NRFI Bets to Target on Friday 6/14/24

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin
NRFI Bets to Target on Friday 6/14/24

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

Cleveland Guardians at Toronto Blue Jays

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-128)

Logan Allen and Kevin Gausman will be on the mound when the Cleveland Guardians and Toronto Blue Jays square off on Friday, making this game an ideal target for a NRFI. Pitchers have consistently had success shutting down the Blue Jays in the first inning as they are posting the third-worst wOBA (.253), third-worst wRC+ (63), and fifth-worst ISO (.115) in the opening frame.

When looking at Toronto's splits versus left-handed pitchers in the first inning, they own the worst wOBA (.186), worst wRC+ (19), second-worst ISO (.044), and seventh-highest strikeout rate (28.3%). Even with the Blue Jays scoring to open Wednesday's clash against the Milwaukee Brewers, they still have the second-highest NRFI percentage (85.29%) in baseball.

Allen hasn't experienced much success in the first inning, logging a 4.95 xFIP and 1.69 WHIP. At the same time, Allen is recording a respectable 9-4 NRFI record, and Toronto's woes at the plate help mitigate the above numbers to begin the contest.

Gausman also doesn't have the best metrics in the first frame of games, holding a 4.91 xFIP and 1.46 WHIP in the opening inning. Despite that being the case, Gausman has notched a 10-3 NRFI record with zero runs allowed in the first inning in each of his last five starts.

It should be noted that Gausman has performed better at the start of contests at home, tallying a modest 3.22 xFIP and zero home runs allowed. Although pitcher vs. batter numbers don't always tell the entire story, the first three projected batters for the Guardians (Steven Kwan, Andres Gimenez, and Jose Ramirez) are also a combined 6-for-32 against Gausman.

Oakland Athletics at Minnesota Twins

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-113)

Taking a chance on a NRFI for Friday's showdown between the Oakland Athletics and Minnesota Twins is primarily tailored toward how well Simeon Woods Richardson has performed in the first inning. Among pitchers with five-plus starts in 2024, Richardson ranks 28th or better in xFIP (2.81), WHIP (0.40), and strikeout rate (32.4%) in the opening frame of contests.

Those metrics have helped Richardson secure a 10-0 NRFI record in his first 10 starts this season. It's tough to envision an Athletics squad with the second-worst wOBA (.234), second-worst wRC+ (54), third-worst ISO (.104), and third-highest strikeout rate (30.3%) in the first inning putting an end to Richardson's run.

Only the Washington Nationals and Blue Jays are producing a higher NRFI percentage than the Athletics at 83.10%.

Where things get somewhat dicey is backing Mitch Spence to secure three outs without giving up a run versus the Twins. Spence is making just his sixth start in the majors, accruing a formidable 3.77 SIERA and 3.78 xFIP through five starts.

After permitting a run in the first inning in each of his first two starts this year, Spence has gone three consecutive outings with zero runs allowed to begin the game. Additionally, the Twins are expected to have at least two lefties bat in the first inning, and Spence is holding left-handed hitters to a .298 wOBA and 2.93 xFIP while earning a 27.3% strikeout rate in that split.

Just to compare, Spence is giving up a .282 wOBA and 4.39 xFIP with just a 13.7% strikeout rate versus right-handed hitters.

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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.