NRFI Bets to Target on Wednesday 6/26/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Wednesday 6/26/24

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

Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres

Under 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-125)

As the weather has gotten warmer, we've been seeing fewer games with low totals, but mild temperatures and a solid pitching matchup in San Diego have this contest sitting at a 7.5 over/under. Throw in a weak Washington Nationals offense, and we have to like our prospects of a NRFI here tonight.

The San Diego Padres will start right-hander Dylan Cease against those Nats, and while Cease has had mixed results lately, his underlying metrics remain excellent. Over 16 starts, he's posted a 3.11 SIERA, 30.9% strikeout rate, and 7.4% walk rate, and even with a rise in barrels allowed this year, his 1.08 HR/9 is around the league average.

Cease has curiously had issues in the first inning in 2024, converting a NRFI in just 56.3% of his starts. However, he's still posted a stellar 2.80 xFIP in the opening frame, and this isn't an opponent that's likely to give him trouble.

Washington is tied for the league's worst YRFI rate (13.9%), which includes ranking last in wOBA (.237) and ISO (.076) in the first inning. Outside of working around dangerous leadoff man C.J. Abrams, this isn't a lineup to fear.

The Nats will start rookie DJ Herz, who has shown promise over four starts. Across his first 18 MLB innings, the left-hander has recorded a 2.82 SIERA, 32.2% strikeout rate, and 6.3% walk rate, and he's also logged a NRFI in all four outings. Although he's already allowed four dingers, three of them came in a start at Coors Field, so it's far too early to assume this will be an ongoing issue for him going forward.

With the Padres recently losing Fernando Tatis Jr. to injury, this is a less imposing lineup for Herz to go up against, particularly with Manny Machado seeing a significant downtick in pop this season (.128 ISO). As is, San Diego has been roughly average in YRFI rate over their last 25 games (28.0%), as well.

Cleveland Guardians at Baltimore Orioles

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-125)

Both of these teams scored in the first inning yesterday, and with temperatures in the 90s again tonight, we're looking for another YRFI between the Cleveland Guardians and Baltimore Orioles.

Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez has been a solid arm for the Orioles in 2024, owning a 3.60 xFIP and 26.6% K rate over 13 starts, but the first inning has been a major problem for him, as he's produced a 5.86 xFIP, 13.1% strikeout rate, and 11.5% walk rate in the split, resulting in a middling 53.8% NRFI rate.

That's a great sign for Cleveland's offense, one that's put up a stellar 44.0% YRFI rate over the last 25 games. Rodriguez will have his hands full with leadoff man Steven Kwan, who's been nearly impossible to get out lately with a .498 wOBA, 4.9% strikeout rate, and 9.9% walk rate in June.

Meanwhile, the Orioles' side gets a no-brainer matchup against Carlos Carrasco, who's sitting on a 4.93 xERA and 18.1% strikeout rate through his 13 starts. Carrasco also has a modest NRFI rate (69.2%), and while he's enjoyed better first-inning results lately, that's due in part to an easy schedule, as six of his last seven starts have come against teams that rank in the bottom third in YRFI rate.

Although Baltimore's lineup has been surprisingly underwhelming in the opening inning for much of the campaign, they're up to a 32.0% YRFI rate over their last 25 games, which is more fitting for one of the league's top offenses. Anthony Santander and Gunnar Henderson both have strong odds to hit a home run at +310 and +330, respectively.

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