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Best NRFI Bets Today, October 18

Written by: Tanner Kern
Published October 18, 2023
11 min read
Best NRFI Bets Today October 18

Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers - Cristian Javier (RHP) vs. Max Scherzer (RHP)

Over 0.5 Runs (-113 on FanDuel Sportsbook)

The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers share offense in common. Both teams have been exceptional in hitting the baseball, and they’re carrying that momentum into Game 3 of the ALCS. The offense should be on full display early in this contest by both sides. 

After dropping the first two games at home, Houston is looking to stay alive in the Championship Series. While they’re still playing in Texas, this crowd will definitely favor the home team. They must make an early offensive statement to silence the crowd, which could easily come in the first inning. 

On the other hand, the Rangers are looking to stay hot at the plate. They won two games in Houston because of their offense, and this shouldn’t slow down, especially in Arlington. Corey Seager has been one of the most dangerous first-inning hitters throughout the series, and he could strike with a long ball in his first at-bat. 

The NRFI and YRFI are both priced at -113 in this game, showing that the market is a pick’em. While we usually lean toward an NRFI, the YRFI bet is the more viable option with these two offenses and the pitchers that will take the mound. 

Cristian Javier will throw for Houston, and he struggled throughout the year. When he was on, he was one of the better hitters in baseball. However, the consistency could have been more apparent with the pitcher in many starts. 

He went 10-5 in the regular season with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He also didn’t average one strikeout per inning, which can be concerning for playing an NRFI. Frequently, a pitcher must get out of jams in the first inning for an NRFI to cash in with elite strikeout ability. This wasn’t present with Javier in many moments when he needed a big pitch. 

Max Scherzer will make his first start since September 12 when he went 5.1 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays. Scherzer hasn’t been great this season, mainly because he has battled injuries, so we can’t count on him in the first inning of Game 3. 

Scherzer is 13-6 with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He did have 174 strikeouts in 152.2 innings, so there is some reason to lean on the pitcher for an NRFI, but home runs and walks have been troubling. Scherzer may lock in after the first and throw a great game, but we believe he will need help to begin the game. 

1st Inning Run Line: Rangers -1.5 (+590 on FanDuel Sportsbook)

In the playoffs, anything can happen. It’s worth taking a slight chance on a first-inning run line for a small amount of money. Throughout this series, the Rangers have been the offensive aggressors, which should be the case again at home. 

Texas bats behind Seager, Marcus Semien, and the rest of this lineup have been exceptional all year. We see this happening once again today. 

If Scherzer can pitch well in the top of the first and hold the Astros to no runs, the Rangers have a solid chance to score two runs in the bottom half because of their explosive home run hitters. The Rangers dropped four in the top of the first in Game 2. 

They have been notorious for striking first in this series, and it’s the reason they’re up 2-0. For +490, a $10 bet would win $49. Bet accordingly, considering the risk of the market, but the value is high with the Rangers returning home to Arlington.

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Tanner Kern

385 Articles

Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.

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