Best NRFI and YRFI Bets Today (Fade Civale and Cortes in ALDS Game 5)

New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes (65)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes (65) / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Well, here we are again.

After Game 5 of Monday's ALDS winner-take-all matchup between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians was postponed due to weather, they’ll try to do it again today in the Bronx.

The win-or-go-home matchup also sets up Game 1 of the NLCS in San Diego as the Padres host the Philadelphia Phillies. That gives us a chance to have a no-run-first-Inning (NRFI) and yes-run-first-inning (YRFI) betting opportunity today, so here’s how I’m wagering this fun and profitable prop for both games. 

Best NRFI Bet Today

Phillies vs. Padres -148

Both the Phillies and Padres were able to reset their rotation by winning their NLDS series in four games. Now, Philadelphia starts the NLCS with Zack Wheeler on the mound opposing Yu Darvish. 

Darvish did give up a first inning run in his last start against L.A., but the postseason demons of 2017 are no longer there. He gave up three runs over five innings his last outing, but all three were solo home runs. While he made a few mistakes and the Dodgers' pounced, he pitched very well otherwise and made those pitches with nobody on base. He even had seven strikeouts in the game. 

Wheeler has also been great this postseason, but in the regular season he was excellent in the first inning. He had a first inning ERA of 1.38, that’s four earned runs over 26 starts. 

Best YRFI Bet Today

Guardians vs. Yankees +112

This is certainly a bizarre circumstance that has seen two games be postponed in this series, but it has resulted in some better pitching matchups.

The extra day allows Nestor Cortes Jr. to start Game 5 for New York, but Cleveland will still go with Aaron Civale, even with Shane Bieber potentially available.

Civale taking the mound first keeps me on the YRFI side for this game. He has yet to pitch in the postseason and we have seen better pitchers than him struggle in their first action after a long layoff this October. Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander did against the Seattle Mariners most notably, but even Nestor Cortes looked shaky early on in Game 2 of this series. Even when Civale was in a rhythm this season, he still posted a 5.40 ERA in the first inning. 

Cortes went five innings and only gave up two earned, but he didn’t look in control like he normally does. That game came after a day off due to rain and I think Cortes could be shaky again. 

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.