NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 6/4/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Tuesday 6/4/24

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

Tampa Bay Rays at Miami Marlins

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-132)

This matchup is tied for the day's lowest over/under (7.5), and we should have faith in pitchers Ryan Pepiot and Jesus Luzardo keeping things scoreless in the opening inning.

Beginning with Luzardo, the Miami Marlins southpaw got off to a worrisome start to the season, but he's turned things around and enters the day with a respectable 3.82 SIERA, 24.0% strikeout rate, and 7.7% walk rate. Even with his early-season struggles, he's been excellent in the first inning all along, converting a NRFI in 88.9% of his starts.

The Tampa Bay Rays will almost certainly field a lineup entirely made up of right-handed hitters, but this shouldn't be a concern. Lurzardo has faced just 39 lefty bats all year (compared to 169 righties), so this is the norm for him. The Rays have been a neutral first-inning matchup this year, sitting tied for 15th in YRFI rate (26.7%).

Pepiot has enjoyed a successful first season with the Rays, recording a 3.53 SIERA and 28.3% K rate over nine starts. It's also encouraging that despite being a fly-ball pitcher who's been middle-of-the-pack at best when it comes to giving up hard contact, he has a sparkling 2.92 xERA.

Although Pepiot has been just okay in NRFI rate (66.7%), a matchup against these Marlins should help him bump that up. Miami is tied for 23rd in YRFI rate (21.7%), and as one of the league's weakest offenses, that figures to drop even further over the long haul.

St. Louis Cardinals at Houston Astros

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-111)

The St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros are combining for a solid 9.0 over/under tonight, but we're still getting appealing odds to back a YRFI.

The Astros will have right-hander Spencer Arrighetti toeing the rubber, and while the rookie has had his moments, it's been a rough campaign thus far. Over nine starts, Arrighetti has a poor 5.98 ERA and 1.65 WHIP, and his inconsistent results have included the first inning, where he's logged a NRFI just 55.6% of the time.

That being said, poor luck seems to have followed the 24-year-old, as his .375 BABIP is the highest among pitchers with at least 40 innings, so some better fortune on balls in play should lead to positive regression. In support of this, his marks in xFIP (3.99), SIERA (4.06), and xERA (4.29) are all far better than his bloated ERA.

Despite all this, the rookie's stark splits leave the door open for St. Louis to still do some damage tonight. On the one hand, better outcomes should largely come in same-handed matchups, where Arrighetti boasts a 3.06 xFIP and 29.9% strikeout rate. On the other hand, the same can't be said for his splits versus lefties, which shows a vulnerable 4.71 xFIP, 22.1% K rate, 14.2% walk rate, and 40.0% ground-ball rate.

The Cardinals have been alternating handedness in lineups against right-handers, so we should see lefties Alec Burleson and Nolan Gorman occupying two of the first four slots. It just so happens that both players have homered in back-to-back games, which includes Gorman slugging two out of the park on Monday.

In the bottom of the inning, the Astros will take their hacks against Andre Pallante, who will be making his second MLB start of the season. The righty split time between the St. Louis bullpen and Triple-A before ending up in the rotation, and his numbers across the board suggest his time as a starter could be short-lived.

Over 16 big league innings in 2024, Pallante has posted a fantastic 62.3% ground-ball rate but has otherwise been lacking in both strikeout rate (14.1%) and walk rate (11.3%), resulting in a meh 4.52 xFIP and 4.72 xERA. When he was stretched out as a starter in Triple-A, he put up a 2.20 ERA over 16 1/3 Triple-A innings (including 3 starts), yet the results looked entirely undeserving next to a 6.66 xFIP, 12.0% K rate, and 17.3% walk rate.

In all, while the high ground-ball rate might limit Houston's chances of a first-inning solo shot, they should have a great chance of getting on the board. Although the Astros' YRFI rate has dipped a bit lately, they still crack the top 10 for the year (31.2%).

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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.