MLB NRFI Picks Today, Model Predictions for Wednesday, June 7

MLB NRFI Picks Today, Model Predictions for Wednesday, June 7 article feature image

Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Connor Seabold (Rockies)

Following an excellent 4-1 day on Tuesday that included a win on a +295 team-specific line, we're back with five more bets on Wednesday.

Moving forward, we'll be sticking with the strategy of betting half a unit on the game and half on the specific team in situations like that — in fact, there's one tonight.

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 7

San Diego Padres vs. Seattle Mariners NRFI: These are two of the better pitchers in the league early in games, with both George Kirby and Michael Wacha having well above average first-time-through-the-order splits.

Neither offense is especially top-heavy either, despite the names at the top of both lineups.

Miami Marlins vs. Kansas City Royals YRFI: Miami is a top-five offense in terms of the production from its first three, and Royals starter Jordan Lyles has been (very slightly) worse the first time through the order this season.

This is a candidate for the team-specific YRFI bet on Miami, but at only +175 on DraftKings, it's not quite juicy enough to be the higher EV play.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Baltimore Orioles YRFI: I'm not showing a massive projection on this game, but given the even-money line at BetMGM, it's well within my threshold for value. Both teams are doing a roughly equal amount of the work here, with the better offense (Baltimore) taking on the tougher pitcher (Corbin Burnes) and vise versa.

Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals YRFI: Two of the top seven overall offenses in baseball meet in this game, which has a nine-run total, with the over somewhat favored. Neither team is especially top heavy — nor is either pitcher especially bad the first time through the order — but given how good both lineups are generally, there's more than enough value.

San Francisco Giants Team Specific YRFI: I have the Giants slightly more likely to score in the first inning than both teams combined in the Mariners game today.

Rockies starter Connor Seabold has an ERA over five this season and has been worse his first time through the order than overall. Colorado projects reasonably well too, so you could hedge this with half a unit on the Giants at DraftKings (+175) and .64 units (to win half a unit) on the game YRFI at FanDuel, which is -128.

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