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Our first NRFI bet for this weekend comes from Saturday’s matchup between two of the league's most surprising teams. While they won’t have their best arms on the mound tonight, all signs point to a quiet first inning for the Marlins and Orioles. One big reason for that is the play of these offenses. The Orioles have struggled to generate scoring at home this season, where they have scored just 191 of their 442 runs. Conversely, the Marlins offense has been at their worst on the road this season. Their batting average drops 30 points when away from Miami. The struggles of these teams will work in favor of these pitchers early tonight, making this an easy bet.
Orioles’ starter Kyle Gibson (9-6, 4.60 ERA) is the primary reason bookmakers favor the over tonight. While his struggles are plain when looking at his ERA, there are signs that he’ll get through the first inning unscathed. One reason for that is his previous play against key Marlins batters. Marlins slugger Jorge Soler is the heart of this lineup, but he is just 2-21 against Gibson in his career. Bryan De La Cruz is another critical bat, but he is 0-8 against Gibson. Those two guys are the most likely to score runs for this team, and Gibson clearly has their number.
Braxton Garrett (5-2, 3.70 ERA) is turning into a nice rotation piece for the Marlins. He posted a 2.22 ERA across five June starts, but things have regressed slightly in July. We like him to pitch a clean first inning because he has done so in 13 of his previous 14 starts. The Orioles are good, but we think it takes them at least once through the lineup to figure the 25-year-old out.
If you are looking for a bet with high-value odds, this is the one you need. These two impressive offenses will face off with their respective aces on the mound. The Diamondbacks have gone cold at the plate recently, thanks to a mini-slump from Corbin Carroll. While it is a tough blow, the rest of this lineup is better than they have been playing. For Toronto, their offense is finally finding some consistency. They put up a whopping seven runs last night, and that momentum will carry over as they face a Toronto pitcher that has struggled on the road.
Zac Gallen (11-3, 3.04) has established himself as one of the best pitchers in the NL, but he has had some significant issues on the road. While he has a 1.48 ERA across ten home games, he has an ugly 5.08 ERA across nine road games. It is hard to imagine that getting better in Toronto tonight, as the Roger Centre is one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the league, and Gallen has never pitched there. That will be a tough adjustment that will cost him early.
Jays’ starter Kevin Gausman (7-5, 3.03 ERA) has also been fantastic this season. He may have a great stat line against Arizona today, but he has been vulnerable the first time through a lineup. Batters have a .248 average the first time they see Gausman, but it drops to .194 the second time, which is how he has been so dominant. We think Arizona can strike early, leading to an easy cover this afternoon.
This is our favorite bet of the weekend, despite last night’s high-scoring game. The scoring last night did not come until after the first inning, which has been a theme for these teams. The Astros have scored a first-inning run just once in their last ten games, and the Angels have do so once in their previous nine games. That trend will continue tonight with what should be a fantastic pitching matchup.
Framber Valdez (7-6, 2.51 ERA) has been one of the best pitchers in the league in 2023. He has dominated teams, including the Angels. Valdez allowed one run on three hits over eight innings against the Halos in May, a game that was also in Anaheim. He is comfortable there, and the 29-year-old has succeeded against key LA batters. Shohei Ohtani is one of those, as he is 4-31 (.129 BA) against Valdez in his career. Considering that and the fact that opponents have a .166 batting average against him the first time through the lineup, this bet is a no–brainer.
Angels’ starter Reid Detmers (2-6, 4.31 ERA) is coming off a rough start against the Dodgers, but it was his first bad outing since June 1. The 24-year-old had a 2.05 ERA across five May starts, and his strikeout totals are steadily on the rise. The Astros beat up Detmers, but since that June 1 game, he has allowed more than two runs just once. Detmers has also held batters to a .189 average the first time through the lineup, which points to a clean first inning tonight.
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.More info on Michael Savio
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