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Best NRFI Bets Today, May 20-21

Written by: Michael Savio
Published May 20, 2023
5 min read
Best NRFI Bets This Weekend

Chicago Cubs vs Philadelphia Phillies - RHP Jameson Taillon (CHC) vs RHP Aaron Nola (PHI)

Over 0.5 Runs (-120 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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Caesars

4.3/5

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

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Our first NRFI comes from a Saturday matchup between the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies. Both teams have been losing a lot lately as they have struggled to contain opposing offenses. In the last seven days, the Cubs have posted an 8.94 ERA, while the Phillies had four of their five starters post ERAs over 5.00. Their struggles included starts by both pitchers taking the mound today, which is why this NRFI bet is at the top of our list.

James Taillon (0-2, 6.66 ERA) will get the start for the Cubs in this one. The veteran has had an ugly start to 2023, as he has failed to last past the fifth inning in all of his appearances. He is surrendering a lot of hits, especially during day games like today. He owns a 7.50 ERA over his three day starts and an 8.49 ERA at home. Combine that with the fact that he has surrendered runs in the first inning of his last two starts, and you can see why we love this bet.

Aaron Nola (3-3, 4.53 ERA) has also been off to a slow start, though he has at least been able to go deep into games. That may change tonight as he faces a Cubs team that hit him hard last season. This season, he has been about the same on the road as at home but has struggled in day starts, as he owns a 5.59 ERA over five starts. 

Baltimore Orioles vs Toronto Blue Jays - RHP Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) vs RHP Alek Manoah (TOR)

Over 0.5 Runs (-125 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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Caesars

4.3/5

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

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There are a lot of reasons that we love this bet in the Battle of the Birds. The first is the talent of these two offenses, who both rank in the top half of MLB offenses in 2023. They both have a ton of power, especially toward the top of the lineup. Toronto’s offense has been streaky, but they are coming off a quiet series against the Yankees, meaning they will be ready to break out against a bad pitcher today. Baltimore has been scoring plenty of runs recently, scoring 15 in three games in their previous series. We didn’t see a lot of action early from either of these teams last night, but that will change today with this pitching matchup.

Alek Manoah (1-4, 5.40 ERA) has not looked like the All-Star he was last season. He struggles badly with walks and hits, posting a brutal 1.80 WHIP. He allowed six hits and SEVEN walks over four innings in his previous start. He now has walked 16 batters over his last 18 ⅔ innings. His splits are even worse, as he owns an 8.50 ERA (.333 OBA) at home and a 7.20 ERA (.308 OBA) during day games. Those numbers make this bet an easy one to make.

Grayson Rodriguez (2-1, 6.57 ERA) will get the start for Baltimore tonight, hoping for his first good start of May. He owns an 11.37 ERA over three starts this month, but his last one was his worst. On Monday, he allowed eight earned runs on nine hits over 3 ⅓ innings, allowing two home runs and walking two. Rodriguez has had a few decent starts, but that won’t happen tonight as he gets his first experience against this top-heavy Toronto lineup.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Pittsburgh Pirates - RHP Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs RHP Mitch Keller (PIT)

Under 0.5 Runs (-110 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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Caesars

4.3/5

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

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The bookmakers are favoring a run to be scored in the first inning of this one, but that is a mistake. One reason for that is the Pirate's offense. After a hot start to the season, Pittsburgh has seen a significant regression to both their offensive numbers and overall record. They are now in the bottom ten in the league in runs scored, hits, and home runs. They were able to go off last night, but none of that damage was done in the first inning. The Pirates have put up a ton of runs over their previous two games, but their season stats and lineup tell us a regression is coming today.

Brandon Pfaadt (0-1, 8.59 ERA) will get his fourth career start today. He was roughed up in his first two starts, but he bounced back last weekend to allow one hit and one run over five innings. Seeing as this is his first season at the big league level, we don’t have a lot of other stats to share for Pfaadt. We see him having an advantage the first time through the lineup, which is all we need to win this bet.

The last and most important reason we love this bet is Mitch Keller (5-1, 2.38 ERA). The veteran Pirate starter has been incredible this season. He owns a 0.43 ERA in May, allowing just one earned run over three starts (21 innings). He has not allowed a run over his last two starts, including in a complete game shutout. He doesn’t walk many batters, and he owns an impressive 1.02 WHIP in 2023, which is why we love him to have a quiet inning against a good Diamondbacks offense today. 

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Image for Michael Savio

Michael Savio

Sports Betting & Gambling Industry Analyst

Expertise:
Gambling News
MLB
NCAAB
Online Sports Betting
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.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Political Science
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: BetMGM Casino
Experience:
3 years
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