Padres vs Dodgers
It seems as if the shine has come off the Lance Lynn situation in Los Angeles. He’s reverted back to his early-season days with the Chicago White Sox by giving up 15 runs in nine innings over his last two starts.
Lynn served up three homers in both outings, running his MLB-high total to 40 on the season. It’s 13 more than he’s ever allowed in a single season, and he seems to be resigned to the brutality of it all.
“I mean, once you go over 30, who gives a (expletive)?” he said after the Miami Marlins took him deep three times.
While the Padres are the game’s biggest disappointments, they have excelled in one area since early on. They rank fifth in the majors in first-inning scoring percentage (35.2) and third in first-inning home runs with 31. Lynn’s 8.04 first-inning ERA could be going up.
Michael Wacha, unlike Lynn, has been pretty solid right from the jump. However, he’s hit a bit of a rough patch of late, posting a 5.28 ERA over his last three starts. And this is the Dodgers we’re talking about. Even at your best, it’s hard to get through a clean first inning against this team.
Wacha has seen opponents pile up a .281 average in the first inning. That’s higher than all other innings in which he’s pitched, with the exception of the eighth (1-for-1).
Los Angeles’ MLB-best first-inning scoring percentage is up to 41.3 after they scored once in that frame on a leadoff blast by Mookie Betts in Monday’s 11-8 loss. Wacha will face an immediate challenge and your MLB bet should account for that.
Yankees vs Red Sox (2nd game)
It’s been raining in Boston for three months straight, so keep an eye on the MLB news pages to make sure this matchup stays in place. The teams are playing a doubleheader after Monday’s deluge, with Carlos Rodon lined up to face Kutter Crawford in the nightcap.
Crawford will take aim at the listing Yankees offense, but he comes in on a bad note. The 27-year-old righty has been knocked around for 11 runs in 6⅓ innings over the last two outings, somehow managing a scoreless first both times.
Crawford won at Yankee Stadium last month with six solid innings. However, he’s been much better on the road than at home all year. Facing New York in Fenway Park, where his ERA sits at 6.51, is no guarantee.
Neither is Rodon, finishing up a horrid campaign after signing for $162 million. His ERA over the first three innings of his 10 starts sits at 8.80, nearly a run per frame. Twelve home runs have been hit against Rodon in his 46⅓ innings, a pretty difficult number to digest going into Fenway.
Boston is tied with the Dodgers for the second-best first-inning scoring percentage at home (44.4). The MLB lines should anticipate a high-scoring affair. If you’re placing a bet online as it pertains to RIFI, expect the same.
MLB live betting should take into account what happened in the matinee affair at Fenway, as that could dictate how both teams utilize their bullpens in this one.
Carlos Rodon tonight:
3.2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 0 BB, 4 K to raise his season ERA to 6.60 pic.twitter.com/0pHxFq4atU
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 8, 2023
Diamondbacks vs Mets
Arizona rallied with a pair of late runs to take the series opener in Queens by a 4-3 score and maintain a 1½-game lead on the last wild card spot in the NL. They’ll go against JoseButto in Citi Field on Tuesday to try to solidify their positioning a tiny bit.
Butto has a limited sample size for us to look at. All three of his first innings have been scoreless and opponents are 2-for-11. The 25-year-old is coming off the best start of his young career with 6⅓ solid innings in a no-decision at Washington.
Most importantly, Butto walked just one batter in that effort, curbing control issues that have dogged him at times.
The Diamondbacks present a serious first-inning threat to all hurlers. But they’re averaging only 3.6 runs over their last 13 games and haven’t been scoring as much in the first inning on the road.
On July 21, Arizona was scoring 43.8% of the time in the first inning on the road, easily the best in the majors. That figure has fallen all the way to 36.1, still second in the bigs but representative of a pretty big decline in a month-plus.
The other side of the equation here is Ryne Nelson, who is 5-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 14 road starts. He’s been pretty good in the first inning (3.67 ERA) and most of the damage has taken place at home, where the lanky right-hander has struggled.
New York has been last in first-inning scoring percentage for most of the year. Its current figure sits at a lowly 21.7%.
Peruse the MLB odds and think about a quiet first in Queens.