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NRFI and YRFI Best Bets: Crochet, Castillo Matchup Highlights Slate

We’ve been churning out 2-1 efforts like a smooth-running factory lately. Some might say that means we’re due for a rough stretch with our RIFI MLB picks, but we think otherwise. It simply means we’re due for a perfect night.

Thursday’s two-game offering looks like a great candidate, with one NRFI and one YRFI to satisfy both varieties.

NRFI and YRFI Best Bets: Crochet, Castillo Matchup Highlights Slate
Garrett Crochet #45 of the Chicago White Sox | John Fisher/Getty Images/AFP


White Sox vs Mariners: Betting on a Low-Scoring First Inning

The Mariners are looking for a four-game sweep of a series that has featured plenty of late-game drama. We’re focused only on the first inning, of course, and that gives us a great matchup between Chicago’s Garrett Crochet and Seattle’s Luis Castillo.

Now in his second full season with the Mariners, Castillo continues to be Mr. Reliable. He enters the day tied for the AL lead in starts, a category he has already won twice in his career, and his ERA sits at 3.35, almost exactly where it was a year ago (3.34).

The three-time All-Star is also a steady hand in the first inning, where he’s posted a 1.29 mark while striking out 14 and walking one in his 14 starts. Castillo also owns a 1.38 ERA over his last four home starts and a 2.33 figure in his career against Chicago.

That’s a lot of ERAs we just threw at you, and all of them are good. He’s a practical lock against a White Sox unit that’s last in the majors in runs scored by a wide margin.

Crochet remains Chicago’s beacon of hope as it looks toward 2025 and beyond. He’s on an insane seven-start run in which he’s gone 5-1 with a 1.10 ERA, striking out 56 and walking eight in 41 innings.

That’s All-Star-worthy stuff from the AL’s leader in strikeouts and a formidable challenge for the M’s. That’s especially true of the first inning, where Crochet has held opponents to a minuscule .106 average while piling up 22 strikeouts and one little old walk.

Seattle, which leads the majors in strikeouts, is ripe for the picking. Crochet will cruise early and this seems like an easy NRFI bet online.



Exploit Hitter-Friendly Pitchers in Angels-Diamondbacks

The rubber game of this set features Griffin Canning for the Angels against Arizona’s Brandon Pfaadt in an underwhelming mound matchup.

Pfaadt has given up nine runs in 11⅓ innings over his last two starts, with the Padres taking him deep three times at Petco Park last week. The home run ball can be a problem for the Louisville native, who served up 22 of them in only 96 innings a season ago.

The Angels scored once in the first, once in the second, once in the third, and four times in the fourth in Wednesday’s 8-3 win over the Diamondbacks. Four of those runs came in on homers, three of them off the bat of Jo Adell.

Los Angeles is ninth in the majors in first-inning scoring percentage on the road (27.27%) and should get some good hacks in against Pfaadt. The 25-year-old has served up four dingers in the first innings and has a 4.85 ERA in that frame.

Canning has finally pushed his ERA below 5.00 with back-to-back solid starts against Seattle and Houston. But he still found a way to give up a first-inning run in one of them, continuing a troubling betting trend for the UCLA product.

In 13 starts, Canning has allowed 15 first-inning runs. Opponents have 11 extra-base hits (five home runs) among their 22 hits, part of a massive 1.194 OPS. Facing a top third like Arizona, which ranks third in the majors in runs per first (0.73), will be a big challenge for Canning.

First Inning to Score: YES



Questions Of The Day

Are there any matinees that look enticing at the sportsbook?

The Orioles are seeking their seventh straight win when they host the Braves at Camden Yards. We like them to put up some runs against Reynaldo Lopez, who has been excellent this season while mostly facing some of the game’s weakest offenses.
Consider this. Lopez has faced 11 different teams in 11 starts. Here are their rankings entering Thursday in terms of runs scored: 8 … 11 … 12 … 16 … 22 … 23 … 24 … 28 … 29 … 30.
The Orioles are third in the majors in runs. This will be his biggest challenge yet.

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