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Best MLB NRFI Bets This Weekend, July 8-9

Written by: Michael Savio
Published July 8, 2023
13 min read
Yankees vs Guardians Predictions

Chicago Cubs vs New York Yankees - Drew Smyly (L) vs Gerrit Cole (R)  

Under 0.5 (-128 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

We love this bet because of the pitching matchup on the mound today. Drew Smyly (7-5, 4.10 ERA) will start for the Cubs as he looks to bounce back from a couple of bad outings. Smyly has been hit or miss for most of the season, but he has been sharp when away from Wrigley Field. The lefty has a 3.08 ERA across nine road starts this season and a 3.96 ERA across five day games. He has given up a run in the first inning in just two of his nine road starts, and we see having another quiet opening frame tonight. 

The Yankees will have Gerrit Cole (8-2, 2.79 ERA) starting tonight. The 32-year-old has been fantastic for the Yankees this season. He has allowed a run to score in the first inning once in his last six starts, which was also the only game he failed to post a quality start. Though he had a rough May, he bounced back to post a 2.40 ERA in June and was fantastic in his lone July start. 

The Yankees' offense has the talent to be great, but they have disappointed. They rank twenty-sixth in team batting average and seventeenth in runs scored. They have failed to score in the first inning in four of their last five games. The Cubs' offense has been better, but they have not scored a first-inning run since June 25.

Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers - Luke Weaver (R) vs Colin Rea (R) 

Over 0.5 Runs (-155 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

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We are expecting a lot of fireworks in this game tonight, with two struggling pitchers on the mound. Luke Weaver (2-2, 6.72 ERA) will get the start for the Cardinals. The 29-year-old has been bad, with just one quality start on the season. His 1.59 WHIP is ugly, and it will get uglier tonight against a hot Brewers lineup. Weaver has allowed a first-inning run in five of his last six starts, and we see that total growing tonight. 

Brewers’ starter Colin Rea (5-4, 4.40 ERA) has been better than Weaver but struggles with consistency. He has had some issues at home this season, with a 4.75 ERA across seven starts there. Opponents have a .257 batting average against Rea when at American Family Field, which will be a problem against a hot Reds team. Look for Rea to get into trouble early, likely surrendering a first-inning run in the process.

Another reason to love this bet is the recent play of these two offenses. The Reds have won eight of their last nine games, averaging 6.1 runs per game. The Brewers have also been hot, averaging 6.7 runs per game over their previous seven. That alone is a reason to bet the over here, but add that to this questionable pitching matchup, and you can see why we are locking this one in.

Houston Astros vs Seattle Mariners

Under 0.5 Runs (-140 at PointsBet Sportsbook)

This is our favorite NRFI bet of the weekend, thanks mainly to Astros’ starter Framber Valdez (7-6, 2.49 ERA). The Houston ace is a favorite to win the AL Cy Young thanks to posting an ERA under 2.75 each month this season. Now he will be up against a Mariners team that has struggled on offense for most of the year. While they have been improved of late, they will take some time to get anything going against a pitcher as dominant as Valdez. Batters have a .168 average against Valdez the first time they see him in a game, making the under the best bet here.

Bryan Woo (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will be on the mound for Seattle tonight. The rookie made his debut on June 3 and was hammered, but he has been getting better every time out. Woo is coming off his best start of the season, where he pitched six innings and allowed just two runs on three hits. He still has some growing to do, but we give him the advantage tonight the first time through the lineup. Batters are taking some time to get used to the young arm, with a .188 average the first time through the lineup but a .400 average the third time. We’re only focused on the first inning, so we are all over this bet tonight.

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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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