NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 4/23/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 4/23/24

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

Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-118)

This Oakland Athletics-New York Yankees matchup has a modest 7.5-run total with temperatures expected to be in the mid-50s. Following a 2-0 Oakland win on Monday, we could see another low-scoring affair tonight.

Marcus Stroman will draw the start for New York, and while his 20.9% strikeout rate and 9.9% walk rate through four starts don't leap off the page, he continues to be one of the league's best at inducing grounders, posting a 60.7% ground-ball rate.

Stroman has suppressed home runs his entire career, and he gave up just one first-inning home run over 25 starts in 2023. Even if we expand out to his first time through the order, he gave up just two bombs over 51 2/3 innings.

Unsurprisingly, the A's have been a below-average offense this season, and that includes modest first-inning results. They've scored in the opening frame at just a 21.7% clip (20th in MLB) while recording the fourth-worst strikeout rate (32.2%) and third-worst walk rate (4.4%).

What is surprising is that the Bronx Bombers actually score in the first inning at the league's worst rate (13.0%). They've posted the fifth-worst ISO (.090) and a middling 95 wRC+ in the opening inning.

Surely a lineup anchored by superstars Juan Soto and Aaron Judge will have more early-inning success as the season goes, but for the time being, it's a promising trend for Oakland starter Paul Blackburn.

Blackburn has a sparkling 1.08 ERA over his four 2024 outings, but a 3.76 xFIP and 3.41 xERA suggest he's been a bit lucky. Still, even those latter marks are pretty good, and while he's another guy who won't wow us with strikeouts (18.6% rate), he's showing an encouraging 53.5% ground-ball rate thus far.

Despite the Yankees' lack of first-inning success this season, there's no question that Soto has begun this campaign red-hot, so we'll have to hope Blackburn is up to the task today. The good news is that the right-hander has already faced 56 lefty bats this season and has held his own with a 3.38 xFIP and 51.2% ground-ball rate.

New York Mets at San Francisco Giants

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-148)

With the over/under of this New York Mets-San Francisco Giants game dropping to just 7.0 runs this morning, the odds for a NRFI have gotten shorter, but this matchup could still be worth targeting. This is another cool weather game (temperatures below 60 degrees), and we have two solid pitchers taking the mound between Logan Webb and Luis Severino.

As always, Webb isn't blowing away hitters with a dominant K rate (17.9%), but he's still getting results, owning a 3.14 xFIP and 3.34 SIERA across five starts. The right-hander is rarely issuing free passes (4.9%), and it's awfully hard to hit dingers off of someone allowing a mere 17.0% fly-ball rate. Over his career, Webb has given up just 0.66 HR/9.

Severino has performed well over four starts and enters the day with a 3.50 xFIP and 3.70 SIERA. His 22.8% strikeout rate shows that we're a long way off from vintage Severino, but a 60.7% ground-ball rate suggests he's still keeping opposing batters off balance.

These two teams have been middle-of-the-pack offenses, and neither has been spectacular in the first inning as the Giants have scored at a 25.0% rate (19th) while the Mets are at 18.2% (T-22nd). In the opening frame, San Francisco has put up the sixth-worst ISO (.108), and New York is dead last (.050). Incredibly, the Mets have posted a league-worst 15.5% FanGraphs hard-hit rate in the first inning.

Between what we're seeing from both the pitchers and these lineups -- not to mention the weather -- a long ball feels unlikely, increasing the chances of a NRFI bet hitting.

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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.