NRFI Bets to Target on Wednesday 5/8/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Wednesday 5/8/24

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

Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (+110)

This matchup has one of the day's lowest over/unders (7.5), but both starting pitchers have questionable resumes, making these plus odds enticing for a YRFI.

The Oakland Athletics will have JP Sears taking the mound, a left-hander who's mixed in good and bad starts this season. His advanced metrics are underwhelming, though, as he comes in with a 4.65 xFIP and 18.9% strikeout rate over seven outings.

While Sears has surprisingly converted a scoreless first inning in all of his starts, that looks to be the work of a lucky .063 BABIP. His 4.87 xFIP the first time through the order further backs the notion that those results have been flukey.

Perhaps the biggest reason for liking the Texas Rangers' chances of plating a first-inning run against Sears is the fact he gave up home runs in bunches last season, ultimately finishing with 1.79 HR/9 across 32 starts. He's always allowed a ton of fly balls, and this season hasn't been any different (49.1% rate).

The southpaw has struggled against right-handed batters this season with a 5.08 xFIP and 15.1% K rate, so Marcus Semien and Adolis Garcia are prime candidates to help us out. Garcia is getting +390 odds to hit a home run, the shortest odds in this game. The Rangers own the seventh-best YRFI rate in 2024 (35.1%).

The A's are in a good spot to get on the board against right-hander Michael Lorenzen, too. The veteran righty has put up a 4.84 SIERA, 18.3% strikeout rate, and 12.9% walk rate over four starts this season.

Digging one step deeper, Lorenzen has struggled to generate punchouts in same-handed matchups this year (9.1% K rate), whereas he's lacked control against lefties (18.4% walk rate). Oakland projects to alternate the handedness of their hitters in tonight's lineup, but there's a good chance of them getting baserunners one way or another.

San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-108)

The San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies failed to come through with a YRFI on Tuesday, but I'm comfortable taking another swing at this matchup in Coors Field. This game is showing a slate-high 10.0 over/under, yet there are shorter odds for a NRFI (-118) than a YRFI (-108).

Right-hander Peter Lambert began the year in the Rockies' bullpen and recently joined the rotation as an injury replacement. While he has pedestrian overall numbers to begin with, Lambert's two starts have been abysmal (5.20 xFIP), and he's failed to go even four innings in either instance.

Lambert has been significantly worse against left-handed bats this year with a 15.4% K rate and 10.3% walk rate, and both dingers he's allowed have come off lefties. Given that he also struggled in the split in 2023, we should have confidence in the Giants' offense, as three of the first four hitters project to bat left-handed. Potential cleanup hitter Michael Conforto could provide some power as the team's leader in barrels.

San Francisco righty Jordan Hicks is enjoying a significantly better campaign than Lambert, but his underlying numbers don't shine as brightly as his 1.89 ERA. Although his 4.07 SIERA is still a solid mark, it's hardly elite, and neither is a 19.7% K rate and 9.2% walk rate. What is elite would be his 58.7% ground-ball rate, which will admittedly be a major negative for Colorado's bats.

Left-hander hitter Ryan McMahon is arguably our best chance for the Rockies. Hicks has far worse splits versus lefties this year, owning a 5.36 xFIP, 16.4% strikeout rate, and 15.1% walk rate. Given that low K rate, we don't have to worry about McMahon's habit of striking out and can instead hope for him to cash in on a 99th percentile hard-hit rate and 89th percentile barrel rate.

As noted yesterday, the Rockies are a far more formidable offense at home with a 42.9% YRFI rate.

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