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Friday’s Best RIFI Bets: Early Fireworks in LA

The Major League Baseball season is in full swing, and there’s an exhilarating slate of games scheduled for Friday. Tonight’s MLB schedule features 15 matchups, including some marquee pitching matchups. Notably, the Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers begin a three-game series and two veteran southpaws – Chris Sale and Andrew Heaney – will take the mound for each side.


Friday’s Best RIFI Bets: Early Fireworks in LA
Starling Marte #6 of the New York Mets is congratulated by Pete Alonso | Adam Hunger/Getty Images/AFP


Justin Verlander will make his 2024 debut against the Washington Nationals. Two of the biggest free agent pitchers from this past offseason will face off when Blake Snell leads the Giants against Arizona’s Jordan Montgomery, who is also making his 2024 debut with his new team.

One of the fastest-growing MLB betting markets is the YRFI (Yes Runs in the First Inning) and NRFI (No Runs in the First Inning). This short, thrilling bet becomes a sweat early on in a baseball game. When handicapping for a YRFI or NRFI, it’s essential to research the starting pitchers and the potential lineups they will face. Here are my best YRFI and NRFI MLB bets today.



Best YRFI Bet Today

  • YRFI: Los Angeles Dodgers vs New York Mets

For our YRFI bet, we’re heading to the West Coast when the New York Mets kick off a six-game road trip against National League West opponents, beginning with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. The Dodgers will send prized offseason signing YoshinobuYamamato to the mound and the Mets will have veteran left-hander Sean Manea on the bump.

Yamamoto has performed well after a shaky debut. He followed up on his disastrous start against the Padres with back-to-back outings without allowing a run. In his most recent start, he allowed three runs in five innings, including a two-run home run in the first inning to Manny Machado.

The Mets’ lineup isn’t the most intimidating, but the first four to five hitters can do damage. It is highlighted by Pete Alonso, who already has six long balls on the season and has excellent career numbers at Dodger Stadium (.349 BA, 1.141 OPS, 7 HRs, 63 at-bats). Manea has terrible numbers against the projected Dodgers lineup. Mookie Betts is 10-for-29 with seven extra-base hits. Freddie Freeman is 5-for-14 (.357 BA) with a homer and Will Smith is 8-for-16 against the southpaw.

The Dodgers have a 13-8 YRFI record while the Mets are 7-11. New York has seen a run scored in the first inning in four of six road games. Manea was spanked in his last outing, giving up eight runs in just 3.2 innings, including a run in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals.




Best NRFI Bet Today

  • NRFI: Cleveland Guardians vs Oakland Athletics

For our Friday NRFI bet, we’re headed to the streets of Cleveland when the Guardians kick off a three-game set with the Oakland Athletics. We’re going to back one of my favorite young arms in baseball, Triston McKenzie. The 6-foot-5 righty is off to a slow start, but the A’s provide a solid get-right spot for the 26-year-old.

In three career starts against Oakland, McKenzie has allowed just four runs in 18.1 innings. McKenzie injured his elbow last season and he is reportedly pitching through a tear in his throwing arm. He only made four appearances last season, but it’s clear Cleveland is working him back into the top of its rotation this season.

McKenzie struggled with command against the Yankees in his last outing and we should expect him to bounce back tonight. Oakland has scored the second-fewest runs and has a 10-9 NRFI record. Cleveland has a 10-8 NRFI record this season.

The sweat will come in the bottom half of the first when Oakland sends Joe Boyle to the mound. Boyle has thrown well his last two times out after he was destroyed in his season debut against the Red Sox. This will be Boyle’s seventh career start and he has an NRFI record of 5-1. Back the young arms to keep the bats quiet early in Cleveland.




Question of the Day

Can the New York Mets upset the Dodgers in their weekend series?

The Dodgers are favored but the Mets take a four-game winning streak into the series.


The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.

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