When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >
There is no doubt that both of these teams are capable of putting runs on the board, both early in games and late in games. Houston ranks third in the majors in first-inning runs this year while the Orioles are middle of the pack. Even in a day game, there is a chance one of these teams can get something going early. While Hunter Brown and Dean Kremer have both had good seasons, they’ve both been a little vulnerable in the first inning of games, which is why the value is with YRFI in this game.
Brown has had a strong campaign for the Astros, although it’s still unclear if he’s past the struggles he had in July when he pitched to a 5.92 ERA. To his credit, Brown has looked a little better in his last two starts, both against other AL East opponents. But he’s still allowed first-inning runs in two of his last four starts. That has raised his first-inning ERA to 4.29 on the season. Against a quality offensive team like the Orioles that’s been playing exceptional baseball since the all-star break, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Brown have some trouble early in this game.
As for Kremer, he’s had some inconsistencies early in games in 2023. Over his 23 starts, Kremer owns a 5.87 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in the first inning. He’s been able to settle down after that, although he’s had some issues. The good news for the Orioles is that they’ve won Kremer’s last six starts with the righty throwing a scoreless first inning in three straight games. But with Houston’s lineup completely healthy and at full strength, the Astros are a threat to score in the first inning.
This game staying scoreless in the first inning isn’t quite a slam dunk. Betting on Detroit to remain scoreless in the first inning against Kenta Maeda is safe. However, Reese Olson holding the Twins scoreless is less of a sure thing. That being said, the Twins are hitting NRFI 57% of the time this season. That’s the third-best rate in the majors. The Tigers aren’t far behind at 54%, so with these two teams getting together for a day game, there is a strong possibility of both teams finishing the first inning empty-handed.
As mentioned, Maeda shutting down Detroit is a safe bet. Only four teams have scored fewer runs than the Tigers in the first inning this year. On top of that, Maeda has been dominant in the first inning, pitching to a 1.50 ERA. Granted, he’s only made 12 starts in 2023. But in those 12 starts, Maeda has allowed just two runs on seven hits in the opening inning. He’s also gone four straight starts in which he’s allowed two runs or less and six straight starts without allowing a first-inning run. Odds are the Tigers aren’t going to break that streak.
On the other side, Olson has allowed nine first-inning runs across his nine starts in 2023. The 24-year-old righty owns a 4.94 ERA and is working hard to establish himself. In his last four starts, the opposing team has jumped on him early and been able to score runs. But the Minnesota lineup has been a little erratic lately, even getting shut out on Tuesday. They aren’t exactly at full strength either with Byron Buxton joining Alex Kirilloff, Royce Lewis, and others on the IL earlier this month. With Maeda keeping the Tigers scoreless being close to a lock, it’s worth a chance to think the Twins will be a little sluggish for a Thursday matinee and fail to score in the first inning as well.
A few years ago, a pitching matchup between Patrick Corbin and Aaron Nola could have stayed scoreless deep into the game. But in 2023, this is a game that is likely to feature first-inning runs on either side. Surprisingly, the Nationals rank fifth in the majors this season in first-inning runs. The Phillies aren’t far behind, ranking just outside the top 10. With both teams hitting YRFI more than 50% of the time and both pitchers vulnerable, there is good value in betting on first-inning runs to be scored.
To his credit, Corbin hasn’t had the dreadful season he did a year ago. But he’s still a subpar pitcher, especially in the first inning. Across his 23 starts, Corbin owns a 6.26 ERA, allowing opposing batters to his .302 against him in the first inning, including six home runs. The likes of Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto, Alec Bohm, and Bryce Harper all have good numbers against him, so Corbin could face some tough matchups in the first inning. Corbin allowed two runs in the first inning against the Reds in his last start and could have similar problems against the Phillies on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, Nola’s first-inning struggles have been a surprise this year. In fact, his entire 2023 season has been a little unusual for him. That includes his 4.70 ERA in the first inning of games. Ironically, Nola settles in quickly and owns a 0.78 ERA in the second inning of games. It’s perhaps a good sign that Nola hasn’t allowed a first-inning run in his last two starts. But those games were against the Royals and Pirates. With the way the Nationals have scored early runs this year, Nola is a good candidate to run into some first-inning trouble on Thursday.
Feel free to check out other MLB betting sites for more betting opportunities!
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.More info on Bryan Zarpentine
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2023 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.
WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.