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NRFI and YRFI Best Bets: Gilbert Takes on Soto, Judge in The Bronx

We dropped yet another 3-0 on you in Friday’s RIFI roundup, making good on our MLB betting to round out the last work week. Here are three more suggestions to begin a new one.


NRFI and YRFI Best Bets: Gilbert Takes on Soto, Judge in The Bronx
Logan Gilbert #36 of the Seattle Mariners pitches- Chambers/Getty Images/AFP

Brewers at Marlins: Good Weathers for Some Brews

The road has been a tad rough on Milwaukee of late as the NL Central leaders have lost three straight series away from home. The Brewers will try to reverse that trend in Miami, where they play three games against the NL East doormats.

The Marlins start things off with Ryan Weathers, who is coming off eight scoreless innings in a gem at Detroit his last time out. He yielded only three hits and did not walk a batter, just the second time in nine starts that’s happened.

While that outing bodes well for Weathers, a few others that relate to this MLB bet do not. He has a 7.07 ERA through his first three home starts after posting an 8.79 mark in Miami last year. It’s been a bit of a house of horrors for him.

The 24-year-old has been pretty clean in first innings this season but it’s been a problem frame in the past (5.17 ERA in his career). The MLB leader in hit batters (seven) will be facing a Brewers lineup that ranks eighth in the majors in first-inning scoring percentage on the road (32.0).

Opposing Weathers is another former first-round pick in Joe Ross. He’s trying to revive a once-derailed career and looks to be on the right path. The righty, who turns 31 on Tuesday, has a 3.38 ERA over his last three starts while allowing only 11 hits in 16 innings.

First innings, however, have been a bit of a mess for Ross. He’s given up six runs in his eight opening frames with opponents piling up four extra-base hits (two home runs).

The Marlins are average to below average in most offensive categories, but they rank 10th in the majors in first-inning OPS. The only three Miami hitters who have faced Ross – each of whom he’ll likely see in the first – are a combined 4-for-9 with a home run and a walk against him.

First Inning to Score: YES


Orioles at Cardinals: Kremer vs Gray-Mer

The headline only works for the few of you born before 1970, but it’s a headline nonetheless and a kicking off point for this series opener in St. Louis. Jack Buck will be on the call as the Cardinals look to slow down Boog Powell’s big bat and … um … OK, back to 2024.

Sonny Gray will throw out the first offering of this game to an Orioles unit that has scored just 5.88% of the time in the first inning on the road. That’s last in the majors by a country mile, with Washington coming in 29th at 14.29%.

Baltimore’s slow offensive starts on the road figures to continue against Gray, who has allowed just two runs in 18⅓ innings at home this year. He’s been getting a little too much of the plate lately, giving up four home runs and striking out 15 in the last two games. He should find some success expanding the zone against the free-swinging O’s, who are 28th in the majors in walks.

Gray’s first-inning ERA sits at 3.86, with the bulk of the damage done on a two-run homer by Rhys Hoskins two turns ago. Current Orioles are batting .179 against the three-time All-Star, who figures to open this one in good fashion.

Like Gray at home, Dean Kremer has excelled on the road for Baltimore. He has a 1.88 ERA away from home while piling up 25 strikeouts against only five walks in four starts. The 28-year-old has also been excellent early in games, posting eight scoreless firsts while holding opponents to one tiny hit in 26 at-bats.

Those numbers should work extremely well against a St. Louis lineup that ranks 26th in all of baseball in first-inning scoring percentage (25.0).

First Inning to Score: NO


Mariners at Yankees:

New York has been an absolute machine in the first inning lately. That alone is going to be the driving force in this bet online suggestion, even with some quality arms on the mound.

It wasn’t long ago we were noting a sub-.200 first-inning batting average for the Bombers, which led to some no-RIFI suggestions against them. In very short order they’ve pushed that number to a respectable .266 and their OPS in that opening frame to .934, tops in the AL.

With Juan Soto and Aaron Judge becoming the best 1-2 punch in the game, perhaps, it’s a massive wall this lineup presents right off the bat. That’s especially the case at home, where the Yankees score in the first 45.45% of the time, also the best number in the AL.

Logan Gilbert will be tasked with trying to slow down this first-inning wagon. He’s been good overall but was pounded for 11 runs on 13 hits and five walks in 10⅔ innings over his last two starts. Gilbert’s ERA is 1.30 higher on the road than at home, he has a 5.00 mark in the first inning and owns a 7.97 figure in four career starts vs the Yankees, including one disaster in the Bronx in 2022.

That all adds up to the likelihood of some first-inning issues for the Mariners righty. Marcus Stroman should have smoother sailing in the top of the first against a Seattle crew that usually doesn’t do much in the opening stanza, but he has a rather unspectacular 1.427 WHIP at home and just a so-so 4.00 ERA in the first.

First Inning to Score: YES



Questions Of The Day

Are there any other matchups to look for on Monday?

The Astros are coming on strong and will face the struggling Reid Detmers at home. Their first-inning engine is humming along really well, too, which could make for a solid YIFI pick.

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