MLB

NRFI Bets to Target on Friday 5/31/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Friday 5/31/24

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

Texas Rangers at Miami Marlins

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-115)

A matchup between a pair of shaky pitchers sets the stage for a potential YRFI in Miami.

Sixto Sanchez will toe the rubber for the Miami Marlins, and it's been all bad news for him this season, regardless of his role. Over 13 appearances (6 starts), the right-hander has produced a 5.07 SIERA, 11.6% strikeout rate, and 8.8% walk rate. A solid 48.2% ground-ball rate has helped him minimize home runs (0.57 HR/9), but his 6.1% HR/FB rate should trend upward, particularly considering he's 14th percentile in hard-hit rate this year.

Sanchez has allowed first inning runs in four of his six starts, and a team like the Texas Rangers aren't likely to let him off the hook easily. The Rangers are tied for 10th in YRFI rate (30.4%), and their lefties specifically should take advantage of Sanchez, as the righty has been far worse in xFIP (6.07), K rate (8.3%), and BB rate (13.9%) in the split.

That should have us especially excited about Corey Seager's chances of doing damage. After starting the year slowly, Seager's been on an absolute tear lately, slugging eight home runs over his last eight games. Josh Smith has been batting third lately, ensuring we get at least two lefties against Sanchez in the opening frame.

Unsurprisingly, the Marlins have been a below-average offense in the first inning, but even they might be able to get something going against right-hander Jose Urena.

Urena is another guy who has split time between the bullpen and rotation, but he's enjoyed a bit more success behind a 4.15 SIERA and 50.7% ground-ball rate. While that's all well and good, we saw Urena consistently post an ERA above 5.00 from 2019-2023, so it wouldn't be the least bit surprising if things take a turn for the worse.

Despite better results this year, the 32-year-old's strikeout rate remains poor (16.3%), and that mark dips even lower over his four starts (14.3%). If nothing else, we can expect the Marlins to put the ball in play, so even a little BABIP luck could lead to a first-inning score.

Chicago White Sox at Milwaukee Brewers

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-122)

Flipping over to a NRFI bet, the Chicago White Sox are always a welcome sight when we're looking for a scoreless opening inning, as they're tied for the third-worst YRFI rate (17.5%). The White Sox have scored in the first inning just once over their last 10 games, too.

Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Tobias Myers has been a mixed bag but comes into this contest with a respectable 4.02 SIERA and 24.0% strikeout rate over six appearances (five starts). His problem has been free passes (9.4% walk rate) and home runs (2.42 HR/9) -- two things he shouldn't have to worry as much about against Chicago.

In the first inning, the White Sox own the ninth-worst walk rate (6.9%), third-worst ISO (.103), and eighth-worst wOBA (.279). Add in that Myers has a 20.7% HR/FB rate that should regress in his favor -- suggesting he shouldn't be allowing this many bombs over the long haul -- and we should like the righty's chances of holding down the fort against this weak offense.

Erick Fedde has been the rare bright spot for Chicago, coming in with a 3.81 SIERA and 3.40 xERA. While his 22.1% K rate doesn't move the needle much, he's produced quality marks in walk rate (6.9%) and ground-ball rate (45.1%).

The right-hander has pretty even splits versus righties and lefties this year, too, so the Brewers' mix of both shouldn't be a problem. Fedde has been working plenty of clean opening frames this year, boasting an 81.8% NRFI rate over 11 starts. On the other hand, while Milwaukee has been a pretty good first-inning offense, their YRFI rate has dipped to 24.0% over their last 25 games.


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