NRFI Bets to Target on Monday 4/22/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Monday 4/22/24

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

Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati Reds

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-122)

It's no secret that Great American Ball Park is one of MLB's most hitter-friendly venues, but the hope is that strong pitching carries us to a NRFI tonight. It also can't hurt that temperatures will be in the low 60s, and there's no notable wind expected.

Right-hander Hunter Greene will take the mound for the Cincinnati Reds, and despite mixed results, his underlying numbers have been positive, as he boasts a 3.07 SIERA and 2.55 xERA through four starts. Perhaps of most importance, he's racking up the punchouts with a 32.6% strikeout rate and 13.2% swinging-strike rate.

Greene was absolutely lethal to begin games last season, posting a 41.8% strikeout rate and 3.8% walk rate over 22 first innings. While home runs have admittedly been an issue for him over his young career, he allowed just 0.77 HR/9 the first time through the order in 2023.

The Philadelphia Phillies have dangerous bats atop their lineup with lefty sluggers Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper being perhaps the biggest hurdles for this bet. However, both players get their share of strikeouts -- Schwarber's way up at a 30.6% clip this season -- so the hope is that Greene can overpower them.

If Greene does his part, then we should have full confidence in Phillies starter Ranger Suarez finishing the deal. The southpaw hasn't allowed a run in two straight starts and comes in rocking a 2.35 SIERA, 28.4% strikeout rate, 4.2% walk rate, and 61.9% ground-ball rate over four outings.

While Suarez will likely face an entire lineup of righties tonight, he's done just fine in the split this year (2.57 xFIP), and the vast majority of batters he's faced have been right-handed. Additionally, the Reds have been one of the league's worst offenses in the first inning this season, scoring just 14.3% of the time.

Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-125)

The Atlanta Braves are always a welcome sight for a Yes Run First Inning (YRFI), particularly when they're facing a pitcher with a shaky track record like Ryan Weathers.

Weathers has begun the year on a high note (2.70 ERA), most notably showing a vastly improved 24.7% strikeout rate after recording a 16.7% mark last season. However, free passes remain an issue for him (10.1% walk rate), and he's allowed a good chunk of hard contact, leaving him with a worrisome 4.93 xERA. An unsustainable 80.9% strand rate also suggests he's lucky to have such a low ERA.

Given that the left-hander owns a career 5.52 ERA and 1.51 WHIP since debuting in 2021, we should be even more skeptical of his early-season success. Weathers made 12 starts in 2023, and he was roughed up his first time through the order with a 6.13 xFIP, 14.8% strikeout rate, and 14.8% walk rate.

A curious power outage from leadoff man Ronald Acuna has slowed the Braves' output a bit in the opening frame, but they've still scored in 35.0% of their first innings, good for 10th-best.

This lineup mashed versus lefties last year, and five of the first six batters project to bat right-handed tonight. The lone lefty, cleanup hitter Matt Olson, has consistently performed well in same-handed matchups over his career (117 wRC+ in the split), too, leaving little breathing room for Weathers.

The Miami Marlins have been a below-average offense this season, but they could still help us cash this bet in a plus matchup versus Bryce Elder.

While Elder produced solid results in 2023 with a 3.81 ERA, his underlying metrics suggested he was fortunate to get there, as his xFIP (4.49), SIERA (4.81), and xERA (4.61) were all significantly higher.

In 31 first innings last year, the right-hander posted a lackluster 5.06 xFIP, 16.8% strikeout rate, and 10.9% walk rate. Four of the first five Miami batters are projected to bat left-handed, and Elder was much worse facing lefties (5.21 xFIP) compared to righties (3.74) in 2023.

This matchup has the day's second-highest total (9.5), too, giving us another encouraging sign that one or both of these teams can get on the board early.

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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.