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Best NRFI Bets Today, April 27

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published April 27, 2023
13 min read
Best NRFI Bets Today, April 27

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Pittsburgh Pirates - Julio Urias (LHP) vs Mitch Keller (RHP)

Yes Runs in First Inning (+100 at Caesars)

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Caesars

4.3/5

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Both of these teams are among the league leaders in having runs scored in the first inning of their games, so it makes sense to go with that trend. More times than not, the Dodgers and the Pirates have been the team scoring those first-inning runs. Los Angeles has a first-inning run in 16 of 25 games with Pittsburgh doing so 17 times in 25 games. The Pirates have gotten off to a surprising start on the season while Los Angeles is loaded at the top of the lineup with the likes of Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. While day games are typically dominated by pitchers, either of these teams is capable of starting fast in Thursday’s matinee.

In the past, Julio Urias starting for the Dodgers would be a reason to lean toward no runs being scored in the first inning. But he’s hit a bump in the road with losses in his last two starts. In fact, the lefty only lasted 3.1 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, in his last start against the Cubs. He was hit hard in the first inning of that game and has allowed a first-inning run in two of his five starts this season. If Urias can’t bounce back from his poor start last week, the Pirates could jump on him early and continue their season-long trend of scoring early runs.

On the other side, Mitch Keller isn’t Pittsburgh’s most reliable starter. While the righty is 2-0, he’s been far from perfect despite giving the Pirates good length in games. Keller also owns a 5.40 ERA in the first inning of games this year. He had a 4.66 ERA in the first inning last year, which was his weakest inning of the first five innings, so he’s been prone to struggle early in games. With Betts and Freeman being a combined 5 for 9 against Keller in their career, it’s not hard to envision the Dodgers getting something cooking in the first inning and scoring early yet again.

St. Louis Cardinals vs San Francisco Giants - Miles Mikolas (RHP) vs Logan Webb (RHP)

Yes Runs in First Inning (-120 at Caesars)

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Caesars

4.3/5

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Despite their slow start to the season, the Cardinals have had success scoring in the first inning of games, doing so 11 times in 24 games. Of course, they’ve also struggled to prevent teams from scoring against them early, allowing at least one run in 15 of 24 first innings. Likewise, the Giants have scored a first-inning run in 12 of 23 games despite getting strong performances from their starters early in games. Given that neither starter in this game is performing up to expectations early in the year, there is value in betting on at least one run in the first inning of Thursday’s game.

Miles Mikolas has had a particularly troubling April for St. Louis. He’s 0-1 with a 7.46 over his first five starts. Things have started to even out for him, but he’s already allowed seven runs on 11 hits in the first inning this year. He’s allowed at least one run in the first inning in three of five starts with the Cards scoring a run in the other two games, making St. Louis 0-5 NRFI in 2023. The Giants have also started to come alive offensively since getting shut out last Friday, making them a good candidate to take advantage of Mikolas while he’s struggling to get going.

Just like Mikolas, Logan Webb has had a rough start to his 2023 campaign, going 1-4 with a 4.40 ERA over his first five starts. He’s given up at least four earned runs in three of his five starts and has allowed at least one first-inning run in three of those five starts. There are signs of Webb getting his act together, but the Cardinals still pose a threat at the top of the order despite the team’s disappointing record in April. Webb is likely to face Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in the first inning, so it won’t be easy for him to escape the first inning without conceding a run.

Washington Nationals vs New York Mets - Trevor Williams (RHP) - Joey Lucchesi (LHP)

No Runs in First Inning (-115 at Caesars)

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Caesars

4.3/5

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Heading into late April, the Mets and Nationals are both among the top 10 teams in baseball at playing a scoreless first inning. The Mets are playing a scoreless first inning 60% of the time, which is tied for third in the majors while the Nationals are doing so 57% of the time. The key for both has been good pitching, as the Mets have allowed a first-inning run just four times in 25 games while the Nats have done so just six times in 23 games. That makes these teams the perfect pair for betting under 0.5 runs in the first inning.

Joey Lucchesi will start for the Mets, making just his second appearance in the majors since coming back from Tommy John surgery. He escaped first-inning trouble in his last start and eventually settled in, throwing seven scoreless innings against the Giants. Against a weak Washington lineup on Thursday, Lucchesi should have no problem carrying over that success and keeping the Nats off the scoreboard early in the game.

Meanwhile, Trevor Williams will start against his former team. Williams has a respectable 3.38 ERA this year, becoming a trusted veteran in Washington’s rotation. He’s also kept teams from scoring in the first inning in three of his first four starts. The Rays are the only team to score against Williams in the first inning, and that came on April 3 during Tampa’s red-hot start to the season. Equally important, the trio of Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso are a combined 3 for 19 against Williams in their careers, giving Washington’s starter a strong track record against the hitters he’ll face in the first inning.

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AUTHOR

Bryan Zarpentine

199 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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