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Best NRFI Bets Today: Zack Wheeler Poised to Bounce Back

Written by: Kody Malstrom
Published May 17, 2024
11 min read
Best NRFI Bets Today 2024 05 17

With a full slate of MLB games for us to choose from, Friday brings us an abundance of NRFIs to groom through for our betting pleasure. Two NRFIs stick out above the rest as a pair of Cy Young pitchers are set to take the mound and face off against below-average offenses. Both Tarik Skubal and Zack Wheeler now get a chance to pad their lead at the top of the odds board with a potential dominant performance. For more information about the NRFI market and what factors into them being worth a wager, read our breakdown of Daily No Run First Inning.

When making a wager on an NRFI, it’s vital to have as many sportsbooks as you can get in order to line shop. Each sportsbook also brings their own unique sign up bonus, giving new users a boost with their bankroll in order to get a head start with their betting. FanDuel Sportsbook for example is giving new users $150 in bonus bets for simply signing up and winning their first bet of at least $5 wagered. Be sure to wager the $5 on a heavy favorite immediately after creating an account with FanDuel, maximizing your chances of winning your bet and collecting the $150 in bonus bets.

Bet on NRFIs at FanDuel Sportsbook

Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies - Jake Irvin vs. Zack Wheeler (6:40 PM, EST)

Under 0.5 Run (-121) at FanDuel

Zack Wheeler may still be the universal favorite to win the NL Cy Young award, but his lead has diminished after his latest outing. It was a stunningly bad performance against the lowly Miami Marlins, finishing the contest with an ERA of 13.50, six Hits Allowed, six Runs Scored, three Batters Walked, and just two total Strikeouts. An eye-opening outing against a team that ranks well below average in most offensive metrics.

A blip at most as Wheeler has been dominant for a majority of the season. He now gets an opportunity to round back into elite form against the Washington Nationals, facing an offense that ranks well below average in Total Hits, Runs Scored, RBIs, and On Base Percentage. As for Wheeler, he still possesses an ERA of 2.53, a WHIP of 0.994, 65 Total Strikeouts, 37 Hits Allowed, and just 15 Earned Runs Against.

As for the Nationals, they trot out starting pitcher Jake Irvin who has played a role in their hot start to the season. While not exactly playoff contending, the Nationals have still played well above average per their preseason projections. Projection sites like PECOTA and FanGraphs had the Nationals pegged near dead last in the league, yet have managed to go 20-22 and are third in the NL East standings.

Every bit of Irvin’s pitching production will be needed in order to escape the first inning with minimal damage as he faces off against an elite Phillies batting lineup. Irvin comes into the contest with an ERA of 3.55 and a WHIP of 1.095. Luckily for Irvin, he avoids star contact hitter Trea Turner who has been out with an injury since early May. Turner was near the top of the board for the most Total Hits this season.

Bet on Under 0.5 Run (-121) at FanDuel CTA icon

Detroit Tigers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks - Tarik Skubal vs. Ryne Nelson (9:40 PM, EST)

Under 0.5 Run (-122) at FanDuel

While Zack Wheeler has seen his massive lead at the top of the odds board for the NL Cy Young diminish, Tarik Skubal has seen his steadily increase as he routinely strings together dominant performances. It also helps that his closest contender in Corbin Burnes had an underwhelming performance in his last outing, now giving Skubal the chance to grow his lead even more against the Diamondbacks.

It certainly won’t be easy as the Diamondbacks' offense have been productive since the start of the season, ranking well above average in Team Total Hits, RBIs, Runs Scored, and On Base Percentage. Luckily for the NRFI, Skubal can minimize anyone as arguably the best pitcher in the league. Skubal comes into the contest with an ERA of 2.02, a WHIP of 0.857, 34 Hits Allowed, and just 11 Earned Runs Against. 

While Skubal and the Tigers' defense have been dominant, the same can not be said for their offense. A shocking site to see for a young unit that was supposed to take the next step with their production, yet they currently rank below average across the board in Team Total Hits, Runs Scored, RBIs, and On Base Percentage. That puts Ryne Nelson in an ideal spot to turn his season around as he comes into the contest with an ERA of 5.33 and a WHIP of 1.697.

Bet on Under 0.5 Run (-122) at FanDuel CTA icon


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Kody Malstrom

146 Articles

Kody Malstrom is a sports betting journalist with six years of writing experience in the industry. He covers an abundance of sports, including College Football, NFL, College Basketball, NBA, and more. Born and raised in Michigan, Kody is a devoted Detroit Sports fan and spends his Sundays rooting for the Detroit Lions while telling himself this year is the year they win it all. When not staring at betting markets, Kody spends his free time at the beach in the summer or snowboarding in the winter.

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