After another profitable night on the diamond, it’s back to work on this Thursday slate. It’s a light night with only eight evening games, so while the focus is a little narrower, it’s just as difficult to find true value. Be it a No Run First Inning or a Yes Run First Inning bet, the aim is always to combine recent hitting and pitching trends, ballpark data, and the first inning moneyline tool at OddsShopper. Here are the best value plays for tonight’s action with the best NRFI bets for Thursday, July 28.
Best NRFI Bets Today: No Run First Inning Picks 7/28
Phillies vs. Pirates Pick | Claim $200 FREE at BetMGM
It’s going to be difficult for the reeling Pirates to get to Zack Wheeler much at all tonight, let alone in the first inning. The Phillies have seen ace-level stuff from Wheeler, including a 26.7% strikeout rate. He’s also given up a first inning run in just one of his road starts all season, increasing the odds against the Pirates. Zach Thompson takes the mound for a Pittsburgh team that’s all but given up ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline and faces a Phillies lineup that seems to have woken up against the Braves. While Thompson has a decent 48.4% ground ball rate, he isn’t striking out many batters. The Pirates only surrender an average of 0.39 runs per first inning (RPFI) at home but gave up three last game.
This is the best first inning bet, but it comes with some risk; anything even-money or longer has those odds for a reason. The Phillies seem to have found a nice hitting grove and are going up against a bad pitcher — a good combination — but even that can’t remove all the risk. Here’s where I can help: Free money at BetMGM. You can claim your free $200 just by signing up at BetMGM!
Best NRFI Bet Today: Phillies vs. Pirates YRFI (+100 BetMGM)
Check out my MLB picks and parlays video over at the OddsShopper channel, where I give you my favorite MLB parlay today.
Rangers vs. Angels Pick | Claim $200 FREE at BetMGM
The spotlight continues to be on Shohei Ohtani, be it the strong season he’s having both on the mound and plate, that he’s the only healthy superstar on the team, or trade talks. He’s also really good in the first inning, allowing a run in the opening frame in just two of his eight home starts. The Rangers come off a sweep at the hands of the Mariners as the Rangers have dropped 8 of their last 10. Ohtani should cruise once again through the first inning tonight, but it’s Spencer Howard who will tilt the inning. Howard looked awful in his last start against the Athletics. The Angels average 0.59 RPFI at home and will be aided by a Rangers team that gives up 0.72 RPFI on the road. Play the number at BetMGM more than anything else.
Best NRFI Bet Today: Rangers vs. Angels YRFI (+105 BetMGM)
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Cubs vs. Giants Pick | Claim $200 FREE at BetMGM
This completes the trifecta of YRFI plays because, once again, playing the number at the book is the main factor. Neither Justin Steele nor Alex Wood carries an ERA under 4.00 — Steele is 4.02 to be fair — and are both vulnerable here in the first inning. The Cubs average 0.53 RPFI away from Wrigley Field and have plated three first inning runs in their last game. They’ve also won six straight games, riding some strong hitting in the process. Wood will try to counter a seven-game skid for the Giants. The team still averages 0.65 RPFI in San Francisco, which factors in with the Cubs giving up 0.71 RPFI on the road.
Best NRFI Bet Today: Cubs vs. Giants YRFI (+114 BetRivers)
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