NRFI Bets to Target on Monday 5/6/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Monday 5/6/24

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

Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-132)

Winds blowing in from right field at nearly 20 mph combined with a pair of trustworthy pitchers lays the foundation for a NRFI in this Seattle Mariners-Minnesota Twins matchup.

While Simeon Woods Richardson isn't exactly a household name, he's been flawless in the first inning over his three starts, retiring all nine batters he's faced.

Overall, he's probably a smidge lucky to have his 2.45 ERA, but he has a respectable 4.09 SIERA and isn't issuing many walks (6.3% rate). Woods Richardson's 45.7% fly-ball rate might normally be viewed as a negative, but the windy conditions increase the likelihood of balls hit in the air dropping harmlessly for easy outs.

The biggest challenge for the right-hander will likely be working through lefty leadoff man Josh Rojas and switch-hitter Jorge Polanco. While it's still a small sample (25 batters faced), Woods Richardson has a poor 16.0% strikeout rate versus left-handed batters this season. Polanco is showing a 34.0% K rate versus righties this year, though, which could help Woods Richardson out.

Our other starter is Luis Castillo, who is easy to get behind. He boasts a 2.97 SIERA, 28.7% strikeout rate, and 4.7% walk rate, and he's 6-for-7 in NRFIs this year.

Similar to Woods Richardson, Castillo hasn't been as strong against lefties, and three of the first four Minnesota batters project to bat left-handed. However, while all five home runs Castillo has allowed have come off lefties on a 47.5% fly-ball rate, that's far less of a worry due to the assist we're getting from the wind.

Both offenses have been middle of the pack in YRFIs, too. The Twins rank 15th in YRFI rate (27.3%) while the Mariners are just 18th (23.5%).

Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (+106)

It's not often that a game with a 7.5 over/under looks appealing for a YRFI, but pitchers Alex Wood and Andrew Heaney have been vulnerable this season, and these plus odds are intriguing. Although temperatures will be around just 60 degrees, winds blowing out at nearly 10 mph should help offset the cooler weather.

Wood has been shaky in nearly of his seven 2024 starts, entering the day with a 5.10 xFIP, 19.0% strikeout rate, 11.1% walk rate, and 34.3% ground-ball rate. He's converted a NRFI in just three of those seven outings.

The southpaw hasn't performed well against righties or lefties, which could help jumpstart a slow-starting Corey Seager. Overall, even with Seager's struggles, the Texas Rangers have enjoyed a good deal of success in the first inning, tied for the eighth-best YFRI rate (34.3%).

The Oakland Athletics haven't been nearly as productive in the first frame (22.9% YRFI rate), but Heaney's long history of giving up dingers should have us confident in their chances, too.

Heaney comes in with a 4.67 xFIP and 20.8% strikeout rate over six starts this year, and he's given up 1.50 HR/9 off a 50.6% fly-ball rate. He's been scored upon in half his first innings, as well.

We should see Oakland counter the left-hander with an entire lineup of righties, with guys like Tyler Nevin, Brent Rooker, and J.D. Davis all generating nice pop with the platoon advantage over their careers.

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