It’s warming up across the country and we have a packed weekend of MLB action. Almost feels like summer. It’s a great time for another look at first-inning scoring wagers, your favorite way to try to make a quick buck on baseball. With that in mind, here are a few recommendations on RIFI (Runs in First Inning) wagers in case you’re considering a bet online at the sportsbook on Friday.
As well explore a variety of other baseball odds here to win!
Diamondbacks vs Marlins
The MLB odds might not be all that great for a payout here, but sometimes you just have to go for the easy one to get on a roll. There’s great potential for some early scoring in this matchup between Madison Bumgarner and Trevor Rogers.
Rogers will step to the mound first as he continues to try to find his 2021 form. It hasn’t shown itself through his first two starts, during which the southpaw has given up seven runs (six earned) in nine innings. His command has been way off, as evidenced by four walks and an MLB-leading (tied) three-hit batters.
Facing the Mets both times, Rogers has given up a total of three first-inning runs. He needed 36 pitches to get out of the first in his first matchup with New York and 29 to survive it in the second one. Don’t expect anything too clean this time around against an Arizona squad that ranks fifth in first-inning scoring percentage (46.2).
Bumgarner now has a 5.04 ERA in three-plus seasons with Arizona after a couple of rocky ones – both against the Dodgers – to begin this season. He’s been reached for eight runs (seven earned) in 8⅔ innings while walking an eye-popping 10 batters.
The 33-year-old was a RIFI go-to last year with a 6.00 first-inning ERA. The Dodgers scored five runs on him in their first encounter and added a single tally, which is all you need in this game, in the second one.
Again, the MLB spreads will reflect all of these ugly numbers. For our purposes, it could be an easy win for you.
First Inning to Score: YES
Rangers vs Astros
Martin Perez’s remarkable turnaround last season included an ability to get quick, easy outs early in games. He let up only eight earned runs in the first inning in his 32 starts while limiting opponents to a tiny .288 on-base percentage.
The 2023 season has seen more of the same from Perez, who has a 2.53 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 10⅔ innings through his first two starts. He did allow a first-inning run his last time out at Wrigley Field but it was unearned due to an error behind him.
Perez had two clunkers against the Astros last year and three other starts that were absolutely stellar, including his first shutout in eight years on May 20 at Minute Maid Park. Overall he has a 2.76 ERA in nine career outings at Houston and will be up against a lineup that is middle-of-the-pack in terms of first-inning scoring percentage (30.8).
Luis Garcia will go ahead of Perez in the top half of the first, facing a Rangers crew that is missing Corey Seager and ranks 26th in the majors in hits.
Garcia wasn’t particularly sharp through his first two starts but he’s had no issues in the first inning (opponents are 1-for-7) and he was just fine in that frame a year ago. The stocky right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA in his career vs. Texas.
First Inning to Score: NO
Orioles vs White Sox
Mike Clevinger will throw the first pitch for this one as he aims to improve to 3-0. He’s been a bit uneven out of the gate with one scoreless outing and one in which the Pirates knocked him around a bit.
The 32-year-old will be making his home debut for his new team, looking to build upon some previous success at Guaranteed Rate Field, where he has a 3.13 ERA in his career. Clevinger let up a run in the first against Pittsburgh but has a solid 3.33 ERA in the opening frame dating to last season.
A 4-1 pitcher in his career against the Orioles, Clevinger has held current Baltimore hitters to seven hits (no homers) in 35 at-bats with 12 strikeouts. Expect some smooth innings from him, including the first.
Tyler Wells will try to keep the White Sox hitters in check when he gets the nod for the Orioles. He held hitters to a .208 average through the first three innings last year before getting knocked around a bit in the middle frames.
Wells has faced Chicago just once in his career and it was at home out of the bullpen, so there’s not much to go with there. He has sported a 3.50 road ERA in 13 starts since the start of 2022, so he’s unfazed by unfamiliar settings.
First Inning to Score: NO