MLB NRFI/YRFI Best Bets Today: Expert Picks & Predictions for Thursday’s Slate (6/7/23)

The MLB slate on Wednesday, June 7 offers 15 games to bet on run lines, over/unders and MLB player props. MLB bettors looking for some other bets to place should consider an increasingly popular MLB bet: No Run First Inning (NRFI) and Yes Run First Inning (YRFI). This article analyzes today’s NRFI and YRFI betting odds and recommends the best NRFI bets and the best YRFI bets to make on MLB games on 6/7/23.

6/7 NRFI/YRFI Best Bets

Here are the best NRFI and YRFI bets to place on 6/7/23.

Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays YRFI (+100 at FanDuel)

Starting pitchers: RHP Pablo Lopez (3-3, 4.54 ERA) vs. RHP Shawn Armstrong (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

The Rays are trotting out Shawn Armstrong for just his fourth career start and second appearance of the season after a stint on the 60-day IL with neck tightness. Armstrong is a journeyman reliever operating in the role of “opener” for the Rays today. He started three games for the Rays in 2022, allowing a first-inning run in one of those three starts.

The Twins’ bats have struggled over the last week. They’ve scored just 11 runs in their last five games with a paltry .209 team average and .621 OPS. The Rays may be able to get away with starting Armstrong against this less-than-formidable lineup today, but it also would not be surprising to see the Twins get on the board early.

On the other side, the Rays face Pablo Lopez, who has allowed first-inning runs in 6 of his 12 starts this season. Lopez has allowed 10 runs total in the first inning for a 7.50 first-inning ERA. That number is a bit inflated by a few bad performances in the young season, but his 4.97 career ERA in the first inning shows that he has been vulnerable to giving up runs in the first frame.

The Rays have one of the best lineups in baseball and are tied for the third-most runs in the first inning this season. They may have slowed down just a tad of late, but I still like the chances that they can get to Lopez early. Add in the low expectations for Armstrong, and the +100 odds on a YRFI in this matchup is very appealing.
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New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves NRFI (-104 at FanDuel)

Starting pitchers: RHP Max Scherzer (5-2, 3.21 ERA) vs. RHP Charlie Morton (5-6, 3.62 ERA)

This is one of the best pitching matchups of the day and it is a good value for a NRFI at close to even money.

Picking a NRFI in a Braves game is always a little dicey, as they lead the league in first-inning runs, average and OPS. But if you’re going to make that bet, picking a game where they are facing Max Scherzer is as good a time as any.

Scherzer has pitched scoreless first innings in 6 of his 9 starts this season and has a career 3.19 ERA in the first frame. That mark was a sterling 1.57 last season.

Morton has been even better in the first frame this season. He has pitched scoreless first innings in 8 of his 11 starts, including seven in a row before his last outing against the Phillies. Morton carries a 2.45 first-inning ERA into today’s start. Now he faces a Mets lineup that has been the worst in baseball in the first inning. They are last in runs and OPS and second to last in batting average.

Both of these pitchers allowed first-inning runs in their last outings, and considering their long track records, the chances of that happening two games in a row are low. That makes the -104 odds a good bet for an NRFI in this game.
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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers NRFI (-104 at FanDuel)

Starting pitchers: RHP Jack Flaherty (3-4, 4.55 ERA) vs. RHP Jon Gray (6-1, 2.51 ERA)

Perhaps we are feeling especially bold today because we are picking a NRFI in two games featuring two of the best offenses in baseball, first the Braves and now the Rangers. This matchup features two offenses in the top seven in runs scored in the first inning. The Rangers are sixth with 40 runs and the Cardinals are right behind them with 39.

The key to this pick hitting will be Cardinals’ starter Jack Flaherty against the Rangers red-hot offense. Flaherty has not been particularly impressive so far this season, but he has been solid in the first inning. He has pitched scoreless first innings in 8 of his 12 starts overall and 5 of his last 6 starts.

We can have a lot more confidence in the other side of this matchup. The Rangers’ Jon Gray has the eighth-best ERA among qualified starters and has been virtually unhittable over his last five starts, where he has a ridiculous 0.79 ERA (three runs allowed in 34 innings). Gray has pitched scoreless first innings in 8 of his 11 starts, though he has allowed a run in the first in each of his last outings.

The chances of that becoming three in a row are low, so if Flaherty can take care of business, the NRFI bet should pay off. The Rangers’ pitcher-friendly ballpark also adds a bit more confidence to this pick.

Noah hails from Philadelphia and is a diehard Philly sports fan. He graduated from Penn where he was a sports writer and editor for the student newspaper and also spent a summer covering the Baltimore Orioles for He has been playing fantasy sports since before live stats were a thing, and he has enjoyed learning the nuances of DFS in recent years. As a current resident of Florida, he is hoping the wave of sports betting legalization will eventually reach his home state.

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