This is it. Our final set of recommendations for first-inning scoring wagers this season unless something pops up in the playoffs. Hope it’s been a lucrative, entertaining ride with your MLB picks. Let’s finish strong Tuesday, but be mindful of shifting pitching plans.
Let’s check the latest MLB picks, stats, injury reports, and MLB predictions. We’ve plenty of MLB expert picks for you to consider.
Angels vs Athletics
Los Angeles is quietly one of the hotter teams in baseball, having won seven straight prior to Monday’s loss in Oakland. It doesn’t matter much in the standings, but maybe it’ll be a springboard to finally contending again in 2023.
Michael Lorenzen is one of those hoping to end on a good note and build toward next year. He’s 2-0 with a 3.05 ERA in four starts since returning from a shoulder injury, including five frames his last time out against the A’s in which he gave up just one unearned run.
That one run came in the first inning, however, and the 30-year-old has been knocked around quite a bit in that frame. His ERA for the season in the opening inning is 6.88 and opponents have a healthy .892 OPS in the first, higher than any inning for Lorenzen.
Oakland has gotten to the righty for only two tallies in 18 innings overall on the season, and both were in the first inning.
On the other sits Cole Irvin, who owns an even uglier 8.69 mark in the first. He’s allowed an astounding 12 home runs in that frame, compared to zero in the second. Hitters have a galactic .740 slugging percentage against Irvin in the opening inning.
The Mike Trout-Shohei Ohtani roadblock has made first innings very difficult for opposing pitchers, as the Angels rank 10th in runs per first inning (0.53). A bet online in favor of them getting to Irvin is a smart one.
First Inning to Score: YES
Twins vs White Sox
Lucas Giolito will be finishing a somewhat disappointing season with his 30th start for Chicago in this one. He’s 0-2 over his last seven starts and owns a 5.23 ERA over his last eight.
That stretch includes a matchup with Minnesota on Thursday in which Giolito allowed two runs in the first inning, making it four straight starts with at least one run allowed in that frame. Overall, he has a 5.90 ERA in the opening inning, as well as a 6.43 mark at home.
The Twins have been one of the best first-inning offenses all year. They picked up their only two runs in Monday’s 3-2 loss in that initial stanza.
Josh Winder has worked himself into the 2023 rotation discussion in Minnesota with a 3.91 ERA in 10 starts for the Twins. The rookie, who turns 26 next week, has been pretty good in the first inning but he’s had to deal with some traffic.
In his 10 firsts, Winder has allowed one home run, two doubles, four walks and a hit batter. Nothing too outlandish, but not the cleanest run. The second and third hitters in lineups are batting a combined .317 against him.
Chicago’s offense is limping to the finish line and hasn’t done a ton in first innings this year. But if the MLB spreads give you a good payout, consider an early run here against either Giolito (likely) or Winder (less so).
First Inning to Score: YES
Giants vs Padres
The sportsbook might see Sean Manaea’s first-inning ERA (6.00) and lean toward some early offense against him. However, much of that damage was done away from Petco Park, as 14 of the 19 first-inning runs he’s allowed were on the road.
The lefty is 5-3 with a 3.93 ERA at home and even amid a brutal second half has managed to isolate his results based on location, to a degree. He has a 2.74 ERA over his last five outings (four starts) at Petco.
The Giants have been near the bottom of first-inning offense rankings all year. They enter Tuesday tied for 25th in the majors in scoring percentage in that frame on the road (21.5).
Carlos Rodon is scheduled to make his final start for the Giants, although manager Gabe Kapler indicated they may choose to shut him down. Such is life in these waning days, so keep an eye on the MLB lines. The North Carolina State product set a career-high with his 14th win his last time out with six scoreless and 10 strikeouts against Colorado.
Some Giants fans might recall Rodon giving up three first-inning runs in a rocky start against the Padres on Aug. 29, but they may also remember him striking out 12 San Diego hitters in a complete-game win at Petco earlier in the year.
Overall, the 29-year-old has a solid 3.19 ERA in the first inning. If he’s out there, he should cruise early against a Padres bunch that is tied for 22nd in first-inning scoring percentage (25.6)
First Inning to Score: NO