The MLB slate on Tuesday, June 20 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 6/20/2023.
6/20 NRFI/YRFI Best Bets
Here are the best NRFI and YRFI bets to place on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.
Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Guardians NRFI (+100 at FanDuel)
Starting pitchers: RHP Luis Medina (1-6, 7.55 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron Civale (2-2, 2.67 ERA)
It’s always tempting when the odds for a NRFI are at even money, and that’s the case in this matchup. The likely reason for the plus odds on a NRFI here is the matchup between a solid Guardians lineup and the A’s struggling rookie pitcher Luis Medina.
Medina’s 7.55 ERA through his first eight career appearances does not inspire a ton of confidence. But when we dig deeper, we see that his problems have not been coming in the first inning. He has allowed zero earned runs and just five baserunners in the first inning over his six starts.
The Guardians’ lineup will be a challenge for Medina. They have been a top 10 offense over their last 12 games with the league’s second-best batting average (.300) and fifth-best OPS (.805) over that span. They are middle of the pack (15th) in first-inning offense this season.
Guardians’ starter Aaron Civale has been solid in three starts since returning from the IL on June 2. In his five starts this season, he has allowed only one run in the first inning – a solo shot by Fernando Tatis in his last outing against San Diego.
While the A’s offense has been better over the last few weeks, they are still the worst offense in baseball. Civale certainly has the edge in that matchup. It will come down to Medina have another solid first inning, and I like the +100 odds that he does just that.
Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies YRFI (+100 at FanDuel)
Starting pitchers: RHP Spencer Strider (7-2, 4.12 ERA) vs. LHP Ranger Suarez (1-2, 3.82 ERA)
On the surface this looks like an excellent pitching matchup, so it’s easy to understand why oddsmakers are offering even money on a YRFI in this game. The Braves’ Spencer Strider leads the league in strikeouts at 14.53 per nine innings and he is capable of dominating just about any lineup.
However, Strider has struggled in his last two starts, allowing five earned runs or more in outings against the Mets and Tigers. Strider has been good in the first inning, allowing runs in just four of his 14 starts this season, but one of those starts came against Detroit, which is just 25th in first-inning offense and 29th in total offense.
The Phillies’ offense has been surging in the month of June, led by the predictable resurgence of Kyle Schwarber. Known for his red-hot June hitting, Schwarber has seven home runs this month (T-3rd in MLB). Four of those seven homers have come in the first inning, including three leadoff home runs in his last six games.
Suarez is on the opposite trajectory of Strider. He has allowed one earned run or fewer in his last three starts and has a 0.90 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over that span (20 innings). But the Braves are the best offense in the league in the first inning, and they have been the best in the league in June by a fairly healthy margin. They are certainly capable of doing some damage against Suarez early.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays NRFI (-125 at BetMGM)
Starting pitchers: RHP Kyle Bradish (2-3, 3.90 ERA) vs. RHP Tyler Glasnow (2-0, 3.43 ERA)
The starting pitchers in this matchup have some of the best first-inning numbers in the league season.
The Orioles’ Kyle Bradish has pitched scoreless first innings in 11 of his 12 starts this season and has just a 1.08 WHIP in the first frame. The Ray’s Tyler Glasnow has started just four games this season since returning from Tommy John surgery, but he has yet to allow a run or a hit in the first innings of those starts.
The Rays may have the fourth-most runs in the first inning this season and the second-most runs overall, but their offense has cooled off in June. Entering June they were averaging 5.86 runs per game, but they have scored just 4.41 per game this month.
The Orioles also have a top 10 offense this season and have also cooled off this month. More importantly, despite their stellar overall offensive numbers, they have the 3rd fewest runs in the first inning this season.
These teams scored just 12 runs combined in their three-game series back in early May, and with an over/under set at 7.5, this game is expected to be another low-scoring affair. I normally like better odds than -125 for a NRFI, but this is a very solid bet at those odds.
Noah’s season-long NRFI/YRFI record: 13-8, +4.33 units, 20.6% ROI