NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 5/14/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 5/14/24

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 Milwaukee Brewers

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-115)

With both starting pitchers of this Pittsburgh Pirates-Milwaukee Brewers matchup demonstrating questionable underlying numbers, this looks like a spot to target for a YRFI.

Entering this season, right-hander Joe Ross last pitched in the majors in 2021 due to a second Tommy John surgery, so it isn't surprising to see him face some challenges in his comeback attempt with the Brewers. Over seven starts, Ross has put together a lackluster 4.66 xFIP and 17.9% strikeout rate, and he's logged a NRFI just four times.

The 30-year-old has looked especially vulnerable versus left-handed batters, posting a 4.99 xFIP, 15.7% K rate, and 35.5% ground-ball rate. Although Pittsburgh has been a below-average offense in YRFI rate (23.8%), they should have three lefties in the top half of the order, increasing their chances of getting to Ross.

That low strikeout rate could help Oneil Cruz cash this bet with one swing of the bat with his 89th percentile barrel rate. On FanDuel Sportsbook, Cruz has the shortest odds to hit a home run (+390) in this game.

Quinn Priester will get the ball for the Pirates, and while he's produced an elite 62.7% ground-ball rate that we would typically like to avoid, he's still getting obliterated by home runs, having already allowed seven over his four starts. Dating back to 2023, Priester has coughed up a whopping 2.28 HR/9 over 71 career innings.

While someone with this strong a ground-ball leaning should see those dingers regress -- his 30.0% HR/FB rate in 2024 is absurdly high -- he's simultaneously benefited from a .232 BABIP, so if anything, luck has actually landed on his side with a 3.86 ERA. Ultimately, the righty is just 10th percentile in xERA (5.63), 5th percentile in strikeout rate (12.6%), and 4th percentile in hard-hit rate (49.3%), none of which inspires confidence.

Once again, it's the lefty sticks that should come through for us. Against them, Priester has managed just a 5.5% K rate this season and has an egregious 6.11 xFIP dating back to last year. The Brewers are seventh in YRFI rate (34.2%), and two of their first three hitters should be lefties (Brice Turang and Christian Yelich).

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-108)

Cooler temperatures combined with a pitcher-friendly Oracle Park aren't exactly ideal hitting conditions, so this is mostly about backing the best YRFI team in baseball at near-even odds. Los Angeles Dodgers own a 48.8% YRFI rate, and just one other team is above 40% this season (the Philadelphia Phillies at 42.9%).

Despite the aforementioned weather, this game still has a solid 8.5 over/under, which is likely due to the respect the Dodgers are getting plus a matchup versus Keaton Winn.

Winn has been knocked around in back-to-back starts and comes into the day with a 4.91 xERA and 18.5% strikeout rate. Both a 3.90 SIERA and 56.8% ground-ball rate point to better future results, but it's hard to see that happening tonight against such a stacked lineup, particularly given the lack of punchouts.

The right-hander could especially be in trouble in same-handed matchups, as he has just a 13.5% strikeout rate in the split this year, so leadoff man Mookie Betts and cleanup hitter Will Smith are strong candidates to help us out.

Of course, otherworldly lefty Shohei Ohtani is always a threat regardless of the matchup (+360 to hit a home run).

As a bonus, we shouldn't write off the San Francisco Giants' bats against Gavin Stone, too. While Stone has enjoyed positive results lately, he's still carrying a pretty ordinary 4.58 SIERA, 17.1% strikeout rate, and 8.2% walk rate. He's converted a NRFI in just four of his seven starts.

While the Giants haven't been a great first-inning offense, they've posted a YRFI in 3 of their last 10. Stone has struggled with free passes versus lefties (13.3% walk rate), which could help LaMonte Wade Jr get on base, and we could see lefty Mike Yastrzemski batting leadoff again, too.

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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.