When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >

Best NRFI Bets Today, September 21

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published September 21, 2023
13 min read
Best NRFI Bets Today September 21

Toronto Blue Jays vs New York Yankees - Jose Berrios vs Gerrit Cole

Under 0.5 Runs (-120 at DraftKings)

🔥 Claimed by 172 people this week!

DraftKings

4.8/5

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets Instantly

21+ | T&Cs apply

Despite the offensive talent on both teams, the Blue Jays and Yankees aren’t particularly good at scoring runs in the first inning. The Yankees haven’t been that good at scoring runs in any inning during the second half of the season. The Blue Jays are also one of the top teams in baseball at hitting NRFI. With a pitching matchup between Jose Berrios and Gerrit Cole, it’s clear that Thursday’s Blue Jays-Yankees game is destined to have a scoreless first inning.

Berrios is coming off seven scoreless innings against the Red Sox and has a 1.80 ERA in September, so opposing teams haven’t had much success against him in any inning lately. Even when he had some subpar outings in August, Berrios was locked in during the first inning. He’s now gone six consecutive starts without allowing a run in the first inning, yielding a run in the opening inning just once in his last nine starts. Across his 30 starts this year, he owns a 2.831 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. With the Yankees scoring just four runs in their last four games, Berrios shouldn’t have a problem in the first inning on Thursday.

Likewise, the Yankees are in good hands with Cole on the mound. He’s been even better than Berrios this year, posting a 2.90 ERA in the first inning of his 31 starts. Cole has also been a little better than Berrios overall, including lately, pitching to a 1.50 ERA over his three starts in September. Keep in mind that the Blue Jays rank 29th in the big leagues in first-inning runs, as it usually takes their lineup a little time to warm up. Granted, Cole gave up a first-inning run in his last start during his Pittsburgh homecoming. But that snapped a streak of seven straight starts without conceding a first-inning run, which means Cole should bounce back quickly against one of the worst first-inning lineups in baseball.

New York Mets vs Philadelphia Phillies - David Peterson vs Ranger Suarez

Under 0.5 Runs (+100 at DraftKings)

🔥 Claimed by 172 people this week!

DraftKings

4.8/5

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets Instantly

21+ | T&Cs apply

Starting pitchers David Peterson and Ranger Suarez both have some concerns in Thursday’s game, which is why NRFI is getting plus odds. But both southpaws have pitched better lately. Plus, the Mets are last in the majors in scoring first-inning runs. Even if their lineup has shown signs of life lately, they are still an excellent team to fade when it comes to producing in the first inning, making this a great opportunity to grab plus odds.

As mentioned, Suarez has some concerns, as he owns a 4.05 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in the first inning of games this year. But those numbers aren’t terrible, especially since he’s facing a lineup that routinely struggles to score early in games. Even if Suarez is a little vulnerable in the first inning of games, he’s thrown a scoreless first inning in five of his last seven starts. More importantly, Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso are a combined 5 for 32 (.156) in their careers against Suarez. Those numbers indicate a scoreless first inning for the Mets.

On the other side, the Phillies are a little more of a threat to score early while Peterson has had occasional issues in the first inning of games. But it's actually the second inning when Peterson runs into the most trouble. He actually owns a 3.79 first-inning ERA, which is slightly better than Suarez’s first-inning ERA. Despite some uneven starts recently and a 5.17 ERA in September, Peterson has held opposing teams scoreless in the first inning of his last six starts. He even managed to keep the Braves off the scoreboard in the opening inning last month and should be able to do the same against the Phillies on Thursday.

Detroit Tigers vs Oakland Athletes - Tarik Skubal vs Luis Medina

Under 0.5 Runs (-145 at DraftKings)

🔥 Claimed by 172 people this week!

DraftKings

4.8/5

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets Instantly

21+ | T&Cs apply

Regardless of the pitching matchup, the Tigers and A’s are both good candidates to be held scoreless in the first inning. Both are among the bottom 10 teams in baseball in first-inning runs this year. That explains why the NRFI odds for this game aren’t exactly even. That being said, the pitching matchup between Tarik Skubal and Luis Medina should help to make this a relatively safe NRFI pick.

Skubal has quietly had a strong season during another lost year for the Tigers. On the season, he owns a 3.25 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. The Tigers have also won each of his three starts in September with the lefty posting a 1.42 ERA in those starts. More importantly, Skubal’s ERA in the first inning of games this season is just 2.77. Opposing hitters are batting just .196 against him in the first inning. To be fair, he’s allowed first-inning runs in two of his last four starts. But in his last two starts, Skubal has only allowed one run on five hits across 12 innings, so he’s been outstanding lately. He’s also facing an Oakland lineup that’s scored just 13 total runs in its last seven games, so surviving the first inning without giving up anything shouldn’t be an issue for Skubal.

Meanwhile, Medina has a respectable 3.60 ERA in the first inning this season. Despite having a 5.56 ERA on the season, he is not exactly facing a high-powered lineup in Thursday’s game. Medina has faced some quality lineups lately, as the Padres and Rangers did some damage against him in the first inning of his last two starts. But against the light-hitting Tigers, he should have more success, at least early in the game. After all, nobody on Detroit’s roster has faced the 24-year-old before, allowing Medina to escape the first inning without much trouble.

See different MLB betting sites for more betting opportunities!

Image for Bryan Zarpentine

AUTHOR

Bryan Zarpentine

162 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.

More info on Bryan Zarpentine
We've been featured on:
espn logo
reuters logo
cbs-news logo
forbes logo
entrepreneur logo
entrepreneur logo
We only list licensed sportsbooks
WorldSportsNetwork
WorldSportsNetwork
WorldSportsNetwork
WorldSportsNetwork

© Rebel Penguin ApS 2024 (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.