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Who Wants Our YRFI/NRFI List Today?: Dodgers Aim for 2nd Straight

Yet another perfect night on Monday as we nailed our MLB picks on the RIFI front in both Texas and Chicago. Here are a few more suggestions that should keep you feeling good under the heat dome!


Who Wants Our YRFI/NRFI List Today?: Dodgers Aim for 2nd Straight
Austin Gomber #26 of the Colorado Rockies | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/AFP

Dodgers vs Rockies: First vs Worst in NL West

Sometimes everything lines up in a way that makes a pick relatively simple. It doesn’t mean it will play out that way, but there are several factors in this matchup at Coors Field that suggest early offense.

Austin Gomber will take on the Dodgers to start things off. Sure, they’re without Mookie Betts for some time but that wasn’t much of an issue in Monday’s 14-hit attack en route to a 9-5 win over the Rockies. It even included a historic offensive night for Freddie Freeman.

The 30-year-old Gomber lasted just three innings at Dodger Stadium a few turns ago, giving up three runs – two in the first. And he gave up five in the first in an atrocious outing at Target Field his last time out. While Gomber has actually been a bit better at home, that first-inning ERA of 12.46 is just too massive to ignore, especially against one of the best offenses in the game.

The bottom of the first will feature Walker Buehler against the top of the Rockies’ lineup. He’s seven starts into his return from Tommy John surgery and the results have been mixed. The first inning, in particular, has been an issue for the two-time All-Star, who has allowed three home runs in his seven opening frames.

Opponents also have three walks, three steals and a .387 batting average in that seven-inning sample size. Buehler’s 4.89 ERA at Coors Field is his highest for any park in which he’s made more than three career starts.

Only three teams in the majors have a higher first-inning batting average than the Rockies at .277. Size up the MLB odds and expect an early run or two in Denver.



Rays vs Twins: Civale vs. Lopez Aims to Silence Early Offense

We might have an Aaron Civale problem. This is the third straight start of his – at least – that we’ve utilized in our RIFI roundup. Give the veteran righty some credit, though, as he’s come through every time.

Civale, who has a respectable 3.43 ERA over his last four starts, remains quite strong early in games. He’s let up three runs in 14 first innings this year, good for a 1.93 ERA. Opponents are hitting .192 with 18 strikeouts and just three walks in those 14 frames, so it’s obvious that Civale is dealing early.

The 29-year-old owns a 3.69 ERA in his career at Target Field, the lowest mark among the handful of AL Central parks in which he used to toil while a member of the Guardians. Minnesota has been soaring up the first-inning offensive charts lately, but we like Civale to keep them down for a few frames.

Before he even throws a pitch, Pablo Lopez will do his thing against the top of the Tampa Bay order. Lopez has struggled to replicate his 2023 All-Star campaign but he got the win his last time out while limiting the Rockies to two runs in five innings.

Lopez’s struggles have been less severe at home and not too prevalent in the first inning, where he’s posted a 3.86 ERA while recording 15 strikeouts against only two walks. Home runs have been an issue at times in the opening frame, as he’s allowed four of them. However, only five teams in the majors have fewer first-inning homers than the Rays do with seven.

Current Tampa Bay hitters are a combined 9-for-55 (.164) against Lopez, who figures to dominate one of these outings. This could be the one.


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Brewers vs Angels: A First-Inning Fireworks Show?

Los Angeles shuffled a few things in the rotation after Jose Soriano was unable to start Monday night, giving Zach Plesac a chance to make his Angels debut in a 5-3 win over the Brewers. Griffin Canning will be on the mound Tuesday to try to give the hometown team a series win.

Canning has been pretty good since the start of May, lowering his ERA by nearly three runs in that span. However, very few of his first innings have been clean.

Arizona got to the righty for three runs in the first frame last week in Phoenix, lifting Canning’s first-inning ERA to 11.57. He’s been taken deep an alarming six times in the opening frame in his 14 starts.

Milwaukee is seventh in the majors in runs scored and has plenty of guys who can do damage atop the order.

Rookie Tobias Myers is on the bump for the Brew Crew. He’s been superb the last two times out, allowing one run on four hits in 14 total innings against Detroit and Toronto. That level of dominance won’t last for a guy who was 1-15 with a 7.82 ERA in the minors just two years ago and struggled a bit for the big club earlier this season.

Part of those early struggles was a tendency to give up loads of long balls early in games. Four of the eight homers Myers has allowed came in the first inning and three more were in the third.

The Angels have gone deep at least once in 10 of their last 11 games and are hitting a healthy .280 over their last eight. They’ll get a few good hacks in against the right-hander.

First Inning to Score: YES



Questions Of The Day

What else should bettors know before visiting the sportsbook?

The big Orioles-Yankees series begins in the Bronx and has some interesting first-inning trends at play. Baltimore scores in the first just 6.25% of the time on the road – easily last in the majors – while New York scores in the first 40.63% of the time at home – tops in the American League.

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