MLB NRFI Picks, Odds: Saturday Model Predictions (April 13)

MLB NRFI Picks, Odds: Saturday Model Predictions (April 13) article feature image

Logan Riely/Getty Images. Pictured: Ronel Blanco.

Friday brought a 3-0 sweep and took us over the 20-unit mark of profits in 2024. I don't expect to hit at a 70% clip all season, but the early returns have been very promising. Despite the big slate on Saturday, we have just three more picks. That's because most teams are at the back end of their rotation, with plenty of pitchers without sufficient sample sizes to comfortably project their first-inning splits.

Let's get to my MLB NRFI picks and Saturday model predictions for April 13.

MLB NRFI Picks, Odds: Saturday Model Predictions (April 13)

With all of the picks below, I'll include the pick, the best line and the threshold I'd bet it to. These will go up in the morning, so if any major news breaks between publishing and when you read it, be sure to consider that.

Infrequently, rather than betting on the traditional YRFI/NRFI, the pick will be on one team or the other specifically to score a run, which as of this writing is only a betting option at DraftKings.

Since the model handles each team individually, sometimes one team is projecting for a greater proportion of the "run equity" in the first inning than the betting lines are accounting for.

GameFirst Pitch (ET)PitchersBetBest LineThreshold
Tigers-Twins (G1)1:10 p.m.Ryan vs. MaedaNRFI-120 (BetMGM)-125
Royals-Mets1:40 p.m.Marsh vs. ManaeaNRFI-104 (FanDuel)-125
Astros-Rangers4:05 p.m.Heaney vs. BlancoYRFI-120 (BetMGM)-140

Tigers vs. Twins (Game 1) (NRFI): This pick is right on the threshold for value based on the model, so I wouldn't reach too far if the line moves more than a few cents. Still, we have an eight-run total and two pitchers with slightly above-average splits the first time through the order and no superstar hitters at the top of either lineup.

Royals vs. Mets (NRFI): I have a nearly identical NRFI projection — for similar reasons — for this game and the Tigers-Twins game, but we're getting a much better price on the no in this one. I'm not sure what the oddsmakers are seeing (outside of a slightly higher total), but I'm also not complaining.

Rangers vs. Astros (YRFI): Here's what I said about this matchup yesterday: "Texas and Houston rank third and fourth in overall wRC+ at the team level this season, and this game has a 9.5-run total. While the YRFI is a bit expensive, I'm still showing value here. That's in large part due to the murderer's row atop the Astros lineup, which features five straight batters who posted wRC+ numbers of at least 125 (100 is league average) last season."

All of that applies again, with another total of 9.5 runs. Plus today one of the starters (Ronel Blanco) is a converted reliever who had a 5.52 xFIP his first time through the order as a starter last season. He's yet to allow a run in 2024, but his 4.62 xFIP suggests that's more good luck than newfound dominance.

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