MLB

NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 6/25/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 6/25/24

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

Cleveland Guardians at Baltimore Orioles

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-118)

In Baltimore, we're expecting temperatures exceeding 90 degrees alongside winds blowing out at around 10 mph, propping this game up with one of the day's highest over/unders (9.5). Add in that neither starting pitcher should scare us, and we have ourselves a prime spot for a YRFI.

Left-hander Cole Irvin will toe the rubber for the Baltimore Orioles against the Cleveland Guardians, and despite generally positive results this year (3.45 ERA), he enters the day with an underwhelming 4.57 xERA (26th percentile). Outside of a stellar walk rate (4.9%), Irvin's Baseball Savant page is a sea of blue, which includes sitting 12th percentile in barrel rate and 7th percentile in average exit velocity.

We should see right-handed batters begin to do more damage to Irvin, as the southpaw has produced a mere 4.68 xFIP, 16.3% strikeout rate, and 35.9% ground-ball rate in the split. That's great news for the always dangerous Jose Ramirez, who has the shortest odds to hit a home run (+350) in this matchup, and righty Tyler Freeman ought to be back in the lineup batting second tonight.

While it's a lefty-lefty matchup, Irvin should also have his hands full with leadoff man Steven Kwan, who's been a nightmare to get out all season and has one of the most unique sets of Statcast metrics you'll ever see. Cleveland's bats have performed admirably in the first inning lately, securing a YRFI in 40.0% of their last 25 contests.

Another lefty, Logan Allen, will start for the Guardians, and it's been a struggle for him in 2024. Allen comes in with a 5.50 xERA -- his Baseball Savant page is even more ugly than Irvin's -- and he's managed a NRFI in just 66.7% of his 15 starts.

Baltimore should have a predominantly right-handed lineup, allowing them to take advantage of Allen's poor splits against that handedness. When facing righties this year, he's put up a 4.86 xFIP, 16.6% K rate, and 10.0% walk rate while coughing up 1.88 HR/9.

Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-106)

It's not often we see a game with a 9.5-run total that has near-even odds for a YRFI, making this a potential value to pounce on. Temperatures in the high 80s paired with one of the league's best venues for hitters certainly won't hurt our chances, either.

In a season where the Boston Red Sox rotation has been a surprise strength, right-hander Brayan Bello has failed to live up to expectations with a 4.83 ERA and 1.41 WHIP over 13 starts. While a 3.98 SIERA and 3.83 xFIP point to positive regression, and his ground-ball rate remains elite (54.5%), left-handed batters continue to give him fits. Against lefties, Bello has recorded a 4.60 xFIP, 18.8% strikeout rate, and 10.4% walk rate, and 7 of the 10 dingers he's allowed have come off them.

Unfortunately, the Toronto Blue Jays add some risk to the equation as one of the league's least productive first-inning offenses. Toronto is tied for the worst YRFI rate (14.1%) this season, and Spencer Horwitz might be the only lefty Bello faces in the first inning. But Horwitz has shown promise in 54 plate appearances with a .436 xwOBA and slugged his first two home runs of the year on Sunday.

If the Blue Jays continue to disappoint, the Red Sox side could pick us up against a Kevin Gausman who has struggled to find consistent form.

Gausman has shown flashes of greatness at times, but he gave up 4 earned runs and a pair of dingers over 5 2/3 innings in his last start -- which just so happened to come against this same Boston team. While Gausman's 3.67 SIERA is encouraging for him, his strikeout rate remains way down (23.1%), and his 5.15 xERA is an indication of how much loud contact he's giving up.

Boston has been a solid first-inning offense (29.1% YRFI rate), and the vast majority of the lineup will have the platoon advantage against the right-hander. The hitter-friendly conditions should boost the chances of sluggers Rafael Devers and Tyler O'Neill going deep, and they're +300 and +340 to hit a home run, respectively.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago White Sox

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-128)

We're taking a stab at one more possible YRFI, as it's always hard to pass up the Los Angeles Dodgers when they have a good matchup. There's potential rain expected in Chicago, but assuming they're able to play, we should get some hot and humid conditions that should help the ball fly tonight.

That will do nicely for the Dodgers against Chris Flexen, who's posted a lackluster 4.88 xFIP, 18.2% strikeout rate, 9.2% walk rate, and 34.5% ground-ball rate in 2024.

While Flexen is showing weak metrics versus both righties and lefties, he's allowed a whopping 2.42 HR/9 to the latter. Perhaps it isn't surprising then that Shohei Ohtani is showing an absurd +176 odds to hit a home run, which are easily the shortest of the slate. Flexen's 4.88 xFIP in same-handed matchups is nothing to write home about, either, so we see Teoscar Hernandez (+300 to his a home run) Andy Pages (+300), and Will Smith (+320) with appealing home run odds, too.

The top of the Dodgers' order isn't quite as formidable without Mookie Betts these days, but they still own the league's third-best YRFI rate (36.3%).

The lowly Chicago White Sox probably can't be trusted to help us if L.A. falls short, but Bobby Miller has logged a NRFI in just two of his four starts thus far, and that included getting roughed up in his first start off the injured list last week. While better days are probably coming for Miller, he has a 5.05 xERA this year and didn't perform well in his minor league rehab assignment, most recently posting an ugly 5.24 xFIP and 14.3% K rate in two Triple-A starts.


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