MLB NRFI Picks & Model Predictions for Wednesday

MLB NRFI Picks & Model Predictions for Wednesday article feature image

Chris Coduto/Getty Images. Pictured: Diamondbacks pitcher Merrill Kelly.

  • There's plenty of NRFI/YRFI value on Wednesday's MLB schedule, according to Billy Ward's model.
  • Ward came through with three NRFI/YRFI picks and a parlay for Wednesday's MLB slate.
  • Read on to see which games Ward's model sees value in on Wednesday.

We got back to our winning ways on Tuesday, thanks to a win on the Dodgers team-specific line at solid plus-money. Let's keep things going with five more picks Wednesday, including a potential parlay option.

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 night's 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, June 14

Boston Red Sox vs. Colorado Rockies YRFI: While neither team is especially top-heavy in terms of production, this is a pretty generous line considering the 9.5-run total and relatively weak first-time-through splits from both pitchers.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies NRFI: While there's a moderate total in this game of 8.5, both pitchers have excellent splits the first time through the order, so I'm projecting the bulk of the runs to be scored later in the game.

Pick: Diamondbacks vs. Phillies NRFI

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago White Sox YRFI: Going back to the Dodgers team-specific YRFI is tempting here, but we're getting a much less exciting +155 on that line today. I'm also projecting a slightly higher chance of a first-inning run from the White Sox today, as Clayton Kershaw falls firmly in the category of pitchers who get better throughout the game.

New York Yankees vs. New York Mets NRFI: It's a steep price, but it's Gerrit Cole vs. Justin Verlander — two of the best starters of this generation. Personally, I'll be parlaying with the Marlins-Mariners NRFI.

Seattle Mariners vs. Miami Marlins NRFI: Marlins starter Eury Perez has had ridiculous splits the first time through the order to start his young career. I manually adjusted them up to account for the small sample size, and we're still showing massive value on the NRFI. Parlaying this and the Subway Series game NRFI is +198 at Caesars, so I'm risking a half-unit on that pairing to win (almost) one.

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