Top MLB No Runs First Inning (NRFI) Odds & Picks for Monday, May 9th (2022)

May 9, 2022 - 3:30 PM

More than half of the league is in action to kick off the week as we have 11 MLB games on Monday’s slate.  Since we hit a couple of them last week, let’s break down my top NRFI picks for tonight.


Detroit Tigers vs Oakland Athletics

A pair of last-place clubs kick off a five-game series in Detroit on Monday evening.  Right-hander Paul Blackburn gets the start on Monday for the Oakland A’s.  Although he got hit around a bit by the Tampa Bay Rays in his last start, Blackburn has a 2.22 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP through his first five starts this season.  The 33-year-old vet, Michael Pineda, will be on the mound for Detroit.  Pineda has a sub-four ERA for his career and sports a 3.77 ERA over his first three starts in 2022. NRFIs are 3-0 in those three Pineda starts this season.

Much of why both of these teams sit in last place right now is due to their lackluster numbers at the plate.  Detroit ranks dead last in MLB in runs per game with just 2.89, and Oakland ranks in the league’s bottom five with just 3.43 runs per game.  Oakland is hitting a mere .200 as a team (second to last in MLB), while Detroit sits in MLB’s bottom five in team batting average at .220.

Detroit has gone 14 straight games now without scoring a run in the first inning.  Oakland has failed to score in the first frame in three of their last four contests.  We have two solid arms on the mound to start the game and two of the game’s most inept lineups offensively.  I think there is value on the NRFI to kick off this series, even at -160.

Bet: NRFI (-160 at DraftKings)

Chicago White Sox vs Cleveland Guardians

A couple of AL Central rivals begin their second series together this season on Monday night.  Right-hander Michael Kopech will start the series on the hill for the White Sox.  Although he has not gone more than five innings in a start this year, Kopech owns a 1.17 ERA over 19.0 innings through his first five 2022 starts.  Zach Plesac is Cleveland’s starting pitcher for Monday evening.  While he got roughed up by the Padres and Angels in his last two starts, Plesac was terrific in his first three starts – allowing just three earned runs over 17.2 innings.  Plesac has a sub-four ERA for his career and a 3.26 ERA in his career at Guaranteed Rate Field (home of the White Sox).

The White Sox have certainly had their struggles at the plate through the first month of this season.  Chicago ranks 27th in the league in runs scored per game with just 3.30.  The Sox also rank 27th in MLB in on-base percentage, reaching base at a mere .279 clip.

While the Guardians’ numbers look a lot better as a whole for the season, they have scored in the first inning just once in their last eight games.  Chicago has scored in the first inning just once in its last five games.  I think this NRFI has a great chance to cash here.  I’m definitely willing to go for it at -135.

Bet: NRFI (-135 at DraftKings)


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