NRFI Bets to Target on Wednesday 7/3/24

Kenyatta Storin
Kenyatta Storin@KenyattaStorin
NRFI Bets to Target on Wednesday 7/3/24

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

Cincinnati Reds at New York Yankees

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-128)

The New York Yankees are always a welcome sight for a YRFI, particularly when the matchup is right. As of this writing, Aaron Judge has the slate's shortest odds to hit a home run (+190), and as is often the case, teammate Juan Soto also has favorable odds to knock one out (+320).

The Yankees will see left-hander Andrew Abbott in the opening inning, and Abbott is someone we've attacked often this season. While Abbott has continued to maintain a solid 3.48 xERA due in part to a hard-hit rate in the 89th percentile, low marks in both strikeout rate (19.3%) and ground-ball rate (33.5%) have contributed to him being a launching pad for home runs (1.61 HR/9). The southpaw has a mediocre 62.5% NRFI rate over 16 starts, as well.

Judge's home run odds make even more sense when we see that 14 of the 16 dingers Abbott has given up have come off right-handed batters. New York ranks second in YRFI rate (37.9%) this year, and four of the first five batters project to be righties -- with the other being the always dangerous Soto.

Additionally, the Cincinnati Reds' offense could be a factor against Carlos Rodon. The left-hander has been roughed up in three straight starts, raising his 2.93 ERA to 4.42, as regression has smacked him in the face and put him in the range of his 4.35 xFIP and 4.62 xERA.

Rodon has managed just a 58.8% NRFI rate over 17 starts, and facing what should be an entire lineup of righties will do him no favors. The southpaw has posted a 4.52 xFIP, 22.2% K rate, and 1.63 HR/9 versus righties this season. Cincinnati has a much improved 36.0% YRFI rate over their last 25 games, too.

Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins

Over 1st Inning 0.5 Runs (-118)

A pair of rookie pitchers are facing off in this matchup, and with the over/under at 9.0 runs on a warm night in Minnesota, this looks like a spot to target for a YRFI.

Right-hander David Festa is making his second MLB start for the Minnesota Twins, and while he's a top prospect, his debut last week against the Arizona Diamondbacks left a lot to be desired. Although he picked up his first career win, Festa gave up five earned runs and seven hits (one home run) in five innings while doling out just two strikeouts.

Before getting called up, Festa put up a tantalizing 35.1% strikeout rate and 16.8% swinging-strike rate across 14 Triple-A starts, so his punchouts ought to tick up going forward. However, the 24-year-old also struggled with walks (9.7% BB rate) and home runs (1.36 HR/9), and those could be worrying trends at the next level.

The Detroit Tigers's offense might not be the cream of the crop in 2024, but they've held their own in the first inning, ranking seventh in YRFI rate (30.6%).

Even if Festa lives up to his potential and mows down the Tigers, we can look to the Minnesota Twins to take advantage of another righty short on experience.

Keider Montero has struggled through two MLB appearances, getting rocked for nine earned runs and three dingers over just 8 2/3 innings. Unlike Festa, his Triple-A numbers leave less room for optimism after logging a 5.20 xFIP, 24.1% strikeout rate, and 13.4% walk rate over 13 starts.

The Twins are tied for ninth in YRFI rate (29.4%), and they've been even better over their last 25 games (32.0%). With Royce Lewis potentially out after suffering a groin injury on Tuesday, it's possible we see Byron Buxton move up the order, which could help our cause. Buxton has slugged a dinger in four of his last seven games and has the shortest odds to hit a home run (+300) in this contest.

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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.