NRFI Bets to Target on Wednesday 4/10/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Wednesday 4/10/24

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

Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-128)

The Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays completed a NRFI for the second night in a row, so let's see if we can get a third.

Yusei Kikuchi struggled with his control in his first start but is fresh off a strong outing against the New York Yankees where he held the Bronx Bombers to zero runs over 5 1/3 innings while punching out seven. Kikuchi did quite well in the opening frame in 2023, compiling a 3.62 xFIP, 28.0% strikeout rate, and 8.3% walk rate.

Logan Gilbert had some home run issues in his latest outing, but a 30.6% strikeout rate and 4.1% walk rate through two starts is easy to get behind. Like Kikuchi, he was reliable in the first inning last season, producing a 3.74 xFIP, 24.6% strikeout rate, and 5.8% walk rate.

The main risk with both pitchers is that they don't tend to induce grounders and allow a fair bit of loud contact, which contributed to a fair number of dingers last year. But that's where we're hoping these sluggish offenses once again help us out.

Seattle has a 28.6% strikeout rate and .022 ISO in the first inning this year, and Julio Rodriguez has notably gotten off to a quiet start with a 46th percentile xwOBA (.311). The Blue Jays haven't been much better, putting up a 24.4% strikeout rate and 0.71 ISO in the opening frame.

Both lineups remain in the league's bottom third when it comes to scoring in the first inning.

Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Guardians

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-130)

This Chicago White Sox-Cleveland Guardians matchup is one of just two games with a 7.5-run total, the slate's lowest mark. Temperatures should be at or below 60 degrees at first pitch, and Progressive Field rates as a pitcher-friendly park, per Baseball Savant.

The name Erick Fedde probably doesn't have you running to your phone to place this bet, but he comes into this campaign with more promise than in years past.

For those unaware, Fedde pitched in Korea last season, and he did so well in the KBO that he ran away with the league's MVP award, capturing the pitching Triple Crown with 20 wins, 209 strikeouts, and a 2.00 ERA. His underlying metrics backed those lofty numbers, as he also posted a 2.29 xFIP, 29.5% strikeout rate, 4.9% walk rate, and 70.0% ground-ball rate.

Now, given Fedde's MLB track record, expectations clearly need to be tempered, but he's submitted a pair of solid starts. allowing three earned runs over 9 2/3 innings with a 25.6% strikeout rate, 7.0% walk rate, and 44.8% ground-ball rate. While a 6.9% swinging-strike rate isn't encouraging for the punchouts, he was higher than that in spring training (10.4%).

We probably don't need Fedde to be perfect against the Guardians, either. Jose Ramirez is always a tough out, but this lineup doesn't pack a ton of power, and today's hitting conditions should also keep the ball in the park.

Tanner Bibee is an easier sell following a strong 2023 campaign. Despite a shaky opening start, he rebounded with a stellar outing versus the Minnesota Twins, giving up just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings while piling up nine Ks. Altogether, he boasts a 28.9% strikeout rate and 14.4% swinging-strike rate thus far.

Bibee didn't have the best first-inning metrics last season, but I'm more willing to overlook that because he generally performed well the first time through the order with a 4.18 xFIP and 26.2% strikeout rate.

The White Sox could be easy pickings tonight, too, because star slugger Luis Robert is expected to be out with an injury for several weeks, and Yoan Moncada could also be out after leaving yesterday's game early. As is, Chicago has scored in just 18.2% of their first innings this year.

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