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Our first MLB NRFI play for Friday comes in Minnesota, where the Twins host the Chicago Cubs in a Central division interleague matchup. Here, we like these two teams to combine for a scoreless first inning, with a couple of solid starters on the mound for both sides. Drew Smyly and Sonny Gray should be able to hold the opposing lineups in check to get us started with a win in this market.
Smyly has pitched incredibly well early in the season for the Cubs and is one of the reasons that they are competitive in the NL Central so far this year. He is 3-1 with a 3.05 ERA this season but has been pitching much better lately. He has not allowed more than two runs in a start in any of his last five outings, including a run of two starts against the Dodgers where he allowed just one run in 13.1 innings.
Going against Smyly is Sonny Gray of the Minnesota Twins, who is off to an even better start this season. Gray is 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA, and has worked his way into the early AL Cy Young conversation. His success and the competence of Smyly make the first inning under in this game an attractive selection for Friday’s MLB action.
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The YRFI for the Friday night matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies is heavily juiced. Betting on there to be a first inning run in this game will cost bettors a -160 line or so, as it is expected that the starting pitching in this game will struggle from the start. But we are going the other way in this contest, as we expect a scoreless first inning and will take a plus price for it to happen.
Taijuan Walker gets the start for the Phillies in this game, who is a little better than his overall numbers would suggest. Walker enters this game at 3-2 with a 5.97 ERA, but that ERA is inflated after a terrible performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He gave up eight earned runs in 3.1 innings against the Dodgers, and we should see better from Walker here to help this game stay under the first inning total.
On the other side is Austin Gomber, who is 3-4 with a 6.75 ERA coming into this home game against the Phillies. He is another pitcher whose numbers do not fully represent how he has pitched this season. He gave up nine earned runs in two innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates back in mid-April and is better than that on a regular basis, and he will end up holding the Phillies scoreless.
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Our final bet on the first inning totals market for Friday is a first inning over between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. Blake Snell is on the mound to start this game for the Padres, and he is the main reason that we like this game to go over the first inning total. His struggles have been well-documented so far this season, which will cause problems against a Dodgers team that has the potential to jump all over him.
So far this season, Snell is 1-5 with a 4.98 ERA, as he has given up runs consistently in his starts this year. He gave up a couple of runs against the Dodgers in his last start, taking the loss in that matchup. Here, he will once again be vulnerable to giving up some runs early on against a Dodgers team that leads the National League in runs scored.
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Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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