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YRFI/NRFI Best Bets: Smart Picks Can Be Made in Minnesota, Seattle

The work week starts with just seven games on the schedule in the majors. On the heels of an 8-3 effort with our RIFI picks last week, we’ve isolated two gems from Monday’s calendar for you to take to the sportsbook.


YRFI/NRFI Best Bets: Smart Picks Can Be Made in Minnesota, Seattle
Chris Paddack #20 of the Minnesota Twins - Luke Hales/Getty Images

Rockies at Twins: Chris Paddack-Dakota Hudson Matchup

The team from the mountains visits the team from the Land of 10,000 Lakes for this series opener at Target Field. Chris Paddack will start things off for the host Twins, who snapped a five-game losing streak at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Paddack is plowing through an up-and-down campaign, albeit a healthy one after injuries derailed him in the past. He’s allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his 12 starts but has been knocked around pretty good in some of the other ones.

As for the first inning, it’s been an adventure lately for Paddack. He allowed two runs in the first two turns ago against Kansas City and then was battered in the Bronx his last time out, allowing four runs in the opening frame against the Yankees.

Most of his first innings prior to that were pretty good, but this isn’t a great trend for Paddack, whose ERA has soared about a run in that two-start span. The Rockies do less damage on the road and Paddack is better at home, but the fact that they are third in the majors in first-inning batting average (.281) gives them a quality chance against a guy like him.

Dakota Hudson has a lot of similarities to Paddack. He also has an ERA north of 5.00 and also has some home/road splits working in his favor here (better away from Coors). His first-inning numbers are so-so, with much of the damage coming in one horrendous opening frame at Toronto back in April.

Still, Hudson will be contending with a Twins’ attack bolstered by the recent return of Royce Lewis. Minnesota scored three first-inning runs on Sunday and it should be excited for a return to Target Field, where it ranks ninth in the majors in first-inning scoring percentage at home (37.93).

While both hurlers have some numbers in their favor, there’s just enough here when you put it all together for a first-inning scoring chance.


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White Sox at Mariners: First vs Worst in Seattle

The Mariners return to the Emerald City on Monday after wrapping up a 3-3 road trip with an extra-inning win in Kansas City on Sunday. Surging Julio Rodriguez had the key hit, giving Seattle some life as it heads back home.

The M’s will try to build some momentum behind Logan Gilbert, who hasn’t won in six straight starts. Four of the last five, however, were of the quality variety and the 27-year-old has been just fine at home, where he has a tiny 0.918 WHIP.

Excluding one rocky first inning at Target Field last month, Gilbert has a 1.50 ERA in that frame. Even with the rough one against the Twins factored in, opponents are batting just .188 against him in the first.

This all should play well against the lowly White Sox, who are tied for last in the majors in OPS on the road (.611). Throw in the fact that Gilbert is 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA in four career starts vs Chicago and you have a pretty good idea as to how this matchup might play out.

Among the few bright spots for the Pale Hose has been veteran righty Erick Fedde, who currently sports a career-best 3.27 ERA. Much of his success has been at home, but he’s also pitched in a handful of parks that have played well for hitters this year (Kauffman, Busch, Rogers, Wrigley). T-Mobile Park in Seattle is just the opposite, ranking last in Statcast’s Park Factor list.

Even with Rodriguez swinging a hot bat, the Mariners still rank in the bottom half in many first-inning categories. A quiet first is a good possibility here and something you can include on your bet slip.




Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.


Questions Of The Day

Are there any other MLB picks worth taking a shot at on Monday night?

Expect another scoreless first in Tampa. The Orioles are throwing out ace Corbin Burnes, who is absolutely dealing right now, and the Rays’ Ryan Pepiot gets to face a Baltimore lineup that has scored in one first inning out of 31 road games.

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