The MLB slate on Thursday, July 6 offers 13 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 7/6/2023.
July 6th NRFI/YRFI Best Bets
Here are the best NRFI and YRFI bets to place on 7/6/2023.
Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers NRFI (-130 on BetMGM)
Starting pitchers: RHP Marcus Stroman (9-6, 2.76 ERA) vs. RHP Freddy Peralta (5-7, 4.67 ERA)
Marcus Stroman has been fantastic for the Cubs this season and was named an All-Star for the second time in his career. He has allowed just two runs in the first inning in 18 starts this season and has pitched a scoreless first in 8 consecutive starts.
Milwaukee’s middling offense has been just that in the first inning this season. They are 12th in runs and 17th in wRC+ in the first frame. Stroman should have no problem getting off to a good start and keeping the Brewers off the board in the first inning.
On the other side, Freddy Peralta has been inconsistent this season, but gets a good matchup against a Cubs lineup that is 27th in runs and 28th in wRC+ in the first inning this season. Peralta has allowed 8 runs in the first inning this season, which obviously isn’t great, but those runs have been a result of 3 poor starts and not a trend of inconsistent early innings.
Overall Peralta has pitched a scoreless first inning in 13 of his 16 starts this season and the last 5 in a row. Against a more dangerous lineup, I might shy away from a NRFI in one of his starts. But against the Cubs, with Stroman on the other side, the -130 odds on a NRFI are a solid bet.
Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Guardians NRFI (-105 at BetMGM)
Starting pitchers: RHP Jordan Lyles (1-11, 6.68 ERA) vs. RHP Tanner Bibee (5-2, 3.46 ERA)
This NRFI pick is more about the lineups than the pitching matchup. The Royals (21st) and Guardians (23rd) are both in the bottom 10 in wRC+ in the first inning. The Guardians first-inning struggles have been especially dramatic over the last two weeks, as they have posted a wRC+ of 6 (!!) since June 22.
Getting close to even money on a NRFI bet in a matchup between these two lineups should be a good bet almost regardless of the pitching matchup.
The main reason we are getting those odds today is Royals starter Jordan Lyles, who only just picked up his first win of the season in his last outing. Lyles is 125th out of 132 qualifying pitchers in xFIP in the first inning, which is not surprising considering he has allowed first-inning runs in 11 of his 16 starts.
So why bet on a NRFI in a game when Lyles is pitching? Besides the Guardians’ aforementioned stats in the first inning, Lyles has also shown some signs of life over the last month. Three of his 5 scoreless first innings came in his last 4 starts. June was his best month as he posted a 5.40 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.
Lyles admittedly poses some risk, but the odds make it worth it, especially since the other side of this pitching matchup makes this pick more appealing. Rookie Tanner Bibee pitched a scoreless first inning in his first 7 starts of the season before hitting a rough patch in June when he allowed first-inning runs in 3 out of 4 starts.
Bibee is coming off arguably his best start of the season when he pitched 5-2/3 scoreless innings and struck out 9 batters against the Cubs. Against a Royals lineup that is 29th in wRC+ this season, expect another strong outing from Bibee that helps contribute to a NRFI.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Tampa Bay Rays NRFI (+105 at BetMGM)
Starting pitchers: LHP Christopher Sánchez (0-2, 3.26 ERA) vs. RHP Shawn Armstrong (0-0, 1.15 ERA)
I always like to pick NRFI bets when I can get better than even money, and this matchup presents that opportunity today. You can understand why with two of the better lineups in the league squaring off, but the value comes from two relatively unexpected but promising pitchers taking the mound.
Christopher Sánchez had three solid starts in June for Philadelphia after being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He posted a 2.40 ERA and 1.00 WHIP across 15 innings. He certainly has a difficult matchup against Tampa, who have the fourth-most runs in the first inning (on a per-game basis) this season.
The Rays have cooled off since June 1, however, having posted an 87 wRC+ (22nd) in the first inning over that span after their torrid start had them 2nd in the league with a mark of 164 during the first two months of the season.
Of course, Tampa still has an excellent lineup, and it would not be surprising if they score early on Sánchez, but that’s why we’re getting plus odds. They are not the juggernaut they had been, so those odds are a solid value.
On the other side, Shawn Armstrong has been lights out since returning from the IL on June 3. He has allowed just two earned runs over 15-2/3 innings with a WHIP of 1.02 and K/BB ratio of 15/4. The Phillies’ bats have been hot – they are 6th in first-inning wRC+ since June 1 and 8th overall – but again, that‘s why we’re getting plus odds.
Both of these pitchers are very capable of throwing shutout innings against these lineups, so take the +105 odds on a NRFI in today’s game.