Man, are the Yankees on a roll right now! After sweeping a double-header from the Angels, the Bronx Bombers are 21 games above .500 and are thriving in all facets of the game. The American League has some marquee teams at the top, but it’s hard to not label New York as the favorite to win the pennant at this very moment.
There are many ways to bet on a baseball game. One of the most exciting ways, now, are No Run First Inning Bets (NRFI). Really, it’s as simple as it sounds; you can bet on whether a run will be scored by either team in the first inning. Especially at a time when scoring is at an all-time low, it’s more likely than not that a run is not scored, leading to prices being juiced towards the “under” taking place. Even with that, the most logical bets are usually to side with the under, as you’ll see here!
St.Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
There are two aspects of a baseball that never get old: a rivalry game, and a Friday day game at Wrigley Field. Well, in this case, we get both. What a tremendous way to start the weekend!
Fresh off signing a three-year deal with the Cubs this offseason, it has been business as usual for Marcus Stroman, who sports a 3.76 skill interactive ERA (SIERA) up to this point. Since coming off of the COVID-19 list, he has looked quite sharp with a 12.5% swinging-strike rate, and he’s a well-known commodity at this point. With the Cardinals having a bottom-ten barrel rate and Stroman not walking many hitters, this is a situation where they’ll need to string together a lot of hits, which is always more difficult than it seems.
If so, then the NRFI is in good shape, considering the Cubs offense (24th in weighted-runs-created-plus/wRC+ over past 30 days) have really struggled as of late. St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas (3.92 SIERA) is looking much like his 2018 self and continues to take advantage of a potent Cardinals infield defense. Like Stroman, he doesn’t walk a lot of hitters and tends to suppress home runs, limiting the possible avenues to a run being scored.
Two ground-ball-inducing pitchers who don’t walk many hitters, a struggling offense, and another that doesn’t hit for power, and a very reasonable price; this appears to be the NRFI bet of the day! I mean, how else would you engage with some beautiful day-game baseball?
Bet: STL at CHC NRFI (-124)
Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers
This past offseason, there were few teams busier than the Rangers and Mariners, who each attempted to break through with some major acquisitions. That being said, these teams had much different expectations coming into the season, which is why it’s surprising it’s Texas who has a positive run differential so far.
Luckily for the Mariners, they’re in position to succeed. They’ll send rising young starter Logan Gilbert to the mound. In ten starts, the 25-year-old has been very impressive with a 17.8% K-BB and 3.57 SIERA, and he’s slowly starting to progress by throwing the fewest fastballs of the season in each of the past three starts. Considering the Rangers are a bottom-ten team in wRC+ against right-handed pitchers this season, he’s in an advantageous spot, especially with the injured Brad Miller out of the lineup,
Unlike Gilbert, Rangers starter Dane Dunning isn’t your prototypical vertical pitcher, but the 27-year-old continues to get the job done, posting a 3.61 SIERA in ten starts this season. Notably, he has thrived by inducing an extraordinary amount of ground balls (52.8%), and strikes out more hitters (23.5%) than you’d anticipate given his arsenal. The Mariners are a bottom-ten in the league in isolated power (ISO) and Dunning’s home run suppression, the long ball isn’t much of a factor here, which is always one notable variable here.
These are two young pitchers you want to side with, particularly since these aren’t two all-around potent offenses. Everything is bigger in Texas, besides the runs that will be scored in the first inning.
Bet: SEA at TEX NRFI (-115)
Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates
These two teams may have had the two worst records in the National League last season, but they’ve actually been quite fun to watch this season, sporting a 47-54 record, while both teams are coming off of series wins against the top-two preseason NL pennant favorites. This might not be the series that pops off as the most exciting one, but it is one to keep a close eye on.
Regardless, though, considering that these two teams still rank in the bottom five in wRC+, this should be a relatively low-scoring slate of games. Especially in the game, where we have a very interesting pitching matchup.
Outside of Zac Gallen, there is no pitcher the Diamondbacks should feel more confident about than Merrill Kelly, whose velocity (93.6 MPH) was back off after a bit of a dry spell, while his numbers are mainly impacted by one poor start in Los Angeles. That is the only game where he’s allowed more than three runs, and a lot of that can be tied to the bump in velocity and slight changes in his pitch mix. Especially against a poor Pirates offense, he’s in good position to succeed.
Kelly is certainly a very underappreciated pitcher, and the same goes for Pittsburgh starter JT Brubaker. After a slow start to the season, he has been on a roll as of late, posting a 3.79 SIERA and 24.7% strikeout rate excluding his first two starts. This is a pitcher who misses plenty of bats (28% whiff), and against a team that is in the bottom-ten in on-base percentage, making it “home run or bust” in a ballpark with the fourth-lowest park factor for home runs, per Baseball Savant.
Between two poor-performing offenses, two intriguing pitchers, and a very pitcher-friendly ballpark, there is a lot to like with the NRFI here. I mean, what could go wrong in a match between snakes and pirates?
Bet: ARI at PIT NRFI (-120)
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The post Top MLB No Runs First Inning (NRFI) Picks & Odds for Friday, June 3rd (2022) appeared first on BettingPros.