Top MLB No Runs First Inning (NRFI) Picks & Odds for Saturday, May 21th (2022)

May 21, 2022 - 5:41 PM

We have 16 games on the MLB slate today, with the Mets and Rockies playing a doubleheader due to a rainout yesterday. Action gets underway at 1:05 p.m. EST as the Yankees host the White Sox in the Bronx. Other notable matchups on the docket include the Padres taking on the Giants, the Dodgers squaring off against the Phillies, and the Lone Star Series between the Rangers and Astros continuing. It’s going to be a great day on the diamond! I’ll be locking in these three No Runs First Inning (NRFI) wagers so I can have some skin in the game:

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook


Cincinnati Reds vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto earned a 2-1 win in last night’s series opener at Rogers Centre thanks to a great outing from Hyun Jin Ryu in his second start back from the I.L. Ryu threw 6.0 innings of shutout baseball and allowed six hits in the win. The Jays will look to build a winning streak this afternoon as they send Alek Manoah to the bump in this game scheduled for 3:07 p.m. E.T. Cincinnati will counter with Hunter Greene, who’s coming off of a losing effort where he lasted 7.1 innings and didn’t allow a hit. 

Yes, you read that last line correctly. Greene handled the bulk of the work (7.1 IP) in the Reds’ 1-0 loss to the Pirates on Sunday, where their staff didn’t allow a hit in the game! For those curious, the bases were loaded courtesy of three free passes, and the relief pitcher Art Warren induced a fielder’s choice that scored the go-ahead run for the Pirates in the 8th. In his rookie campaign, walks have been an issue for Greene as he’s issued 20 walks over 33.1 innings this year. He’s been finding his mojo recently, considering he’s only allowed three earned runs over his last two starts (12.2 IP).

As for the Jays, they’ll go with Alek Manoah in game two this afternoon. He’s been a reliable option for Toronto this season, going 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over seven starts. He recently surrendered three runs (one earned) to the Rays over 6.0 innings in a losing effort. He gave up just five hits, no walks, and struck out four. 

I’ll be taking NRFI at -110 in this matinee matchup from Ontario. This year, Alek Manoah has been the most dependable starter for the Jays, and he has the numbers to back it up. His 1.71 ERA drops to 1.42 when pitching at home, and he’s only allowed 14 baserunners over 19.0 innings at Rogers Centre (0.74 WHIP). I’ll take a shot with Hunter Greene to keep a clean first inning as he’s been solid over his previous two starts. The 22-year-old flamethrower has allowed just three earned runs over his last 12.2 IP and didn’t give up a hit over 7.1 innings against the Pirates last time out. 

Bet: Reds at Blue Jays NRFI (-110 via FanDuel)

San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants

The best pitching matchup of the day features Joe Musgrove taking on Carlos Rodon in the Bay as the Padres look for their third straight win. The Friars bested the Giants in last night’s opener 8-7 in 10 innings at Oracle Park. First pitch for game two of this N.L. West series is set for 4:05 p.m. E.T. in San Francisco, with the lowest total on the betting board of 7.0 runs. 

Joe Musgrove may be the most underrated pitcher in the game. He’s developed into a mainstay at the top of the rotation for San Diego, and he’s really finding his footing in the Majors. The right-hander has a 4-0 record in 2022 with a 2.20 ERA and 0.93 WHIP over seven starts. Musgrove most recently squared off against the Braves on Sunday, allowing just two earned runs on four hits and three walks over 6.0 innings. It’s worth mentioning that the Friars are 7-0 in his starts this season. 

Carlos Rodon has been spectacular in six out of his seven starts this year. The only flaw on his game log is last Sunday’s outing against the Cardinals, where he allowed eight earned runs on 10 hits over just 3.2 innings pitched. Aside from that, the left-handed journeyman hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs over his other six outings in 2022. 

This afternoon, we’re paying some juice with this NRFI wager, but it’s probably my most confident of the three bets. These starters have been great this season and have emerged as aces of their respective teams. Both Musgrove and Rodon have great strikeout ability, so if they find themselves in a jam early, they have the skills to work out of it. I expect a low-scoring affair tonight in the Bay and a clean first frame. 

Bet: Padres at Giants NRFI (-148 via FanDuel)

Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Guardians

Game two of this weekend series between the Tigers and Guardians is set for 6:10 p.m. E.T. from Progressive Field. Cleveland won last night’s series opener behind 6.1 innings of scoreless baseball from Aaron Civale and a three-run bomb from Jose Ramirez in the 6-1 win. The Guardians will look to keep it rolling tonight as they send Shane Bieber to the hill. The Tigers will go with rookie right-hander Alex Faedo in game two. 

Faedo has made three starts this season, and he owns a 2.87 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over 15.2 innings of work. The righty last pitched on Monday, allowing just a single earned run over 5.2 innings against the Rays. It was a no-decision effort, but the Tigers won the game 3-2.

Similar to what I mentioned about Carlos Rodon above, Shane Bieber has been great aside from one of his starts in 2022. He gave up seven earned runs against the Blue Jays on May 7th, but he bounced back on the 14th and limited the Twins to one earned run over 6.0 innings pitched. He allowed seven hits and three walks in the no-decision effort while striking out seven. 

Bieber has been one of the most reliable pitchers in baseball over the last couple of seasons, so I always feel confident backing him on a wager. As for Faedo, it’s still very early in his career to know what he’s capable of. However, the young righty has been great through his first three MLB starts. I like Faedo because he’s kept his walks low, and he has strikeout ability. He has a 3.0 K/BB rate over his three outings this year. Short of a Jose Ramirez homer in the bottom of the 1st, I think NRFI (-134) is pretty safe tonight in Cleveland. 

Bet: Tigers at Guardians NRFI (-134 via FanDuel)


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The post Top MLB No Runs First Inning (NRFI) Picks & Odds for Saturday, May 21th (2022) appeared first on BettingPros.

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