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Best NRFI Bets Today: The Pitching Matchups to Watch on Thursday, July 4

Publish Date: 07/04/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

Best NRFI Bets Today

It's the Fourth of July, and there's no better way to celebrate than with the most exciting bet in baseball -- No Run in the First Inning.

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

We're back on Thursday with a loaded slate of games throughout the day, and while there are some star-studded pitching matchups on the card I won't be afraid to look into some that carry a bigger edge.

Let's get into exactly what those bets are and give out some MLB NRFI predictions for Thursday, July 4.

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MLB NRFI Prediction for Angels vs A's

Here's the sad truth about the Angels. Yes, they've been hitting the ball quite well of late, but now they've lost their best healthy hitter in Luis Rengifo -- at least for this game -- and they're stepping to an unfriendly park which doesn't allow home runs quite like Angel Stadium does.

We saw this on full display Wednesday as the Angels were shut out and held to just five hits, and I think a reprise is in store for Thursday.

Not only will Rengifo be absent from the No. 2 spot in the order, but leadoff Nolan Schanuel will be at a platoon disadvantage here against lefty J.P. Sears to start the game off.

Sears isn't necessarily my favorite pitcher, but he's competent enough to retire what's left of L.A.'s order in the first -- including one lefty.

  • Roansy Contreras is really the guy you're unsure about here, but the good news is that he's pitched to a ton of fly balls this season which is exactly what you want to see in a stadium as large as the Oakland Coliseum.

Factor in that the A's haven't been taking walks at a high rate all season, too, and you can eliminate one huge concern surrounding Contreras in 2024. I think this one gets off to a sluggish start.

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NRFI Prediction: Angels vs A's NRFI (-110 at DraftKings)

Looking to bet this one as the action unfolds? Check out our MLB Live Betting Guide.

MLB NRFI Prediction for Orioles vs Mariners

This is the least brave pick of the day, but I'm simply not seeing the right price here on this NRFI today.

Corbin Burnes and his excellent swing-and-miss arm may strike out the side in the first given he'll be up against the Mariners, who punch out more than anyone in the league, and the last time he met this team (in Baltimore, I may add) he spun six innings and yielded just one un-earned run on six hits with 11 strikeouts.

He should tear through a lineup that has had considerable struggles of late, and on the other side we should see much of the same about Bryce Miller.

  • He's technically been the weakest link of the best rotation in baseball, but he does know how to pitch to fly balls which makes him a weapon in Seattle.
  • He owns a 1.99 ERA here to a 6.29 ERA on the road and will face an Orioles team that, while strong offensively, has shown so far in Seattle that a big park can make a world of a difference.

This team, which has loved lifting the ball and hitting for power, has flown out to its demise in this series and should do more of the same here on Thursday. I like a low-scoring game once again and think the runs won't come at least until the second time through the order.

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NRFI Prediction: Orioles vs Mariners NRFI (-140 at DraftKings)

Not sure where to place your bet? Be sure to check out our ballislifebets section. 

MLB NRFI Prediction for Rays vs Royals

What am I seeing in this one? Well, to be honest, I could be the only one betting on this series. That doesn't change the fact that there's a fantastic opportunity to short both offenses in the first inning on Thursday night.

The Rays continue to love putting the ball in play -- mainly on the ground -- which is why they rank in the bottom third of the league in terms of hitting fly-ballers.

They'll be up against a rather extreme one in Alec Marsh, who's mirrored what the Mariners have done and pitch to the strengths of his home park, and I foresee plenty of lazy flyouts to begin the top of the first.

As for the bottom half, there's not much selling I have to do on this Royals offense.

  1. They've been one of the worst in the game over the last month of play, and even with some recent success they remain a free-swinging bunch with an extremely low walk rate at under 6%.
  2. They've found a way to pile up some extra bases, but the task at hand will be considerably tougher against Zach Eflin, who's been an entirely contact-oriented pitcher for three of the last four years.

He's posted a palatable .247 Expected Batting Average, but that number should come down a bit given an increasing number of his outs have come in the air.

Bobby Witt, Jr. is a potential landmine here but I still have plenty of further questions for the top of this order.

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NRFI Prediction: Rays vs Royals NRFI (-115 at DraftKings)

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