Top MLB No Runs First Inning (NRFI) Picks & Odds for Friday, August 5 (2022)

Aug 5, 2022 - 1:29 PM

We are back with two NFRIs that are sure to make you sweat but could also help pad your bankroll. We go from targeting two of the worst offenses in Baltimore to fading two of the best in St. Louis. So, Let’s not waste any more time and break down our top NFRI plays of the slate.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Baltimore Orioles 7:05 pm ET

This is not a matchup that jumps off the board when you are looking for NRFIs. However, what this game does feature is the two worst offensive teams when it comes to scoring in the first inning. Getting the ball in the top of the first will be Dean Kremer. Kremer has been one of the unsung heroes of Baltimore’s resurgence this year. He enters this outing with a 3.86 ERA and 1.40 WHIP through ten starts. As for his numbers in the first inning, they are very similar. He’s allowed just four earned runs and one homer. Kremer’s last few starts have not been great, but flipping the page to August and going against the 29th-ranked team in first-inning runs per game is good to turn the tide.

If you look at Mitch Keller’s numbers both overall and in the first inning, they do not inspire much confidence. However, look at what he did in July. Keller had a 2.61 ERA through five starts and had a 1.16 WHIP as well. He’s always had tremendous stuff, and it seems like he’s made a mechanical adjustment that straightened out his command. His six walks in July was the lowest monthly mark he’s posted this year. Fortunately for him and us, he faces Baltimore, who is dead last in first-inning runs per game. This one might be sweaty, but given how slow each lineup starts, the odds should be in our favor.

Pick: NRFI -110

New York Yankees vs. St. Louis Cardinals 8:15 pm ET

Believe it or not, this is the NFRI that is not for the faint of heart. The Yankees come into this matchup as the highest-scoring offense in the first inning, but the Cardinals are not far behind as they rank fifth in first-inning runs per game. It will be up to Dakota Hudson to topple the Bronx Bombers at the top of the first. He has a few things working to his advantage here. First, he’s in his home ballpark, where his ERA on the year is over two runs lower than on the road. Secondly, he’s a sinkerballer, which is the perfect matchup against a Yankees lineup that has one of the highest flyball rates in the majors. Lastly, Hudson has been solid in the first inning this year. Through 19 starts, he holds a 3.32 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in the first inning.

As for the bottom of the first, Nestor Cortes will be tasked with taking this one home for us. Cortes has had a breakout season as he enters with a 2.53 ERA and an impressive 1.02 WHIP. Like his counterpart, he’s also been solid in the first innings this year. Through 19 starts, he has a 3.32 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, but he’s also struck out 22 batters. The challenge for Cortes will be getting through Edman and Goldschmidt, who crush left-handed pitching. However, his arsenal of pitches gives him a great chance against this St. Louis lineup.

Pick: NFRI -114


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