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Best NRFI Bets Today, July 22-23

Written by: Michael Savio
Published July 22, 2023
13 min read

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Texas Rangers - Bobby Miller (R) vs RHP Dane Dunning (R)

My Pick: Over 0.5 Runs (-120 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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Our first bet comes from one of the most exciting matchups of the weekend. The Rangers and Dodgers are among the top offenses in baseball, and they have been doing damage early in games. Both teams have scored in the first inning in two of their previous four games, with the Rangers doing so in the series opener last night. Considering the talent of both lineups and the shaky pitching matchup, we are locking in the over.

Speaking of shaky pitching, rookie Bobby Miller (5-1, 4.25 ERA) will be on the mound for the Dodgers tonight. The 24-year-old was fantastic to begin the season but has been awful over his last five starts. Miller has not recorded a quality start since Jun 10 as he has suddenly struggled to miss bats. On top of that, the rookie has been vulnerable the first time through opposing lineups. The Rangers' offense ranks in the top five of almost every major offensive category, and they will get to the young starter early today.

Dane Dunning (8-2, 2.82 ERA) will get the start for the Rangers today. He has been fantastic this season, becoming a pivotal arm for a Texas rotation that needed help after losing Jacob deGrom. While his success has been impressive, Dunning has struggled in the first inning. He has allowed a run in two of his last three starts, and now he’ll be up against a Dodgers team attacking opposing pitching early. We think he surrenders a run in the first, so we are taking the over.

Chicago White Sox vs Minnesota Twins - Dylan Cease (R) vs Sonny Gray (R)

My Pick: Under  0.5 Runs (-120 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

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This division matchup features two of the league’s most disappointing offenses, which has us jumping on this bet. The Twins have improved since the All-Star break and have retaken the AL Central. They are scoring many runs and have been doing some damage in the first inning. Unfortunately for the Twins, that hot streak will end tonight with Dylan Cease on the mound.

Cease (4-3, 4.18 ERA) has not looked like the same elite pitcher he was in 2022, but he returned to form in June. Cease posted a 2.20 ERA across five starts last night, including fantastic performances against the Rangers and Dodgers. He has regressed a bit in July, but he will be facing a Chicago team he has dominated in the past. This Sox lineup has a .189 batting average against Cease, which will lead to a quiet first inning tonight.

Sonny Gray (4-4, 3.16 ERA) will be on the mound for the Twins. The veteran has struggled a bit in his last two starts but has been solid in 2023. He has not allowed a first-inning run in four straight games and has held opponents to a .205 batting average the first time through the lineup. Gray started against Chicago in April and held them scoreless over five innings. Expect to see more of the same tonight, leading to a quiet first inning.

New York Mets vs Boston Red Sox - Max Scherzer (R) vs James Paxton (L)

My Pick: Over 0.5 Runs (-113 at FanDuels Sportsbook)

Our third and final bet of the weekend comes from two teams desperately attempting to climb back into playoff contention. Both have lineups loaded with elite talent but have struggled to find consistency. However, they have improved early in the season's second half. The Red Sox have scored a first-inning run in four of their previous five games. While the Mets' offense has not been as effective early in games, tonight’s pitching matchup will work in their favor. 

James Paxton (5-2, 3.51 ERA) will be on the hill for Boston today. The 36-year-old is far from the pitcher he once was but has had a nice bounceback season in 2023. However, Paxton has shown signs that his hot streak may end. That was clear in his last start, where he allowed six runs to the Cubs over three innings. His control became an issue, and his struggles are only the beginning of a significant regression. Look for the loaded top of the Mets lineup to get to him early, leading to at least one run being scored.

Speaking of regressions, Mets’ starter Max Scherzer has taken a big step backward in his sixteenth season in the league. While he looked sharp in his last start against the Dodgers, he was hammered in his previous two July starts. He allowed a first-inning run in both outings, and we see that trend continuing. Scherzer’s 4.92 road ERA and recent struggles make this an easy bet.

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AUTHOR

Michael Savio

467 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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