Best NRFI and YRFI Bets Today (Two Excellent Pitching Duels & One Poor Matchup to Target)

Zach Plesac has a 7.00 ERA in the first inning as the Guardians take on the Orioles today
Zach Plesac has a 7.00 ERA in the first inning as the Guardians take on the Orioles today / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

It's the craze everyone is talking about. When college kids come home for the summer, it's the first thing their parents ask about. If you walk down the street, you'll hear neighbors debating if it's here to stay.

Obviously, I'm talking about No Run First Inning (NRFI) and Yes Run First Inning (YRFI) bets.

We've got an action-packed MLB slate and I'm on a roll with these lately, so let's keep it going. It'll only be June 5, 2022 once, you know? We might as well make it count.

Thanks to the odds from WynnBET Sportsbook, here are today's best NRFI and YRFI bets:

Best NRFI and YRFI Bets Today

Twins vs Blue Jays NRFI (-110)

Both lineups are hitting well but I have to back the NRFI in the best pitching matchup of the afternoon. Lefty Devin Smeltzer has been a revelation for Minnesota since being called back up from the minors, amassing a 1.50 ERA over four starts while ranking in the 94th percentile in expected ERA. He has tremendous control and I think he'll slow down a Blue Jays offense that ranks among the league leaders in first-inning scoring percentage.

Smeltzer is starting against Cy Young candidate Kevin Guasman, who hasn't allowed more than three runs in a single start all year. He's given up a first-inning run just twice in 10 outings, so I love the odds for him to keep rolling. Especially after the recent dominant starts from Nestor Cortes and Shane McClanahan, Gausman needs a strong start to keep pace with the best pitchers in the American League.

Mariners vs Rangers NRFI (-120)

This is a close second for "best pitching matchup of the day." Martin Perez has been laughably good, turning a one-year, $4 million offseason deal with the Rangers into the best bargain contract in the sport. He's in for a big payday in upcoming free agency, but hopefully we're in for a nice payday thanks to this NRFI bet today.

The American League's Pitcher of the Month in May, Perez has given up exactly one run in his last three starts spanning 23 innings and hasn't given up a first-inning run once in 10 starts.

George Kirby may not be as dominant as Perez, but I love the 2019 first-round pick's potential. He's given up a run in the first inning just once in five outings and his expected FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) of 2.99 puts him among the game's elite pitchers.

Texas has scored a first-inning run in under 27% of their games while Seattle has notched one in less than 20% of their home games, so we're getting fantastic value on the NRFI in this battle of excellent starters.

Guardians vs Orioles YRFI (-120)

Two terrible first-inning pitchers square off in this one against two lineups finding their stride. Cleveland starter Zach Plesac has a 7.00 ERA in the first inning this season and a 7.52 ERA overall on the road. He's in the sixth percentile in expected batting average and has given up a home run in five straight outings. Baltimore has the worst first-inning scoring percentage in MLB but they're primed to leave a mark on Plesac today.

Meanwhile, Cleveland is in great position to plate an early run as well. Dean Kramer is making his first start of 2022 but was terrible last year. Check out his MLB Statcast pitching profile from 2021:

Kramer had an 8.76 ERA in the first inning last season and Baltimore gives up first-inning runs at the fourth-highest rate at home in the league (39.29%). With a high total, poor pitchers and lineups that are heating up, we should see a first-inning run scored for the third straight game in this series.

Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.