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Picking Today’s YRFI/NRFI Plays: Snell Makes Return for San Francisco

Folks, we’re 8-1 over the last three days of first-inning MLB bets, so the system is working right now. A simple mix of split stats, first-inning team offense numbers, and the most scientific coin flips in the field have put us on a roll.

We like Wednesday’s matchups as well so read on for some YRFI/NRFI offerings.

Picking Today’s YRFI/NRFI Plays: Snell Makes Return for San Francisco
Blake Snell #7 of the San Francisco Giants/ Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/AFP


Rangers vs Phillies: Walker, Texas Rangers

We’re leading off with this matchup for the second straight day after it was our one incorrect pick on Tuesday.

Taijuan Walker throws out the first offering to the Rangers on Wednesday. He went at least six innings in each of his first three starts this year before laboring in a 3⅓-frame outing against the Mets on Thursday.

Through the ups and downs, Walker’s first innings have been shaky. Opponents are hitting .412 against him in that inning while posting a 1.118 OPS. Remember, Walker was atrocious in the opening stanza a year ago (7.04 ERA), so it’s safe to assume he’ll labor early from time to time.

One of those times figures to be this evening against Texas, which leads the American League in first-inning scoring percentage on the road (41.67).

The Rangers are bringing Dane Dunning off the IL to make this start. He’s had a ton of strikeouts while giving up a very limited number of hits through his first seven starts, but there have been plenty of walks, plenty of home runs, and not much length.

Two of the seven homers he’s allowed have come in the first inning. The Phillies have plenty of sluggers stacked up high and lead the majors in first-inning runs at 43. It’s a tough place to make a return from injury.



Giants at Pirates: Snell(s) Good for San Fran

This one’s all about Blake Snell, the two-time Cy Young Award winner who will be returning from the injured list. It’ll be a reset for the lefty, whose San Francisco career got off to a very bumpy start (0-3, 11.57) before he landed on the shelf.

Snell was utterly dominant in a pair of rehab outings, striking out 17 and walking one in nine no-hit innings. He’s more than ready to return and should find his dominant form in time. A Wednesday night in Pittsburgh is a nice soft landing spot for the 31-year-old, who had a quality start and 10 strikeouts at PNC Park last year.

The Pirates are one of six MLB teams hitting below .200 in the first inning. They’re also 27th in the majors in home OPS (.652).

Rookie Jared Jones gets the nod for the hosts. He outdueled Justin Steele at Wrigley Field his last time out and owns a 2.31 ERA over his last six starts while fanning 38 and walking five.

Jones worked a scoreless first in a start at San Francisco last month and has been excellent in that frame this year. Opponents are 4-for-29 and they’ve pushed in just one run, that coming on a Cody Bellinger solo blast two turns ago.

The Giants are 24th in the bigs in runs per first on the road (0.36) and that’s even after plating a pair in the opening stanza at Pittsburgh on Tuesday.



Padres vs Reds: King in the Queen City

The Padres have gone 19 straight innings without scoring a run, suffering back-to-back shutout losses at Atlanta on Sunday and at Cincinnati in the series opener on Tuesday. That alone makes for a likely scoreless first, but let’s check the numbers before making that bet online.

Nick Martinez, a guy who goes back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen, will try to keep that streak going when he starts for the Reds. He’s had four starts this year and they’ve been bumpy, but they’ve also followed a similar pattern each time: early zeroes, damage in the middle innings.

Martinez has yet to allow a run in the first and second innings, holding opponents to a combined 5-for-29 showing in those frames. While the Padres were a first-inning force earlier in the year, they’ve been sinking like a stone; seven of their last eight opening frames have been scoreless.

Michael King hopes that trend changes and he gets some support when he toes the rubber for San Diego. He’s been up and down in his first season with the Padres, boasting a handful of solid starts as well as four in which he allowed six runs or more.

The Boston College product, who turns 25 on Saturday, has some solid peripherals but just can’t seem to avoid the home run ball. He’s given up an MLB-leading 11 after serving up only 10 in about twice as many innings last year with the Yankees.

Fortunately for King, the Reds don’t hit a ton of them (22nd in the majors with 43). Also, he’s been much better on the road (3.31 ERA) and perfectly fine in the first (1.00 ERA, 10 strikeouts against one walk).

King should be able to match Martinez with an early zero.




Questions Of The Day

Are there any matinees worth visiting at the BetUS sportsbook?

The Tigers at Royals game offers an intriguing matchup. Kansas City has won five in a row but will be facing Detroit ace Tarik Skubal. He and Cole Ragans should combine for a scoreless first.


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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