Top MLB No Runs First Inning (NRFI) Picks & Odds for Tuesday, May 24th (2022)

May 24, 2022 - 1:51 PM

Today’s slate has a myriad of quality arms, and there are plenty of games where bats could be silenced in the early going. However, I’ve pinpointed two particular matchups where the pricing is favorable given the talent on the mound in each game. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the top NRFI plays of the day.

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook


Toronto Blue Jays vs. St. Louis Cardinals 7:45 pm ET

This one won’t be for the faint of heart as the Blue Jays Kevin Gausman will be up against the Cardinal’s Jordan Hicks. Gausman has been spectacular this season as he enters this start with a 2.52 ERA. In addition, he’s shown elite command of his stuff as he ranks in the top two percent of the league in walk and chase rate. However, for our purposes, Gausman is the guy we want to be on the mound to begin a game. He’s only allowed one run in the first inning through his eight starts, and despite the Cardinals being the fourth-best team in first innings scoring, he has the edge here.

As for Jordan Hicks, the first inning has been quite an adventure this season. Hicks has some of the best stuff in baseball as his sinker regularly hits triple digits, and his breaking pitch has been touched since he arrived in the big leagues. Although, the issue is that Hicks does not always know where the ball is going. Hicks’s walk rate is in the bottom ten percent of the league, but the good thing is that the Blue Jays do not take many free passes. Toronto is 24th in the walk rate as a team and only has two guys that are above the league average in walk rate.

While the command issues have put a damper on Hicks’s numbers, he’s been very tough to hit overall. He enters this start in the top 40 percent of all qualified pitchers in average exit velocity, hard-hit rate, and expected batting average. Those numbers have translated well in the first inning as Hicks has a .167 BAA and has racked up seven punchouts in the first inning this year.

Overall, Gausman is the automatic side of this, and Hicks should be able to get the job done for us as he’s very difficult to pick up the first time through. Not to mention, no one in the Blue Jays lineup has seen him before, so that only helps our case.

Pick: NRFI -125

Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago White Sox 8:10 pm ET

Nick Pivetta has finally begun to show the potential that Philidelphia believed he could reach. He’s been phenomenal in his last five starts as he has not allowed more than three runs in any of them and his latest outing was an absolute masterpiece. Pivetta hurled a complete game, one-run performance as he struck out eight and only allowed two hits. This will also be the second time Pivetta gets to face the White Sox this season, and he was dominant in the first outing. He shut the White Sox out for six innings on May 5th as they only managed five hits and punched out eight times.

As for Pivetta’s counterpart in this one, he’s been pretty great himself. Dylan Cease will enter looking for his fifth win of the season, and he brings with him a sparkling 3.09 ERA and the league’s highest strikeout rate. In addition, his stuff has been on another level this year as he’s in the top 15 percent of the league in average exit velocity and hard-hit rate. In turn, he’s also amongst the top seven percent of qualified pitchers in every expected statistical category. Cease got to face the Red Sox in their most recent series as well, and he did not disappoint. On May 7th, he threw five innings of one-run ball and set down eight batters via strikes in the outing.

Not only have these two starters been fantastic of late, but the lineups that they are facing also have not been the best at getting on the board early. The White Sox and the Red Sox are tied for 22nd in runs scored in the first inning. So count on these two arms to keep things quiet in the first.

Pick: NRFI -130


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The post Top MLB No Runs First Inning (NRFI) Picks & Odds for Tuesday, May 24th (2022) appeared first on BettingPros.

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