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This is our first NRFI bet of the weekend, and it is one that we love. The Brewers and Giants will meet on Saturday to seek a key series win. After starting the season hot, the Brewers have fallen apart over the last few weeks. They lost series to Detroit and Boston and were swept by a Colorado team that is not very good. A big part of that has been their hitting, as their offense has begun to cool off. It isn’t too surprising, as their lineup is less than impressive. The same can be said for the Giants, who rank just behind the Brewers in several offensive statistics. That is a big reason why we love this NRFI bet.
Another reason we love this bet is that Alex Cobb (1-1, 2.43) has allowed just one first-inning run this season. The veteran is having a fantastic start to 2023 and has dominated the Brewers in the past. The Crew has a combined .171 batting average against Cobb, and they did not have any answers for him in 2022. Cobb threw 7 ⅓ innings without allowing an earned run in that start, and we expect a similar performance today.
While Colin Rea (0-2, 4.79 ERA) won’t be winning the Cy Young any time soon, but he has surrendered just one first-inning run this season. We like his chances for a quiet first inning today, as this Giants team has never faced him. Rea has some nasty stuff, so expect a mediocre Giants lineup to struggle against him the first time through.
This is our best value pick of the weekend as we favor bad hitting over bad pitching. These two teams are in the bottom five in the MLB in runs (119 each), batting average, and just about every other offensive category you can think of. While the A’s have shown some signs of life on offense, they don’t have the talent for that ever to be a consistent part of their game. The same goes for the Royals, who have been scoring more runs over the last couple of weeks. That is why the bookmakers have this pick valued so well, but we think they have this one wrong.
A big reason for that is that starter Ken Waldichuk (0-2, 7.26 ERA) has yet to allow a first-inning run. He has been hit-or-miss to begin the season but has done well against the league’s weaker offenses. The 25-year-old is in his second season, meaning this is the first time the Royals have seen him. Even if they are scoring more runs of late, we don’t like their chances of putting up a run in their first time facing the young pitcher.
Royals’ starter Brady Singer (2-3, 8.49 ERA) is off to a terrible start this season, but his historic numbers tell us this won’t last. He posted a 3.23 ERA in 2022 and had a 2.76 ERA when starting at home. He hasn’t faced many of these A’s before, but the few he has have struggled. We expect a clean first inning for the Royals’ starter, but don’t be surprised if the offenses heat up late.
Not great value, but this is our safest bet for the weekend. That is because it features two struggling pitchers and two offenses capable of generating monster numbers. While Philly hasn’t shown that ability much in 2023, it is only a matter of time, considering their lineup. That lineup now includes Bryce Harper, who has returned from injury and is working his way back into form. We expect this lineup to click and put up offense early against a struggling Corey Kluber (1-4, 6.44 ERA).
Boston’s offense has been a different story. After starting cold, they have come alive over the last couple of weeks. They scored a whopping 32 runs in their previous four-game series against Toronto, and we expect that to continue today. Their lineup is filled with power and potential, especially if they can get slugger Rafael Devers (.240 BA, 11 HR, 31 RBI) to the plate. The third baseman has been clutch for the Sox this season and should be able to drive in a run if the Red Sox can get on base in the first inning.
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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