NRFI Bets to Target on Friday 5/3/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Friday 5/3/24

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

Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-122)

While Yankee Stadium is a great park for home runs and has a home team that can score in bunches, this Detroit Tigers-New York Yankees game is showing just a 7.5 over/under. Given that games with low totals typically have shorter odds for a NRFI, this looks like an ideal spot for us to dig into.

The over/under is likely due in part to temperatures that will be around 60 degrees and winds close to 10 mph blowing in from right field, giving us conditions that should suppress the long ball. We're also getting solid starting pitchers from both sides in Marcus Stroman and Reese Olson.

Beginning with Stroman, the Yankees righty has recorded a 3.74 xFIP over six starts, and he's churning out ground balls at an elite 58.0% clip. While Stroman is issuing more walks than we would like (10.9%), all those grounders give him a strong likelihood of getting a double play to wipe out free passes.

Despite the lack of fly balls, he's already given up five home runs (1.42 HR/9), and that looks incredibly flukey, as his inflated 21.7% HR/FB rate is way over his career average (13.4%). Stroman has allowed just 0.84 HR/9 over his career, so the recent run of round-trippers shouldn't deter us.

Three of the first four Detroit batters are projected to bat left-handed, and while that might normally seem like a bad thing for Stroman, he's produced a 67.7% ground-ball rate against lefties this season and did so at a 61.2% rate in 2023. Overall, Stroman has turned in a NRFI in five of his six outings, which is another positive sign.

Olson is tougher to trust against a Yankees lineup with some scary names toward the top, but he's posted a respectable 4.09 SIERA and 3.69 xERA, and he's also generating grounders fairly frequently (49.4%). Although the right-hander's 21.1% strikeout rate doesn't move the needle, his 13.3% swinging-strike rate is a sign those Ks will tick upward, and he's racked up 8 punchouts in two of his last three starts.

The 24-year-old has unusual 2024 splits, generating more strikeouts (25.8%) and walks (12.1%) versus lefties but far more ground balls against righties (53.3%). Given that he exhibited similar traits last season, we can probably trust these recent trends.

Those splits should give us some hope for Olson in a frightening matchup against Juan Soto, who has +230 odds to win AL MVP, as even walking the star lefty is better than most alternatives. Olson hasn't allowed a run in the first inning yet this season, too.

Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-125)

The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers are combining for a slate-high 9.5 over/under, and this time we're seeing more appealing odds than expected for a YRFI.

Gavin Stone is taking the mound for Los Angeles, and it's hard to like his chances against a stacked Atlanta lineup. Entering the day, Stone has a 5.02 SIERA, 16.5% strikeout rate, and 11.0% walk rate over five starts.

While the Braves have been middle of the pack in YRFI rate (27.6%), this lineup is way too stacked for their first-inning production to stay this low, and today looks like the right matchup to add another "yes" to their tally.

Stone's splits are especially concerning against left-handed batters (6.25 xFIP), so Ozzie Albies and Matt Olson are prime candidates to cash this bet for us.

The Dodgers have MLB's second-best YRFI rate (45.5%), so they're always in the running to score in the opening frame, regardless of the opposing pitcher.

In this case, they'll see Charlie Morton, who's still chugging along at age 40. The veteran righty has gone 5-for-5 in NRFIs this year and has been lethal in same-handed matchups with a 31.0% strikeout rate and 2.87 xFIP.

However, Morton's numbers aren't as kind versus lefties, where we find a 4.35 xFIP, 19.2% strikeout rate, and 10.3% walk rate. That's bad news for him against Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman, and Max Muncy could loom out of the five-hole if the first inning extends that far.

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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.