Odds, MLB Top Picks & Predictions Without a First Round Run (NRFI): Thursday (9/22)

Twenty-six teams are playing the field today with playoff spots firmly established in Major League Baseball. There is a title race in the NL East between the Mets and Braves (1.0 GB) and the Phillies hold the last Wild Card position on the Brewers (2.5 GB). Other than that, things are coming to an end as we sit two weeks away from the post-season. However, from a betting point of view, there is still a lot to settle as we approach the end of the regular season. Below, I’ve listed my top three No Play First Round (NRFI) bets for the day.

Odds Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

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Houston Astros vs Baltimore Orioles

The Astros are now red hot when they go into a campaign against the Rays and have now won 10 of their last 11 matches. They will face the Orioles in four matches this weekend, and the betting match for the first match is Justin Verlander against Kyle Pradesh. This is set at 7:05 PM ET tonight from Camden Yards.

Verlander is almost AL Cy Young at this point, as he is currently -400 at the DraftKings. The veteran pitcher has been fantastic this season, and he’s doing so after starting Tommy John surgery at age 39. Verlander entered tonight’s game at 17-3 with 1.78 ERA (1) and 0.83 WHIP (first) over 25 starts. The right-handed made a single start since returning from IL for 15 days, and was an electrician during 5.0 rounds against athletics. Verlander kept them uninjured and allowed only one walk to try to win.

Pradesh hasn’t been at his best this season as he entered the season at 3-7 with 5.05 ERA and 1.45 WHIP over 20 starts. Most recently, the right-handed threw against the Blue Jays on Saturday and allowed five runs (three earned) in six strokes and a walk. Pradesh went 4 2/3 runs and was saddled with a loss.

While Pradesh hasn’t been great overall this year, it has been solid lately. He posted 2.12 ERA over his last five starts, including a great outing against the Astros to finish in August. Pradesh went 8.0 innings against Houston and carried them scoreless in two strokes and a pair of walks. As for Verlander, what do we need to say? He’s at the top of his game now. It is noteworthy that he participated in the same series and went 3.0 innings without goals before being removed with a calf injury that ultimately sent him to IL for 15 days. Let’s ride with the NRFI at the AL game tonight in Camden.

Betting: Astros at Orioles NRFI (-150 via DraftKings)

Cleveland Guardians vs Chicago White Sox

The Guardians have hammered the nail in the White Sox’s coffin, and they will be looking to complete the campaign tonight before heading to Texas for three games. Shane Pepper takes the ball for Cleveland as Chicago (6.0GB in the middle) battles Johnny Koito in this split match scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.

Bieber has been excellent throughout this season and comes in tonight’s game at 11-8 with a 2.83 ERA (12) and 1.03 WHIP (14). The right-hander last played on Saturday against the Twins and went 8.0 innings, allowing only one run on four strokes. Bieber hit six hits, and Cleveland has now won his last three starts.

Cueto has exceeded expectations this season, going only 7-8 but boasts a 3.09 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 22 appearances (21 starts). He made a rough start against the last Sunday of the A where he was tagged for seven runs (five he earned) in eight strokes and a walk. He’s gone 4 2/3 of the rounds, and Chicago has now dropped his last two games.

Keep it up with Cueto, he’s been great against the Guardians this season. In two starts and 15.2 runs, the veteran has a 1.72 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. They are only hitting 0.28 against Quito this year with no home strikes. Bieber came out of that dominant game against the Twins, and we can look forward to that continuing against a frustrated Chicago ball team today. The former Cy Young winner has only allowed three rounds over his last three starts, and is riding a high-quality 10-game starting streak. Let’s lock up the NRFI tonight on the south side.

Bet: Guardians at White Sox NRFI (-150 via DraftKings)

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Dodgers

The Diamondbacks go on to win tonight’s series in Los Angeles as they split the first four of five games with the Dodgers. We have a great match between two of Cy Young’s top three favorites in Zac Gallen (+1300) and Julio Urias (+750). The first pitch was set for the final at 10:10 p.m. ET from Dodger Stadium.

Gallen was crushing it on the stretch and she entered tonight’s divisional battle at 12-3 with a 2.52 ERA (10) and 0.92 WHIP (third) over a total of 28 starts. The right-hander last threw on Saturday against the Padres and went 5.1 innings, allowing only two runs earned in four strokes and three walks. Gallen lost the loss 2-0, and the Snakes are now 9-2 in their last 11 games.

Urias really stepped up in the absence of some big guns at this year’s Los Angeles tournament. South is 17-7 on the season with 2.27 ERA (third) and 0.95 WHIP (fifth) over 28 starts. Most recently, Urias went down against the Giants and held them in two runs (one of which got five hits) and walked over 6.0 innings. He took the win, and the Dodgers have now won their last four games.

Both of these starters are having their best at the moment and I expect them to bring it up again tonight in L.A. Gallen has only made one start against the Dodgers this year, and he has dominated them, racking up 6.0 frames without points and giving up just two strokes. As for Urias, he’s in the same boat and actually started the same Gallen game back in April. The left lasted for 6.0 innings and allowed only one sprint earned with one hit and two walks. Let’s hope for another thrower duel tonight and roll with the NRFI.

Betting: Diamondbacks at Dodgers NRFI (-155 via DraftKings)

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