NRFI Bets to Target on Friday 5/17/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Friday 5/17/24

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.

Best NRFI Prop Bets

New York Mets at Miami Marlins

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-130)

The New York Mets and Miami Marlins are combining for a modest 7.5 over/under tonight due to a harmony of solid pitching and unimposing offenses.

While a couple of poor starts have left Jesus Luzardo with ugly surface numbers, he's still showing a promising 3.82 xFIP, 26.3% strikeout rate, and 14.9% swinging-strike rate. He's also managed to be a perfect 6-for-6 in NRFIs, allowing just one earned run the first time through the order this season.

Walks and home runs have been the main issues for Luzardo in 2024, but if he can work his way around the always dangerous Pete Alonso, we should like his chances of coming through. New York's lineup hasn't played particularly well in the first inning, posting the third-worst ISO (.107) and ninth-worst walk rate (6.8%).

Mets right-hander Christian Scott is more of an unknown commodity, but early returns have been quite positive. In his first two MLB starts, the 24-year-old has amassed a 3.27 xFIP, 28.0% strikeout rate, and 6.0% walk rate, and he was rocking a 38,3% K rate in Triple-A before getting called up.

Despite solid first-inning metrics, Miami has still been a below-average team in YRFI rate (24.4%) and traded away leadoff hitter Luis Arraez earlier this month. Given that they've been one of the league's weaker overall offenses and lack much star power, that rate figures to only drop further as the season goes.

Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-113)

All 30 MLB teams are in action on Friday, yet this is the slate's only game reaching a 9.0 over/under. Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney are scheduled to start tonight, and those names don't exactly scream "pitchers' duel."

Beginning with Heaney, the lefty continues to be a ripe source for home runs, allowing 1.32 HR/9 off a sky-high 50.8% fly-ball rate. Given that Heaney's strikeout rate sits at a pedestrian 22.5% clip, and he's given up 1.58 HR/9 over his career, that rate of dingers could rise even higher.

The southpaw has just a 62.5% NRFI rate through eight starts. While the Los Angeles Angels' lineup remains pretty underwhelming without Mike Trout, Heaney's tendency to give up the long ball increases the likelihood of a YRFI with just one swing of the bat.

We could see Jo Adell (.257 ISO) bat second tonight, and he has the third-shortest odds to hit a home run (+360) in this game.

Unsurprisingly, the best odds to hit a dinger are featured in the Texas Rangers' more potent lineup; Adolis Garcia is +260 while Corey Seager is +285. These are among the shortest home run odds of the entire slate, which tells us a whole lot about Tyler Anderson's season.

At first glance, Anderson looks to be dealing, as he's produced a stellar 2.92 ERA through eight starts. But a closer look shows it's all been smoke and mirrors. Both a 4.80 xFIP and 4.72 xERA suggest he's been more lucky than good, and we can quickly point to a .223 BABIP, 82.3% strand rate, and 8.8% HR/FB rate -- all well off Anderson's career averages -- as reasons for his good fortune.

The left-hander comes in with a 17.9% K rate, 9.5% walk rate, and 35.2% ground-ball rate, and his splits show he's vulnerable against both lefties and righties. The Rangers are tied for sixth in YRFI rate this year (33.3%).

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