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Best NRFI Bets Today, June 22

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published June 22, 2023
13 min read
Best NRFI Bets Today June 22

Oakland Athletics vs Cleveland Guardians - JP Sears vs Logan Allen

Over 0.5 Runs (-105 at DraftKings)

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4.8/5

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There is good value with this pick because neither of these teams is ranked in the top half of MLB teams with regard to scoring runs in the first inning. Frankly, neither team is particularly good at scoring runs most of the time. However, only three teams are betting than the Guardians at YRFI, as 60% of their games this season have featured scoring in the first inning. Also, the pitching matchup between JP Sears and Logan Allen points toward early scoring.

To be fair, Sears has been much better lately and is turning into a solid rotation piece for Oakland. But he did allow a first-inning run in his last start. He also owns a 7.71 ERA in the first inning of his 14 starts this year. He usually settles down after that. But Sears has allowed 12 runs on 19 hits, including five home runs, in the first inning of his starts. Also, the Cleveland roster is a combined 9 for 21 (.429) against him, which could help the Guards get something going early.

On the other side, Allen hasn’t been that good early in games this year. He owns a first-inning ERA of 6.30, allowing seven runs across the first inning of his 10 starts. Plus, Allen has been roughed up in his last two starts, helping to give him a 7.20 ERA in May. In fact, Allen has allowed three runs in the first inning in each of his last two starts. Even if he catches a break by facing the A’s on Thursday, those numbers are concerning and give value to YRFI in this game.

San Diego Padres vs San Francisco Giants - Blake Snell vs Alex Wood

Under 0.5 Runs (+100 at DraftKings)

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4.8/5

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All of the value in this game is with NRFI. Keep in mind that both the Padres and Giants rank among the top 10 teams in baseball when it comes to scoring first-inning runs. But those trends can be mitigated by good pitching, which is exactly what this game has with Blake Snell and Alex Wood on the mound. The two lefties should be able to traverse the first inning without getting hurt.

There is a little more concern with Wood, who is making his second start since a stint on the IL. Of course, he threw five scoreless innings against the Dodgers in his first start. He’s now allowed a first-inning run in just two of his eight starts in 2023. In fact, he’s only allowed five hits in the first inning. Wood only had a 3.46 ERA in the first inning last year. He typically excels early in games, which is why he should be able to handle San Diego’s erratic lineup, especially since he has good career numbers against the likes of Xander Bogaerts and Juan Soto.

Meanwhile, Snell is pitching well in every inning at the moment. He has completely turned his season around, throwing at least six scoreless innings in three of his last four starts. In fact, Snell has allowed two total runs over his last five starts, covering 30 innings during that stretch. Even when he struggled early in the season, Snell was getting through the first inning without much trouble. In his 14 starts in 2023, the lefty has allowed just four runs on 11 hits, giving him a 2.57 ERA. Now that he’s the hottest pitcher in the big leagues, it’s a safe bet he’ll survive the first inning on Thursday unscathed.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Miami Marlins - Mitch Keller vs Braxton Garrett

Under 0.5 Runs (-125 at DraftKings)

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4.8/5

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Any game involving the Marlins is a solid NRFI bet. Miami leads the majors in playing a scoreless first inning, doing so in 51 of their 74 games, which is a 69% clip. No other team is even close to being that good at playing scoreless first innings. Even with the Pirates being at the other end of the spectrum, early runs are unlikely in this game, especially given Pittsburgh’s nine-game losing streak.

Fortunately for the Pirates, they don't have to worry too much about falling behind early with Mitch Keller on the mound. Keller is a borderline Cy Young candidate at this point, going 8-3 with a 3.62 ERA. Despite some uneven starts lately, Keller has gone four consecutive appearances without allowing a run in the first inning. On the season, Keller’s first-inning ERA is a respectable 4.20. But with just 12 hits allowed in the first inning of his 15 starts, the Marlins are unlikely to put together an early rally.

For Miami, Braxton Garrett gets the ball on Thursday. The lefty has quietly put together a great year and has a 2.76 ERA over his three starts in June. Dating back to late April, Garrett has only allowed a first-inning run once in his last 10 starts. Naturally, he has a 2.77 ERA in the first inning of games this season. With the Pirates struggling as much as anyone in the majors right now, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to get anything going against Braxton in the first inning of Thursday’s game.

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AUTHOR

Bryan Zarpentine

204 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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