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NRFI Picks For MLB | May 23


Thomas Snodgrass

Updated: May 23, 2024

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Since May 1st, my NRFI selections in these articles have gone 30-17.

That is a profit of 7.18 units.

With BestOdds EDGE as a NRFI-betting guide, bettors are sure to stay above the curve on no-run and yes-run first inning bets.

I used to blindly bet NRFI selections on my own power, based purely on pitching matchups, which can be risky. Now, I largely put my NRFI-betting fate in the hands of BestOdds EDGE, my much-more-knowledgeable NRFI sidekick.

The BestOdds NRFI betting tool was designed to provide the most comprehensive NRFI data available in the market today, and the intuitive workflow allows you to confidently determine which games give you the best opportunity to cash your next NRFI bet.

Discover all that BestOdds EDGE has to offer by clicking the link below!

And now, some NRFI picks, with the best odds of course.

Texas Rangers vs. Philadelphia Phillies

The Rangers-Phillies’ matchup from Wednesday resulted in a YRFI, with Texas’ Josh Smith (surprisingly getting some at-bats in the No. 5 spot in the lineup), coming through with a two-out, RBI single in the top of the first inning.

Considering that Philadelphia’s Taijuan Walker is sporting a .409 opponent average and a 5.40 ERA in the opening frame, a first-inning run for the Rangers may have been expected yesterday.

Today, the Phillies will send their ace Zack Wheeler to the mound in the top of the first, and that’s bad news for Texas’ lineup.

Wheeler is a perfect 10-0 on his pitching specific NRFI record, and along with that unblemished record, Wheeler is holding opposing batters to a .158 average and limiting baserunners with a 0.80 WHIP.

Also, Corey Seager (.253, 8 HR, 19 RBI) is out of the Rangers’ lineup today. That should only assist Wheeler in putting a first-inning goose egg on the board.

Seager has hit .357 in 14 career at-bats against Wheeler, and with his absence, I’m liking a squeaky clean top of the first at Citizens Bank Park.

For the bottom half of the inning, things get a little tricky.

Texas will hand the ball over to lefty Andrew Heaney, and Heaney has been a mixed bag in 2024.

Heaney (0-5, 4.43 ERA) has allowed an opponent average of .195 in the first inning, but his 1.56 WHIP is very concerning.

I’d be hesitant to back a pitcher that surrenders too many bases in the first, but Heaney seems to mop up some of his first inning messes.

Only four baserunners allowed in the first inning over his last four starts is a trend that I can get behind.

The best sign of a NRFI in this contest that I have found on BestOdds EDGE is how these lineups have fared in the first inning over their last 10 games.

Both of these squads are hitting below the Mendoza line in the opening frame in their last 10 contests.

I believe Wheeler will post a perfect top of the first, and even if Heaney allows a runner or two in the bottom half of the inning, I believe he has the stuff to hold it down.

Pick: No Run First Inning (NRFI)

Best Odds: (-113) FanDuel

Colorado Rockies vs. Oakland Athletics

Joey Estes will face the Colorado Rockies lineup in the top of the first, and considering how well Colorado has hit the ball in the first inning over their last 10 games (.354), there is an ominous feeling going into this matchup.

What quells the fears of this red-hot Rockies’ lineup is that over the course of the season, they are hitting just .227 in the first inning.

Also, the Coliseum in Oakland plays nothing like the high-altitude environment of Coors Field in Denver.

Estes has made just two big league starts since his callup from the minor leagues, but in each outing, he has produced a zero in the first inning.

After all, Colorado is averaging just 3.96 runs per game. This is not exactly the ‘27 Yankees were dealing with here.

In the bottom of the first, Riley Feltner will take the hill against an Oakland lineup that has cooled off lately. The A’s have hit just .199 in the first inning this season, but over their last 10 games, they’re batting just .135.

While Oakland’s offense has been taking a step back, Feltner hasn’t exactly taken a step forward either.

Feltner (1-4, 5.69 ERA) has allowed 12 earned runs in his last three starts (15.2 innings pitched), and in his nine starts this season, he has surrendered a run in the first inning six times.

A NRFI record of 3-6 is just plain bad.

I shouldn’t be backing a pitcher that has struggled this much in the opening inning this season, but Feltners’ player info from BestOdds EDGE tells me that there is some first-inning gas left in the tank.

Feltner has collected three clean first innings in his last four first inning appearances, and he’s only allowed three baserunners to reach in his last four opening frames, too.

There’s more to Feltner than his awful NRFI record, and sometimes, the matchups play better than the pure numbers.

In this scenario of potentially fortuitous matchups, I’ll back the not-so-popular arms of Joey Estes and Riley Feltner to keep things scoreless in the first inning.

Pick: No Run First Inning (NRFI)

Best Odds: (-115) Caesars

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Detroit Tigers

Today’s pitching matchup between Toronto’s Kevin Gausman and Detroit’s Jack Flaherty is interesting from a NRFI angle.

Both of these righties are well-respected pitchers, but their 2024 season’s have been a bumpy ride, especially for Gausman.

According to BestOdds EDGE, things have not been smooth for either pitcher in the first inning, both getting clipped frequently in the opening frame and allowing plenty of traffic on the basepaths.

Flaherty will get the ball first, and he’ll get to face a Blue Jays’ offense that has recorded a NRFI record of 40-8 (83% NRFI rate). Toronto’s NRFI rate is second in the MLB behind only the Oakland A’s.

That should bode well for Flaherty, regardless of his garbage season-long first-inning stats.

As for Gausman (2-3, 4.89 ERA), he has recorded four clean first inning appearances in his last five outings, even though his first-inning numbers are iffy, too.

With both of these pitchers collecting first-inning numbers that are borderline disgusting, why would I back the NRFI in this game?

The dueling offenses, that’s why.

Look at how hilariously bad both of these teams have hit in the opening frame in the last 10 games.

What the hell is that? That is insanely bad.

These two offenses are just handing out NRFIs, and I’d like some more before the NRFI well runs dry.

Pick: No Run First Inning (NRFI)

Best Odds: (-125) bet365


About the author

A fan of both the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, which is rare! Thomas provides sports betting content with the intent to educate and enter...

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