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Best YRFI Bets Today: Fade Cortes While Backing the Yankees Hot Bats

Written by: Kody Malstrom
Published April 2, 2024
11 min read
Best YRFI Bets Today 04 02 2024

After almost a full week of baseball, pitchers are starting to make their second appearance of the season. That helps with more concrete data, yet still not a large enough sample size for what they may provide in the regular season. Still, their past results and spring training numbers can help guide us, as well as other factors as noted in our YRFI information page. We are fading a pair of pitchers who are making their second stint as their numbers indicate that their struggles may be for real.

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New York Yankees vs. Arizona Diamondbacks - Nestor Cortes vs. Zac Gallen (9:40 PM, EST)

Over 0.5 Run (-104) at FanDuel

Nestor Cortes was a fade target in the first YRFI breakdown of the season, now making his return to this piece once again as he has shown no signs of improvement. Cortes was starting to show signs of progression in his 2022-2023 campaign, now looking to take a step back after an underwhelming start to the season.

His struggles started with an eyebrow-raising spring training, finishing the preseason with an ERA of 7.71. In four games played, Cortes was hit 23 times for 12 runs scored and walked four batters. His WHIP of 1.929 showed he struggled to keep batters off the bases and that was apparent after his debut against the Astros.

Cortes fared no better in his regular season start, finishing the outing with an ERA of 7.20. He now faces a lethal Arizona Diamondbacks lineup that features former Rookie of the Year sensation Corbin Carroll, as well as two sluggers in Ketel Marte and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

This wager is largely dependent on the Diamondbacks ability to start out hot, especially with the Yankees having to face one of the better pitchers in the league. Zac Gallen has shown no signs of slowing down after a tremendous 2023 campaign, starting out the year throwing for a lowly ERA of just 1.80 and is one of the favorites to win the NL Cy Young.

Luckily for our YRFI’s sake, the Yankees have more than enough firepower to catch Zac Gallen early on. Juan Soto has given the Yankees top of the order an instant boost in batting production, putting pressure on opposing pitchers by forcing them to be aggressive as it’s detrimental to have him on base with Aaron Judge hitting after. Expect more of the same this time around as Soto’s elite ability to extend at-bats will force Gallen into an uncomfortable position.

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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros - Jose Berrios vs. Framber Valdez (8:10 PM, EST)

Over 0.5 Run (-117) at FanDuel

Not only are we fading Nestor Cortes, but we are also fading the pitcher he went against in his season debut with Framber Valdez set to make his second appearance on the mound for the Houston Astros. Valdez did not fare much better in his season debut either, finishing the contest against the Yankees with an ERA of 5.79.

It’s not as if his 5.79 is an outlier either as a respectable pitcher as his preseason outing did not fare much better. Valdez finished spring training with an ERA of 7.71 after allowing 15 hits to turn into 8 runs in just three games played. He also had three walks while only striking out 14 batters. That is good for a WHIP of 1.929 and he now has to find answers in a pinch against a powerful Blue Jays starting lineup that features George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 

Fresh off of a no-hitter against them, the Blue Jays are poised to positively regress back toward the mean against a struggling Valdez. Factor in the Astros elite top of the batting order continuing to ride their momentum against Jose Berrios and this game has all the tools to open up the scoring early on. Berrios has been dominant to start the year with an ERA of 3.00 and a spring training ERA of 1.38, but the Astros run deep with an elite blend of contact and hitting power to rattle him early and often.

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Kody Malstrom

43 Articles

Kody Malstrom is a sports betting journalist with six years of writing experience in the industry. He covers an abundance of sports, including College Football, NFL, College Basketball, NBA, and more. Born and raised in Michigan, Kody is a devoted Detroit Sports fan and spends his Sundays rooting for the Detroit Lions while telling himself this year is the year they win it all. When not staring at betting markets, Kody spends his free time at the beach in the summer or snowboarding in the winter.

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