NRFI Bets to Target on Thursday 6/6/24

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin

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

Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-122)

Reynaldo Lopez has made the transition from reliever to starter this season for the Atlanta Braves, and the results have been encouraging. In his last start against the Oakland Athletics, Lopez allowed only four hits and one earned run while striking out eight batters.

On the season, Lopez is a perfect 10-0 to the NRFI prop while not allowing an earned run in the first two innings in six consecutive appearances. Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals have produced the second-fewest first-inning runs (16) to begin the campaign.

Therefore, it's no surprise that the Nats are posting the lowest wOBA (.227), wRC+ (44), and ISO (.064) in the first frame of contests. Given the team's woes at the plate, Washington has also gone nine straight games without scoring in the first inning.

Targeting the Braves to not score in the first inning can be dangerous until you consider how mediocre their offense has been since losing Ronald Acuna Jr. for the rest of the season. Over the last 14 days, Atlanta has the 3rd-lowest wOBA (.286), 4th-lowest wRC+ (83), and the 14th-lowest ISO (.142) in baseball.

Mitchell Parker is slated to make his 10th start of the year for the Nationals, and he's tallied a 6-3 NRFI record up to this point. Despite Atlanta deploying a talented lineup, they have scored the 11th-fewest runs (27) in the first inning of contests.

The Braves have gone back-to-back games with zero runs scored in the first frame, making this one of the best NRFIs to target on Thursday.

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-118)

Siding with an NRFI prop for a game at Great American Ball Park can be a risky endeavor, but the pitching matchup warrants taking a shot on it. The Chicago Cubs will have Javier Assad making his 13th start of the campaign while Hunter Greene will take the mound for the 13th time for the Cincinnati Reds.

Assad is another pitcher who has excelled at preventing runs in the first inning, going 9-3 to the NRFI on the season -- with four consecutive starts allowing zero first-inning earned runs. Besides totaling the eighth-fewest runs (25) in the first inning, the Reds have the second-highest strikeout rate (26.7%), seventh-lowest wOBA (.297), and fourth-lowest wRC+ (87) against right-handed pitching.

Greene has also gone four straight outings of not permitting a run in the first inning, giving him a 10-2 NRFI record to begin the year. While the Cubs have the 14th-most runs scored (30) in the first inning, they are tallying the second-lowest wOBA (.288) and third-lowest wRC+ (87) in the last 30 days and have gone five consecutive contests with zero runs in the first frame.

Both Assad and Greene should expect to face at least two left-handed hitters early in Thursday's clash. Assad is giving up just a .279 wOBA and has a 25.5% strikeout rate in that split, compared to Greene allowing only a .280 wOBA and 28.9% strikeout rate to lefties.

Overall this year, Chicago is failing to score in the first inning 79.03% of the time and Cincinnati isn't plating a run in the first inning 74.19% of the time. That puts both squads in the bottom half of the league when it comes to scoring out of the gate in games.

It's also worth noting that the Reds are recording the second-highest first-inning strikeout rate (30.2%) and the Cubs are registering the seventh-highest strikeout rate (27.5%) in the first inning of games. Provided that information, I like fewer than one run to be tallied in the first inning of this NL Central showdown, and it's one of my favorite games to target for an SGP.

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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.