Welcome back, baseball. The sport returns from its three-day break with a shortened slate, including a pair of doubleheaders. The smaller slate is far from any deterrent in betting first inning plays — rather the opposite, with certain pitching matchups for today. Be it a No Run First Inning or a Yes Run First Inning bet, the strategy is to fold in recent hitting and pitching trends, ballpark data, and the first inning moneyline tool at OddsShopper. No more sitting through a whole game, as these tickets cash after just six outs! Here are the top value plays for tonight’s action with the best NRFI bets for Thursday, July 21.
Best NRFI Bets Today: No Run First Inning Picks 7/21
Yankees vs. Astros (Game 1) Pick | Claim $200 FREE at BetMGM
It’s impossible to ignore what each of these teams have done this year and how strong of a bid both have to represent the American League. The Yankees were at the center of the All-Star Game and should have a little letdown coming into today’s earlier game. Houston should as well, to a lesser extent. The layoff and letdown alone should impact the bats before arms, so the goal in the first game is to defer to the pitching. The Yankees are tied with the Dodgers for allowing the fewest runs per first inning (RPFI) on the road, with a 0.30 average. The Astros give up 0.45 RPFI to visitors and have kept a clean slate through the first in each of their last three games. Jameson Taillon and Cristian Javier will be the stars in the first inning; Taillon has successfully pitched to contact this year, and Javier boasts a strikeout rate of 35.2% through 78 innings.
Best NRFI Bet Today: Yankees vs. Astros NRFI (-115 DraftKings)
Eric Lindquist previews EVERY MLB game today, and gives his best MLB picks and predictions for all the games on Thursday 7/21/22.
Rangers vs. Marlins Pick | Claim $200 FREE at BetMGM
Pablo Lopez has surrendered a first inning run in three of his seven starts at home this year, which is on point with the team’s average of giving up 0.41 RPFI at home. Miami isn’t the easiest place to score for road teams in the first, but there are certainly scoring opportunities to be had for Texas in this game. The Rangers average 0.42 RPFI away from home and are sending Jon Gray to the hill. Miami is second worst in all of baseball with a 0.30 RPFI average at home, but Gray — despite the 27% strikeout rate — gave up a first inning run in 5 of his 10 road starts this season. That’s enough to put Miami in position to score an early run.
Best NRFI Bet Today: Rangers vs. Marlins YRFI (+124 FanDuel)
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Tigers vs. Athletics (Game 1) Pick | Claim $200 FREE at BetMGM
It’s pretty bad all around for both of these teams, from the inability to score early on the road for Detroit to injury issues in Oakland. Athletics rookie Zach Logue makes the start in the first game of today’s twin bill. While Logue hasn’t been stellar, neither have the Tigers in the first inning on the road. Detroit is dead last in baseball, averaging just 0.18 RPFI on the road, while the A’s at least score 0.48 RPFI at their park. Despite the high ERA north of 4.00, Tarik Skubal is working on a season strikeout percentage of 24.7% in just over 100 innings. The A’s haven’t crossed the plate in the first inning in each of their last three games, and they don’t have the bats to do it today.
Best NRFI Bet Today: Tigers vs. Athletics NRFI (-145 BetMGM)
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