NRFI Best Bets to Target on Tuesday 7/9/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Best Bets to Target on Tuesday 7/9/24

The MLB season is an annual marathon that gives us months of daily betting markets to consider.

While traditional player props like home runs and strikeouts remain popular options, one market that's gained steam is betting whether or not no runs will be scored in the first inning -- aka a No Run First Inning (NRFI) bet.

On FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds, we can find NRFI odds listed as 1st Inning Over/Under 0.5 Runs odds under each MLB game.

Where can we find value in this unique prop market today?

Please note: lines and projections are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.

NRFI Best Bets

Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-122)

The combination of two high-powered lineups going toe to toe at dinger-friendly Citizens Bank Park with temperatures in the 90s and 10 mph winds blowing out to center gives us a great opportunity for a YRFI between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies.

However, if we look at tonight's probable pitchers, the name Zack Wheeler immediately stands out as a major hurdle. After all, Wheeler is the current favorite to win the National League Cy Young at +135 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Even so, this is partially why we're still getting appealing odds for a YRFI, and the Dodgers remain a dangerous first-inning offense. Los Angeles leads the league in YRFI rate (38.5%) and has been even better over their last 25 games (40.0%).

Further, while Wheeler has been lights out against righties (2.60 xFIP) this season, he's shown some vulnerability versus lefties. When facing left-handed batters, he's recorded a 4.37 xFIP, 22.6% strikeout rate, 10.0% walk rate, and 34.6% ground-ball rate.

Even up against Wheeler, Shohei Ohtani is showing +230 odds to his a home run, and fellow lefty hitter Freddie Freeman will also bat in the opening frame.

Of course, we needn't rely solely on the Dodgers to come through, and the Phillies have a favorable matchup versus right-hander Bobby Miller. Over six starts, Miller has posted a 5.44 xERA, 4.68 SIERA, 22.9% strikeout rate, and 13.8% walk rate. He's also allowed a home run in five of those six outings -- three of which have come in the first inning.

Lefty sluggers Kyle Schwarber is expected to be activated from the IL today, and Bryce Harper has a chance to return, as well. If one or both are in the lineup, we should really like Philadelphia's likelihood of getting to Miller early. Schwarber has +240 odds to hit a home run, and Harper is at +300. Philadelphia has MLB's second-best YRFI rate (37.8%).

Washington Nationals at New York Mets

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-111)

The wind is expected to be blowing out on a warm night at Citi Field on Tuesday, but this is still Baseball Savant's second-best venue for pitching, and neither of these offenses has performed well in the first inning lately.

Over the last 25 games, the New York Mets have a 24.0% YRFI rate while the Washington Nationals are at 20.0%. It's also telling that for the Nats, that's actually a step up from their league-worst season average (15.4%).

Mets left-hander Jose Quintana isn't someone we typically want to count on for a NRFI, but even he should have a good chance of pitching a clean opening inning against such a weak opponent.

While it's hard to find many positives in Quintana's 2024 profile, he's managed a respectable 70.6% NRFI rate over 17 starts this year, and the toughest batter he'll face, leadoff man C.J. Abrams, will be in a lefty-lefty matchup. It's also telling that no batter on the Nationals has shorter than +520 odds to hit a home run. In the first inning, Washington has posted the second-worst wOBA (.265) and ISO (.100) in 2024.

Right-hander Jake Irvin will have a tougher matchup against the Mets, but he's performed well this season, making him an easier pitcher to trust. Irvin might not have an amazing strikeout rate (22.7%), but it hasn't stopped him from putting up a 3.60 xERA. He's logged a NRFI in 72.2% of his 18 starts.

He's been especially lethal in same-handed matchups, boasting a 2.80 xFIP, 24.7% K rate, 2.6% BB rate, and 54.7% ground-ball rate in the split. This will be particularly helpful in silencing New York's right-handed power threats like Pete Alonso and J.D. Martinez.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.