milwaukee.

The Padres may have found something in Pedro Avila (0-0, 1.17 ERA). The 26-year-old hasn’t lasted more than five innings in a game so far, but he has been fantastic at keeping runs off the board. In his last two starts, Avila has allowed just four hits and one walk thrown over 8 ⅔ shutout innings. Considering the Brewers have not seen Avila before, we expect Milwaukee to take once through the lineup to figure out the young pitcher.

Freddy Peralta (10-8, 3.97 ERA) wasn’t great in the first half of the season, but things have turned around since July 1. Peralta has a 2.68 across eight starts since then, allowing a first-inning run just once. The 27-year-old has been able to figure out his control issues, which allows his nasty breaking stuff to lead to more strikeouts. Opponents have a .211 average against Peralta the first time they see him, and it's hard to see a floundering Padres offense changing that. 

Cleveland Guardians vs Toronto Blue Jays - Logan Allen (L) vs Hyun Jin Ryu (L)

My Pick: Under 0.5 Runs (Under -105 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

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This matchup features two of the hottest pitchers in baseball. On one side is Hyn Jin Ryu (2-1, 1.89 ERA), who has been lights out since making his season debut on August 1. That includes a fantastic start against the Guardians, where he held them hitless and scoreless over four innings. Since that game, Ryu has not allowed an earned run (10 innings). We aren’t necessarily sold on Ryu’s resurgence at 36 years old, but he will be able to throw a clean first inning against a bad Guardians’ offense today. 

Speaking of the Guardians' offense, they have not been able to score runs consistently all season. They have the third-lowest run total in the league, and a recent skid hasn’t helped. Cleveland is averaging 3.2 runs over their last ten games, going 3-7 during that run. They have also struggled with lefties, with a .229 batting average against them in 2023. While the Guardians road the long ball to five runs last night, their stats suggest a significant regression will be coming against Ryu today. 

Cleveland will send Logan Allen (6-6, 3.31 ERA) out to the bump this afternoon. The 24-year-old rookie suffered a bit of a slump in June and July, but he has turned things around in August. He owns a 1.96 ERA over his four August starts, which includes an impressive outing against the Blue Jays, where he allowed one run and four hits over five innings. While Toronto has one of the best young lineups in baseball, they have scored just five runs over their last three games. We’ll see how deep Allen can go in this game, but we are confident he will have a quiet start to the game.

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AUTHOR

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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