MLB picks Wednesday 7/5: YRFI & NRFI best bets today: Justin Steele and Graham Ashcraft in Focus

One of the most popular and quick-fire betting markets in the daily MLB games is whether or not a run will be scored in the first inning. This option presents exciting value and saves you from the anxiety of waiting for hours to see the outcome of your bets – it usually takes just about 15 minutes. My track record in the Yes Run First Inning (YRFI)/No Run First Inning (NRFI) is currently standing at 8-3-1, so let’s maintain this winning streak!

Before we delve deeper, don’t forget to explore our daily MLB picks for every game. For Wednesday’s line-up, there are two YRFI/NRFI bets that have caught my eye, so without further ado, let’s dive in.

WAS Nationals
First Match Starting Wednesday 5th July, 7:05 PM ET
DAYS
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BettingPicks Expert YRFI & NRFI Predictions

Reds vs Nationals: YRFI (-130)

Cubs vs. Brewers: NRFI (-105)

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Cincinnati Reds vs Washington Nationals: Yes Run First Inning (YRFI) (-130)

For the first pick on Wednesday, the focus is on the NL face-off between the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals. The Reds have been a revelation this season and after a remarkable June, they’re a solid contender to clinch the NL Central title for the first time since 2013.

The backbone of the Reds’ success is their potent offense, with Cincinnati ranking seventh in runs scored this season while paradoxically conceding the fourth-highest runs. Graham Ashcraft’s contribution to this uneven scenario is not to be overlooked with his dismal ERA of 6.66 and low xERA and xBA percentile among qualified starters. It’s expected he’ll give up an early run on Wednesday.

Even if the Nationals fail to register on the scoreboard against Ashcraft, the Reds’ batting prowess bolsters the chances of a run in the initial inning. Their average runs per game over the past two weeks nears 10, showcasing the dynamism of their offense. Despite Josiah Gray’s decent performance for the Nationals, the disparity between his xERA and actual ERA indicates potential regression. The YRFI in Washington seems a favorable bet.

Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers: No Run First Inning (NRFI) (-105)

The Cubs’ ace, Justin Steele, has ascended to the upper echelons of National League pitchers and his MLB-low 2.43 ERA, along with a 9-2 record, testifies to that. Steele’s impressive form extends to his first-inning stats with an ERA of 2.40 and opponent’s OBP at a lowly .254; both metrics rank within the top 30. He’s conceded a first-inning run only three times in his 15 starts, with just one on away turf.

Steele’s past performance against the Brewers, a stellar shutout over six innings with eight strikeouts, instills confidence. Adrian Houser, the Brewers’ starter, while not as dominant as Steele, posts respectable 2023 stats with a 3.88 ERA and 1.51 WHIP. We merely require three quick outs from Houser to secure the NRFI.

Both teams’ offenses have underperformed recently, posting below-par wRC+ figures over the past month and ranking lower half in batting average, ISO, and wOBA. This further enhances the likelihood of a NRFI.

BettingPicks Expert YRFI & NRFI Predictions

Reds vs Nationals: YRFI (-130)

Cubs vs. Brewers: NRFI (-105)

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Patrick Culhane
Father of two beautiful kids. Grew up around sports, still waiting for the Vikings to win the Super Bowl. Is very adamant that Breaking Bad is the best tv show ever.