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Best NRFI Bets Today, April 6

Written by: Max Heering
Published April 6, 2023
13 min read
Best NRFI Bets Today

Boston Red Sox vs Detroit Tigers - Chris Sale (LHP) vs Spencer Turnbull (RHP)

Under 0.5 Runs (-160 at Caesars)

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Caesars

4.3/5

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Thursday’s MLB schedule includes a matinee in Detroit with the Tigers hosting the Red Sox in their home opener in 2023. Fans in Detroit have grown accustomed to watching a sluggish offense in recent years. At least on opening day, it might take some time for either team to get going offensively, especially since both teams will have to travel the day before and then play a day game on Thursday. That’s a huge edge for starters Chris Sale and Spencer Turnbull, who should both pitch a scoreless first inning.

At this point, the Red Sox aren’t a good bet to score a run in any inning. They got swept at home by the Pirates during the early part of this week, scoring just one run on Tuesday and one run on Wednesday. The Sox weren’t exactly facing high-level pitching from the Pirates, so clearly there’s something wrong with the Boston lineup right now. They are feeling the absence of Trevor Story while Japanese transplant Masataka Yoshida is just 5 for 25 early in his MLB career. Without much experience facing Turnbull, the Red Sox might need at least one round through the lineup until they start stringing hits together.

As for the Tigers, they’ve scored two runs or less in four of their first six games of the season. That’s not the sign of an offense that’s poised to strike early and often in its home opener. The one piece of good news is that Sale got knocked around in his first start of the season, allowing seven runs in three innings, giving three home runs in the process. But that doesn’t mean the Tigers can take advantage of Sale. Several Detroit regulars, including Javier Baez and Miguel Cabrera, are still batting under .200 on the season. Plus, Cabrera and Jonathan Schoop are the only hitters on Detroit’s roster with more than five at-bats against Sale, so they could also need a little time to settle in against the lefty, resulting in a scoreless first inning.

Toronto Blue Jays vs Kansas City Royals - Kevin Gausman (RHP) vs Jordan Lyles (RHP)

Under 0.5 Runs (-145 at Caesars)

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Caesars

4.3/5

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Through the first week of the season, the Blue Jays and Royals have been two of the lowest-scoring teams in the American League. In Kansas City’s case, that’s not a big surprise. However, Toronto’s offensive struggles are unexpected. Of course, this is good news for starters Kevin Gausman and Jordan Lyles, who are in a good position to each throw a scoreless first inning in Thursday’s series finale.

After scoring 10 runs on opening day, it took Toronto three games to score the team’s next 10 runs. Outside of a handful of doubles from Matt Chapman, the Blue Jays have been lacking power thus far. Oddly enough, Chapman is the man to watch in this game. He’s 9 for 21 with five home runs in his career against Lyles. But if you take him out of the equation, Lyles has done a decent job in his career against the rest of Toronto's lineup. If he can work his way around Chapman, Lyles should be able to escape the first inning without giving up a run.

On the other side, Kansas City’s entire lineup is off to a sluggish start in 2023. That's particularly true of the table-setters at the top of the lineup in Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez, and Vinnie Pasquantino. That’s unlikely to turn around on Thursday against Gausman. Not only do most of Kansas City’s hitters have no more than a few at-bats in their career against Gausman but the Toronto ace posted a 2.90 ERA in the first inning of his 31 starts last season. Gausman typically starts games on the right foot, which is a safe bet in Thursday’s game.

San Francisco Giants vs Chicago White Sox - Alex Wood (LHP) vs Lance Lynn (RHP)

Under 0.5 Runs (-160 at Caesars)

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4.3/5

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The Giants and White Sox are set to play the rubber match of a three-game series on Thursday afternoon. The first two games have featured 25 total runs from the two teams. However, with Thursday being a day game and two veteran starters like Alex Wood and Lance Lynn on the mound, this could be a low-scoring game. If nothing else, it’ll take a little time for either team to get going offensively.

As a team, the White Sox are just 6 for 26 (.231) in their career against Wood. Even with Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert, and others off to a fast start, Wood has a chance to keep the White Sox quiet early in the game. In 2022, Wood's lowest ERA came in the first inning of games. He also averaged more than a strikeout per inning in the first inning last year. This means that the southpaw is a fast starter and should get off to a strong start on Thursday.

Meanwhile, San Francisco’s entire roster is a combined 9 for 61 (.148) in their careers against Lynn. That doesn’t bode well for the Giants to get much done offensively, especially early in the game. Lynn gave up just three hits over 5.2 innings against a potent Houston lineup in his first start of the season, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him pitch well against the Giants. Even if he’s not traditionally a dominant pitcher in the first inning of games, Lynn's success against San Francisco's hitters speaks for itself, leading to a scoreless first inning on Thursday.

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AUTHOR

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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