NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 4/16/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 4/16/24

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

Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-122)

Two of the league's top offenses go toe to toe in this matchup, leading to one of the higher over/unders of the day (9.5).

The Houston Astros have been one of the very best teams to back for a Yes Run First Inning (YRFI) thus far, scoring in the first inning at the third-highest rate (44.4%). That doesn't look like a fluke, either. In the first frame, the Astros boast MLB's lowest strikeout rate (13.5%), third-highest walk rate (13.5%), and fourth-best FanGraphs hard-hit rate (38.5%).

Houston could spell all sorts of trouble for Atlanta Braves right-hander Reynaldo Lopez. While Lopez has enjoyed good results through two starts in 2024, his 0.75 ERA is significantly lower than his 4.31 xFIP. Additionally, he's showing an elevated 11.1% walk rate and middling marks in both swinging-strike rate (7.9%) and CSW rate (22.5%).

As a reliever in 2023, Lopez recorded a 4.95 xFIP versus left-handed batters, which is a great sign for lethal Houston sluggers Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker, who have both gotten off to strong starts this year.

The Braves' lineup hasn't been at its best in the opening inning, but that should rectify itself sooner rather than later. Overall, Atlanta leads the league in wRC+ (132), and we're not exactly worried about a top of the order featuring Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, and Matt Olson.

Furthermore, these Braves get to face a struggling pitcher in Hunter Brown. Brown has made three starts, and the last two have been complete disasters, leaving him with an ugly 5.38 SIERA, 15.1% strikeout rate, and 13.2% walk rate this year. Opposing batters have teed off with a 55.3% Statcast hard-hit rate, leaving him with an even worse 8.58 xERA.

Between these two stacked lineups, we should like our chances that one or both can come through for a YRFI.

Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-142)

Although the odds are less enticing for this YRFI, that's because this game boasts a slate-high 10.5-run total. Not only does this matchup feature a pair of middling pitchers, but the Arizona Diamondbacks' bats have been on fire in the first inning this season.

Arizona has scored at a league-best 58.8% clip in the opening inning, owning the second-best strikeout rate (13.8%) and best FanGraphs hard-hit rate (50.7%) in that sample. While they'll surely cool down eventually, they've produced a massive .353 ISO in the first inning, as well.

This is all sorts of bad news for veteran righty Kyle Hendricks, who has been knocked around in all three of his 2024 starts. While Hendricks has never produced high strikeout numbers, his 12.1% K rate is painfully low even by his standards, and a 5.0% swinging-strike rate isn't a good sign, either. He's already coughed up five home runs, resulting in a 7.83 xERA.

The Chicago Cubs have been a middle-of-the-pack team at best in the first inning this year, but Arizona southpaw Tommy Henry presents a plus matchup for their top bats.

Henry will also make his fourth start of the season, and while it hasn't gone quite as poorly for him compared to Hendricks, he's posted a pedestrian 22.1% strikeout rate and 10.3% walk rate while giving up three dingers. His 5.83 xERA falls right in line with his 5.79 ERA, too.

The lefty produced middling splits against both righties and lefties in 2023, which could help lefty Cody Bellinger get going at the plate. Bellinger's bounce-back 2023 campaign included him mashing in same-handed matchups with a .259 ISO.

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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.