NRFI Bets to Target on Monday 5/13/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Monday 5/13/24

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

Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-128)

Although the wind will be blowing out in left field at Camden Yards tonight, the fact that the over/under has remained at just 7.5 runs gives me confidence that this shouldn't be a significant factor for starting pitchers Corbin Burnes and Jose Berrios. Both right-handers have performed well in 2024, giving us a great chance for a NRFI.

Burnes was the big get for the Baltimore Orioles this offseason, and he hasn't disappointed, producing a 3.13 xFIP, 25.3% strikeout rate, 6.5% walk rate, and 50.0% ground-ball rate.

The lone concern with Burnes is that he hasn't been at his best in the first inning this season, which includes allowing four solo shots in eight starts. However, he's converted a NRFI in three of his last four, and his metrics the first time through the order fall in line with his season-long marks, so the first-inning dingers are likely just an early-season fluke.

Burnes boasts a 30.5% K rate in same-handed matchups this year, which sets him up well against the Toronto Blue Jays, a team that typically starts just one lefty in the top half of the order. Toronto hasn't been a great first-inning offense, either, as they're tied for 25th in YRFI rate (20.0%) and have recorded a YRFI just once in their last 10 games.

Meanwhile, Berrios is showing a fantastic 2.85 ERA, but he's probably been a bit lucky. Both his xFIP (4.26) and SIERA (4.18) suggest he's been average at best, while his 4.91 xERA is even more pessimistic. Regression smacked him in the face last week, as the Philadelphia Phillies lit him up for 8 earned runs over 3 2/3 innings.

So why should we have faith in Berrios logging a clean opening frame? He's been far more effective against lefties this season than in years past, owning a 3.81 xFIP and 27.8% K rate in the split.

That bodes well for him against a team that projects to have just one righty in the first two-thirds of the lineup. And despite the Orioles' offense performing well as a whole, they've been slow starters in games, sitting just 24th in YRFI rate (20.5%).

Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-130)

We also have an intriguing pitching matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves, and in this case, the wind will be blowing in at about 10 mph to further back a modest 7.5 over/under.

Similar to the aforementioned Berrios, Reynaldo Lopez will almost certainly see his 1.53 ERA regress, but he's still posted a solid 3.77 xFIP and 3.71 xERA, and his 25.5% strikeout rate is definitely a positive. Lopez has been a perfect 7-for-7 in NRFIs this season, too.

The main worry for Lopez is a 15.6% walk rate facing lefties this season, which could get him in trouble against Mike Tauchman and Cody Bellinger. However, if he can dispatch at least one of the two, his elite 29.7% strikeout rate in same-handed matchups should give him the upper hand versus righties Seiya Suzuki and Christopher Morel to get through the inning.

Shota Imanaga is off to a hot start to his MLB career, coming into the day with a 3.06 SIERA, 26.9% strikeout rate, and 3.1% walk rate. A 2.31 xERA (94th percentile) is yet another reason for optimism, and he's another guy who hasn't given up a first-inning run over seven outings.

Despite Atlanta's star power, we shouldn't be scared off by this offense when someone as good as Imanaga is on the mound. The Braves have been in the middle of the pack in YRFI rate (27.0%), and that clip is down to 20.0% over their last 10 games.

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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.