Top MLB No Runs First Inning (NRFI) Bets & Matchups for Wednesday, June 6th (2022)

Jul 6, 2022 - 5:05 PM

Happy late Fourth of July, everyone! Sure, it can be rough to see a three-day weekend behind us, but that only means that there’s one day less until the weekend. In the meantime, as always, baseball is here to keep you entertained!

There are many ways to bet on a baseball game. One of the most exciting ways is No Run First Inning Bets (NRFI). Really, it’s as simple as it sounds; you can bet on whether either team will score a run in the first inning. Especially when scoring is still lower than in previous seasons, it’s more likely that a run is not scored, leading to prices generally 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!


Cleveland Guardians at Detroit Tigers

Believe it or not, the Tigers are going for a four-game sweep here! It seems like just yesterday Detroit was reeling while the Guardians were closing in on first place in the AL Central. Now, things look very, very different.

For the Tigers to get the sweep, though, they’ll have to overcome a massive roadblock, who goes by the name of Shane Bieber. Although a decline in velocity has led to Bieber missing fewer bats than in seasons past, the Guardians starter is still performing strongly with a 19.3% K-BB and 3.43 skill interactive ERA (SIERA). Meanwhile, much of that is tied to an increased usage of his slider, which has thrived with a 40.3% whiff rate this year, while he continues to have no issues with walks (6% BB) as well. The Tigers not only have the second-lowest weighted-runs-created-plus (wRC+) this season but also is the second-worst team in terms of runs above average against sliders this year. Something tells Bieber should do just fine here.

On the other side, there’s some risk with Tigers starter Michael Pineda, who just came back from injury and sports a 4.68 SIERA this season. At the same time, this is an ideal matchup for him. See, the 33-year-old doesn’t walk many hitters and mainly has issues with the long ball. Fortunately for him, the Guardians have the fifth-lowest isolated power (ISO) this season and the fourth-lowest wRC+ over the past 30 days. Add in that Comerica Park suppresses home runs at the highest rate, per Baseball Savant, and there aren’t going to be many better circumstances for Pineda than this. With how comfortable we should be in Bieber against the Tigers, betting on a pitcher who doesn’t walk batters and is facing a struggling offense in a pitcher-friendly ballpark seems wise. We’ll see if Cleveland gets back on track here, but, regardless, it’ll be a holding pattern in the first inning.

Bet: Guardians at Tigers NRFI (-136 on FanDuel)

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers

With how close these teams are, it’s always entertaining when they face-off, and that has been true here. After a July 4th extra-inning game in which the Brewers stunned the Cubs, Chicago came back firing on Tuesday, making this the pivotal matchup. Fortunately for Milwaukee, their odds of coming out on top are quite high.

Why? Well, it’s Corbin Burnes day! By now, we should all be familiar with the reigning Cy Young award winner’s excellence. Since the start of 2021, the 27-year-old has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball with a 28.6% K-BB and a 2.69 SIERA and is projected by THE BAT to be the most valuable pitcher for the rest of the season. He has essentially been un-hittable the first two times through the order, and there is no reason to expect to change here, especially against a Cubs lineup that still may be without Willson Contreras.

Meanwhile, although Adrian Sampson (career 5.02 ERA) isn’t exactly the most reliable option, he has performed well this season with a 16.9% K-BB and 3.50 SIERA over 16 innings. Notably, he’s made several changes to his pitch mix:

  • Four-Seam Fastball: 20.8% to 38.1%
  • Sinker: 38.3% to 18.3%
  • Slider: 13% to 18.7%
  • Changeups: 24.4% to 12.8%
  • Cutter: 3.6% to 12.1%

All of this aligns with a pitch mix more optimized to miss bats, which Sampson has done (12.5% swinging-strike rate) thus far. Even if that doesn’t hold, he doesn’t walk batters (career 5.8% BB) often, while he had ground ball rates at least at league average over the past two seasons. At the end of the day, any NRFI in a game involving Burnes, especially when you can get it at a reasonable price, deserves close examination. That is the case here; the bottom of the first could potentially be a sweat, but it is more than worth it.

Bet: Cubs at Brewers NRFI (-115 on FanDuel)

Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies

Even without Bryce Harper, the Phillies have remained in the thick of the NL Wildcard picture. For them to stay there, though, they need to take care of business against struggling teams, which is the case here; they’ll take on the last-place Nationals.

Luckily for them, they have the right man for the job. Can you guess which starting pitcher ranks second in K-BB and SIERA? That would be Aaron Nola, who should receive more recognition for a phenomenal season. What else needs to be said? The 29-year-old strikes batters out (29.1% K) at a high level and limits free passes (3.5% BB), which is a deadly combination, especially when he’s back to inducing ground balls (45.3%) at an above-average clip, thanks to a slight downtick in his four-seam fastball usage. The Nationals are a bottom-ten offense in wRC+ and have the fourth-lowest ISO overall. Sign me up for a Nola masterpiece.

We generally see the Phillies as having a vaunted top-of-the-lineup, but with Bryce Harper injured and Nick Castellanos struggling, that isn’t true. Thus, we could see Nationals starter Josiah Gray have success here. In 15 starts this season, the 24-year-old has shown promise with a 25.4% strikeout rate and 4.11 SIERA, including a 19.2% K-BB and 3.53 SIERA. Why is this significant? This also coincides with Gray throwing a fastball just 36.8% of the time, compared to the 46.3% rate he had previously. With two elite breaking balls and a very hittable fastball, this is the optimal approach for him and helps explain his recent success.

This season, Citizens Bank Park happens to be tied for the second-lowest park factor, according to Baseball Savant. Perhaps this has to due with the league-wide institution of humidors, but regardless of the case, this hasn’t been your classic hitter-friendly ballpark. With Nola facing off against a subpar lineup, the odds are already in our favor, and that’s not including being able to put your stake in a talented pitcher (Gray) who is making legitimate changes. At this price, the NRFI here is a no-brainer.

Bet: Nationals at Phillies NRFI (-113 on FanDuel)


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The post Top MLB No Runs First Inning (NRFI) Bets & Matchups for Wednesday, June 6th (2022) appeared first on BettingPros.

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