The first half of the season was technically a few weeks ago, but the unofficial midway point of the MLB All-Star Game has come and gone and gives us a chance to review results from earlier in the year.
Using NRFI/YRFI Numbers to Live Bet
Betting props on No Run First Inning (NRFI) and Yes Run First Inning (YRFI) have become very popular this season amongst MLB betting fans. While the wagers aren’t live betting options, we can use the results to help us make in-game bets during the 1st inning of games.
For example, the Miami Marlins have by far the highest percentage of NRFI wins in the MLB at 62-32. That means that in 66% of Miami’s games, they and their opponents fail to score at least one run in the first inning. The next highest percentages are the Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays at 57%. Ergo, live betting on a 1st inning Under for every Marlins game during the first half of the season would have netted you a hefty profit.
Not only are NRFI & YRFI stats useful for teams but also pitchers. For example, Lance Lynn from the Chicago White Sox has a vomitous 9.45 ERA in the first inning with 20 runs in 19 games. What other MLB trends offer a 19-1 record against the total? Lynn is almost a sure bet to allow a 1st inning run, a big help for live bettors.
Lance Lynn is just ensuring he doesn’t get traded
— Sam Peebles (@SPeeblesSports) July 16, 2023
When discussing MLB in-game betting strategy, a team’s bullpen is one of the most significant factors to consider. We generally ignore good bullpens as they don’t provide us with as much value as consistently bad ones. It’s just easier to bet against bad teams than to be in favor of the good ones.
It should come as no surprise that the biggest offenders of the bad bullpen club are among the worst teams in baseball, including the Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Washington Nationals, and Colorado Rockies.
For this section, I want to focus specifically on the A’s and Nats as teams to exploit when making MLB bets late in games, not simply because they allow a ton of runs out of the bullpen, but rather how those runs are scored.
The Athletics and Nationals bullpens allow by far the most home runs of any crew in the MLB and are tied with 53 long balls. While Colorado and KC have awful bullpen ERAs, they allow 12 and 13 fewer home runs, respectively.
— Oakland X San Jose A’s (@oaklandxsanjose) July 16, 2023
Knowing that Oakland and Washington are prolific home run enablers, we can focus on them in specific matchups when making live bets on MLB odds.
The A’s upcoming series against the Los Angeles Dodgers is an excellent place to start. LA ranks second in the MLB in home runs per game and will be a good MLB pick to knock the A’s bullpen around during their three-game road tilt.
Washington, meanwhile, faces the San Francisco Giants later this week in another exploitable matchup between a team with heavy hitters facing a weak pen.