MLB NRFI Odds, Predictions: 4 Model Picks for Wednesday’s Games

MLB NRFI Odds, Predictions: 4 Model Picks for Wednesday’s Games article feature image

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Kodai Senga (Mets)

  • Another day of baseball means another day with NRFI betting value.
  • Billy Ward's NRFI/YRFI model found four value picks for Wednesday, including bets for Red Sox vs. Rangers and Brewers vs. Cubs.
  • Check out all four of Ward's NRFI/YRFI picks below.

Hopefully our slight loss yesterday didn't damper anyone's holiday celebrations.

We're back after it today with five more bets for Wednesday evening's full slate of baseball.

The Model

The process is relatively simple. First, I start by assuming that the full game (implied) run totals for either team are roughly efficient.

As mentioned above, that tends to be the case more often than not. This saves me the trouble of trying to predict the total runs scored in the game — and allows me to focus strictly on the "when" rather than "how many."

Next, I built a database of pitchers performance the first time through the order, relative to their overall stats. Since the latter is presumably baked into the full game total, I wanted to figure out if those runs are more likely to come early or late.

Most — but not all — MLB starters do somewhat better early in games, but with some variance in just how much. The model uses xFIP (expected Fielding Independent Pitching) as the ERA predictor of choice.

That's only half of the equation, though, with the offenses making up the other half. To do this, I looked at what percentage of a team's total runs is produced by the top three batters in the lineup.

While a first inning run scored, by definition, needs at least four hitters to come to the plate, one of the first three has to actually score it. The metric of choice here is wRC+, based on the projected lineup for the day from each team.

This is a bit of a tradeoff, as lineups (and run totals) can shift throughout the day, especially if significant contributors miss time.

However, in my experience the inefficiency of the morning lines more than makes up for the leakage in the model. With that said, exercise caution if, say, Mike Trout is listed as questionable for the nights game.

The Picks

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.

NRFI Odds, Picks for Wednesday, July 5

Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds YRFI: Both pitchers involved are roughly league average their first time through the order, so this projection is being carried by the high total — and the Reds' top-of-the-order splits, which rank fifth in MLB.

Boston Red Sox vs. Texas Rangers YRFI: Getting a YRFI at -120 in a game with a double-digit total is pretty much an automatic bet. Nothing else stands out here — both pitchers are near the league average their first time through the order — so I wouldn't take this one at heavier juice.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs NRFI: Our lone NRFI of the day features two teams on the wrong side of their platoon splits facing two solid starters (both in overall numbers and first-inning splits). While the total is on the higher side, we're getting a generous line to make up for it.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Mets YRFI: We're now 15 starts into his big league career and Mets starter Kodai Senga continues to struggle his first time through the order.

On the other side, Diamondbacks starter Tommy Henry is a mediocre pitcher overall with average first-time-through-the-order splits. That gives both teams a reasonable projection here.

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