We start off another week of MLB action with a lighter slate tonight, as only 12 teams are in action. No matter how many teams are in action, the pursuit of going undefeated in NRFI/YRFI bets remains the goal and focus. We’ll look at two games tonight where the NRFI displays some strong value.
Starting on the West Coast, the Los Angeles Angels, fresh off one of the most talked-about series this past weekend, will return home to take on the White Sox. As they look to put their series loss to the Rockies behind them, the Angels will send Reid Detmers to the mound. The lefty is currently boasting a 1.38 first-inning ERA across his 13 starts.
Detmers and his strong first-inning ERA will take on a White Sox lineup that is averaging just .23 runs per game in the first inning when playing on the road this season and saw the NRFI go 7-3 over their last ten games. With Detmers pitching to a 2.05 ERA with a .187 batting average the first time through the order, I think he can get through the first unscathed.
On the other end, the White Sox will be starting Dylan Cease, who is sporting a 1.69 first-inning ERA in 16 innings and has not allowed a run in the first inning in eight straight starts. Cease will match up with an Angels lineup hitting .213 with a .731 OPS against right-handed pitching at home over the last month.
Not only has Cease turned in four straight solid outings, but he has been lights out when facing a team the first time through the order. Opponents are hitting .198 against the White Sox starter the first time through the order, which has given him a 1.96 ERA and 2.86 FIP. With numbers like that, I think Cease can make it nine straight starts without a first-inning run allowed.
One of the best first-inning pitchers in the league, Luis Castillo, will take the mound for the Mariners tonight against a Nationals team that is 7-3 to the NRFI over their past ten games. Castillo has a 1.80 first-inning ERA in 15 innings this season, and opponents are hitting .161 against him their first time through the order, so he poses a tough matchup for Washington tonight.
Over the last month, the Nationals lineup ranks 19th in OPS and wOBA against right-handed pitching on the road, so their heavy NRFI output will likely remain that way tonight. On the mound for Washington will be Trevor Williams, who has a 3.60 first-inning ERA in 15 innings and a 3.34 ERA the first time through the order.
Williams will take on a Mariners lineup hitting .217 with an OPS of .695 against right-handed pitching at home over the past month. With Seattle fresh off a series loss in Baltimore, between the travel and inconsistency at the plate, I think it will be a slow start to the game for them.
White Sox @ Angels NRFI (-117)
Nationals @ Mariners NRFI (-129) (.5 Units)