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Best NRFI Bets This Weekend, April 15-16

Written by: Max Heering
Published April 15, 2023
13 min read
Best NRFI Bets This Weekend

Milwaukee Brewers vs San Diego Padres - Freddy Peralta (R) vs Seth Lugo (R) 

Under 0.5 Runs (-120 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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This one is my lock of the week, as we have two pitchers on the mound that have dominated to begin 2023. Peralta’s resurgence has been impressive after a rough 2022 campaign. He once again looks like a Cy Young candidate, allowing one run and striking out 14 through 12 innings this season. While Peralta will be up against an elite Padres lineup, his stuff makes it hard to hit the first time through the lineup. I’m confident he sits the Padres down in order in the first inning on Saturday.

The Padres Seth Lugo is in his first year in San Diego and is back in a starting rotation. After spending the last few years as a reliever with the Mets, Lugo has been fantastic through his first two starts. He has pitched 13 innings, surrendering two runs and striking out 12. While he came out of the bullpen against Milwaukee last season, he did throw for three scoreless innings.

I always love taking the under in games played in pitchers' ballparks. San Diego is very pitcher-friendly and limits big run totals early in the game. That will be especially true for a Brewers lineup with questions at the top (last night not withstanding). Expect Lugo to cruise through the first, but struggle after that.

New York Mets vs Oakland A’s - Carlos Carrasco (R) vs Shintaro Fujinami (R) 

Over 0.5 Runs ( -135 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

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As bad as Carrasco has been to start the season (11.42 ERA), Fujinmi has been even worse (17.55). Carrasco allowed three runs to the Marlins in the first innings of his last start and hasn’t shown he’s close to turning that around. The veteran starter is struggling with his control early this year, resulting in the high home run and walk tools. In 8 ⅔ innings this season, Carrasco has allowed three long balls and seven walks. The A’s lineup is terrible, but even they can succeed against those numbers.

Fujinami’s first season in the MLB is off to a dreadful start. He has only thrown for 6 ⅔ innings in two starts, allowing 13 runs and seven walks. The former Japan star has made it through a clean first inning in his first two starts, but this Mets offense will capitalize early. With two games worth of tape, expect the Mets to exploit the many weaknesses that Fujinami has shown.

While the A’s lineup is atrocious, they scored a run in the first inning of their last four games. In fact, Oakland’s last five games featured at least one run in the first inning. Combine that with a Mets lineup due to break out, and you have a recipe for a big first inning.

Texas Rangers vs Houston Astros - Jon Gray (R) vs Hunter Brown (R) 

Over 0.5 Runs (-105 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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There is much to love about this bet, with two of the AL’s top offenses taking the field. As of Friday, the Rangers are sixth in the MLB in runs (67), while the Astros sit just behind in seventh (66). While we expected this from the Astros, the Rangers have surprised fans nationwide. Consistency has been an issue, but Texas has shown their lineup is more than capable of putting up big totals. In their last three games, the Rangers scored twice in the first inning.

Veteran Jon Gray will get the ball for the Rangers on Saturday. The pitcher is coming off a solid 2022 campaign with Texas and has been reliable to begin the season. However, he has an issue with walks and hits. While it isn’t overwhelming, it can be a big issue against a team like the Astros. Gray faced the Astros once last season and gave up one of his two runs in the first inning. 

After a sluggish start to the season, the Astros' offense has woken up to average over six runs over their last five games. They have scored in the first inning in two of their previous four games, showing that the top of this lineup is finally settling. On the mound, they will be starting rookie Hunter Brown. The pitcher appeared in just seven games last season but has started 2023 off well. He is 1-0 in two starts, surrendering four runs and eight hits. He is developing into a nice piece of this rotation but will be due for a regression. Look for the Rangers to attack him early to force that first-inning run.

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Max Heering

429 Articles

Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]

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