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The first MLB NRFI bet that we are targeting for Friday comes in the NL East matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins. There, we like both teams to stay scoreless in the opening inning of play, thanks in large part to a rather strong pitching matchup. In this game, Zack Wheeler and Sandy Alcantara are on the mound, which means that we should see a pair of zeroes on the scoreboard going into the second inning.
Wheeler is 7-4 this season and has posted a 4.03 ERA, and it is his ability to strike out opposing batters that will help him throw a scoreless first inning. So far this season, Wheeler has 112 strikeouts in his 98.1 innings of work, an average of over a strikeout per inning. He will use that to strike out as many batters as possible not named Luis Arraez, to shut out the Marlins in the first.
Meanwhile, Sandy Alcantara has struggled so far this season with a 3-7 record and 4.93 ERA to his name. But he still has an incredibly high ceiling for a small sample size such as the first inning of a game like this one. Look for Alcantara to bring some of his best stuff early in this game to help things stay scoreless going into the second.
Next up, we have a first inning over in our card, as we expect a run to cross the plate in the first inning between the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers. The Blue Jays are bringing Alek Manoah back to MLB competition for this game, after some time in the minors. That, combined with the Tigers throwing a less-than-stellar starter of their own, should mean some early scoring in Detroit.
Before he went down to the minors, Manoah went 1-7 with a 6.36 ERA, despite being a pre-season AL Cy Young award candidate. With this being his first start in the major leagues since the beginning of June, Manoah should struggle early in this game against professional hitters. While the Tigers are not a great offensive team, they do have some pop in their lineup that could result in a first-inning run from them.
Meanwhile, the Tigers are sending Alex Faedo to the hill for this game, as he has a 1-3 record and a 5.54 ERA. Faedo has given up six home runs in 26 innings of work this season, meaning a home run every 4.5 innings or so. The potent lineup of the Blue Jays should make him work early on as a result.
Finally, expect a first inning under when the New York Mets and San Diego Padres get together at Petco Park. Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish are on the mound to start this game for their respective teams. That should mean no first inning scoring for either of these teams, despite the weapons that they each have at the top of their lineups.
So far this season, Verlander has not been great in the win column, going just 3-4 to this point in this season. But he has an ERA of just 3.66, while allowing under a hit per inning on the season to this point. He should be able to navigate the likes of Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., and the rest of the Padres lineup in the opening inning.
Meanwhile, Darvish is just 5-6 on the season with an ERA of 4.84, with 85 strikeouts in 80 innings on the bump. Darvish has a much better home ERA than his ERA on the road, as he enters this game with a 3.64 ERA at Petco Park and a 6.16 ERA elsewhere. That will help Darvish to get out of the first inning unscathed, even with Pete Alonso lurking in the top of the first inning for the Mets.
Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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