NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 5/28/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 5/28/24

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

St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-111)

This St. Louis Cardinals-Cincinnati Reds matchup comes in with Tuesday's second-highest over/under (9.5), so getting -111 odds for a YRFI immediately stands out as a value opportunity. A mediocre pitching matchup between Kyle Gibson and Andrew Abbott coupled with Great American Ball Park should only further entice us to jump on this bet.

Abbott will get the ball for Cincinnati, and while he's enjoyed a sparkling 2.68 ERA over 10 starts, he continues to look like a regression candidate. The left-hander is 89th percentile in hard-hit rate, so perhaps he's doing something right, but his 18.8% strikeout rate leads to a lot of balls in play, which in and of itself leaves a lot to chance. Both his xFIP (4.47) and SIERA (4.38) suggest he's overperforming, and even with the low ERA, he's still coughing up dingers at a high clip (1.42 HR/9) off a 48.2% fly-ball rate.

Of particular note for us, Abbott has logged a NRFI in just 60.0% of his starts. The Cardinals haven't been a very good first-inning offense this season, but they'll counter the southpaw with a righty-heavy top of the order, and all nine of Abbott's home runs have come off right-handed batters. Paul Goldschmidt could be starting to heat up after slugging three home runs over the last two days, and he has the game's shortest odds to hit a home run (+340).

On the other side, Gibson has underwhelming metrics pretty much across the board with a 4.43 SIERA, 18.7% strikeout rate, and 9.3% walk rate. In his case, the Statcast metrics are much more unfavorable, too, as poor marks in both hard-hit rate (24th percentile) and barrel rate (9th percentile) have contributed to a 5.54 xERA.

Gibson has also converted a NRFI in just 6 of his 10 outings. He's struggled against left-handed batters specifically this year (4.93 xFIP in the split), so this doesn't bode well for him against a Reds lineup that should have lefties in four of the first five slots. Cincinnati's lineup has played well in the first inning lately, posting a 36.0% YRFI rate over their last 25 games and a 50.0% clip over their last 10.

New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-115)

This one is mostly a bet on a New York Yankees offense firing on all cylinders against right-hander Griffin Canning. This game is showing a solid 9.0 over/under, and we aren't paying a premium to back a Yankees lineup that's logged a YRFI in a whopping 52.0% of their last 25 games.

Canning performed a bit better this month, but his underlying numbers have shown little improvement. Over 10 outings, he's sitting on a 5.15 xFIP, 16.1% strikeout rate, 9.4% walk rate, and 34.0% ground-ball rate. He's given up 1.57 HR/9, and his xERA is exactly the same as his ERA (5.05).

Given everything above, it's really hard to see Canning keeping New York off the board, and he's managed a NRFI in just half his starts. Aaron Judge has the shortest home run odds on the entire slate (+215), and teammates Juan Soto (+255 to his a home run) and Giancarlo Stanton (+330 odds to hit a home run) aren't far behind.

Left-hander Nestor Cortes should have an easier time handling the Los Angeles Angels, but the Angels have actually performed well versus lefties, so they could still cause some headaches. Dating back to 2023, the Angels' active roster has posted a 119 wRC+ against left-handed pitching.

Cortes has bounced back nicely this season, but he still doesn't have especially imposing marks in xFIP (3.96) and K rate (23.9%), and a 51.4% fly-ball rate opens the door for a first inning solo shot.

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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.