NRFI Bets to Target on Monday 6/24/24

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

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

Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-130)

Great American Ball Park is already a great place to target for a YRFI (Baseball Savant's fourth-best park factor in MLB), and temperatures in the mid-80s should further give hitting a boost. This matchup is tied for the day's highest over/under (9.5).

Although the Pittsburgh Pirates aren't a team we typically look to for offense, their matchup against right-hander Carson Spiers coupled with the batter-friendly conditions improve their chances of plating some early runs.

Bouncing between the big leagues and Triple-A all season, Spiers has made just six MLB appearances in 2024, and only one of them has been a traditional start. In that sample (25 1/3 innings), he's posted a respectable 4.10 xFIP, but low marks in both strikeout rate (18.9%) and ground-ball rate (35.9%) suggest that he could be susceptible to home runs despite allowing none to this point.

While the 26-year-old has produced a promising 2.51 ERA as a starter in Triple-A this season, a less exciting 4.25 xFIP likely tells the real story. Further, season-long projections on FanGraphs view Spiers pessimistically, as models like ZiPS, ATC, and THE BAT peg him as a pitcher who should have an ERA around 5.00.

Despite being a poor overall offense, the Pirates do have solid pop atop the order between Andrew McCutchen, Bryan Reynolds, and Oneil Cruz. In fact, Reynolds has the shortest odds to hit a home run (+260) in this matchup, and he's gone deep in three of his last four games.

Should Pittsburgh fall short, the Cincinnati Reds' bats could have an even better shot of getting the job done versus left-hander Bailey Falter. Falter's 3.74 ERA looks completely unsustainable when compared to lackluster figures in xFIP (4.53), SIERA (4.72), and xERA (5.12).

Additionally, the southpaw will face a lineup of almost entirely right-handed batters, and in that split, he's posted a 4.81 xFIP, 15.1% K rate, and 32.8% ground-ball rate. Most notably, he's coughed up 1.46 HR/9 versus righties.

The Reds' offense has performed well in the opening frame lately, recording a 36.0% YRFI rate over their last 25 games and scoring in 5 of their last 10 first innings. Cleanup hitter Spencer Steer has the second-best odds to hit a home run (+370) in this contest.

Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-113)

A quick glance at the Atlanta Braves' home run odds should have us excited for a potential YRFI in St. Louis, as we see short odds for Marcell Ozuna (+250 to hit a home run), Matt Olson (+320), and Austin Riley (+330). That's because this trio will face right-hander Lance Lynn tonight, and this will be one of Monday's warmest games with temperatures in the 90s.

Following a disastrous 2023 campaign, Lynn has put up solid results this season, and the biggest change has been a significant improvement in dingers allowed, going from 2.16 HR/9 last year to 1.08 HR/9 in 2024.

But it's fair to wonder whether he can keep this up. Lynn's Baseball Savant page shows he's been mediocre-to-poor in a variety of metrics, sitting below the 50th percentile in categories like xERA (4.30), K rate (21.7%), ground-ball rate (42.2%), and barrel rate (8.3%).

Perhaps this is why things have begun to unravel for the 37-year-old this month. Lynn was roughed up by the Miami Marlins for 5 earned runs and a pair of home runs over 5 1/3 innings in his last start, and before that, he failed to reach 5 innings in three straight outings.

Handling lefties has been one of Lynn's biggest issues over his career, and three of the first four projected Atlanta batters will bat left-handed. One of those lefties will be the aforementioned Olson, who could cash this with one swing of the bat. When facing left-handed bats in 2024, Lynn has posted an underwhelming 4.62 xFIP, 19.8% strikeout rate, 10.2% walk rate, and 40.2% ground-ball rate.

Flipping over to the St. Louis Cardinals' offense, they'll take on Spencer Schwellenbach in the bottom half. Schwellenbach is making just his fifth MLB start, and while he's perhaps unlucky to have a 4.98 ERA, he's showing a middle-of-the-pack profile thus far with a 4.24 xFIP, 20.4% strikeout rate, and 7.5% walk rate.

The Cardinals have been a below-average offense this year, but they've picked it up in the first inning of late, logging a 36.0% YRFI over their last 25 games. For context, 36.0% would rank as the league's fourth-best mark if it was over the full season.

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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.