Fridays are for happy hour, trips to the lake and first-inning scoring wagers. It’s the best way to make a quick buck and leaves you plenty of time to add in some live betting later on. Below are a few suggestions for some Runs in First Inning bets.
Yankees vs Reds
It’ll be quite an adjustment for New York to go from a teeth-clenching, controversy-marred series in Toronto that was all over the MLB news to the opener of what figures to be a quieter three-game set at Cincinnati. Perhaps they come out a bit flat on Friday and that might impact your bet online for the final result.
As it pertains to the first inning, we see a chance of some scoring on both sides. The Reds will trot out Ben Lively for his first start in the majors since April 26, 2018. A right-hander who has been all over the place – including South Korea – over the years since originally getting drafted by the Reds in 2013, Lively has made two relief appearances since his return to the majors.
It’s somewhat ancient history but Lively used to get gobbled up in first innings. He has a career ERA in that frame of 8.55 (19 earned runs in 20 innings). There have been six home runs and nine walks in those 20 ugly innings, good enough for opponents to compile a 1.172 OPS.
Again, those starts were made a while ago. But you have to think it’ll be in Lively’s head as he works through some nerves. It doesn’t help that he’ll have to face red-hot Aaron Judge in the first. The Yankees slugger is hitting .391 with six homers over his last six games as he looks to put on another home run chase this summer.
Judge’s surge has helped reinvigorate New York, which ranks ninth in the majors in runs per first inning (0.61). Lively will be challenged immediately.
The bottom of the first will see Clarke Schmidt go up against a Reds lineup that ranks second in all of baseball in first-inning scoring percentage at home (52.4). Every inning has been a struggle for Schmidt, who’s allowed five runs in his nine firsts with opponents batting .308.
If the MLB odds look okay to you and the payout is worth it, take the yes-RIFI option here.
Red Sox vs Padres
The reunion of the Red Sox and Xander Bogaerts is the lead story in this interleague set. Once all the hugs and pregame interviews are over, we get a James Paxton-Blake Snell pitching matchup at Petco Park.
Snell has posted three straight quality starts to begin May, including two in a row against the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers. All three featured scoreless firsts, which dropped his ERA in that frame to 2.25. Opponents are hitting just .207 with a .570 OPS against Snell in that opening inning.
The one-time Cy Young Award winner has had plenty of matchups with the Red Sox over the years from his time in the AL East. Although many of the names have changed, he is 7-3 with a 2.59 ERA versus Boston.
The current Bogaerts-less edition of the Red Sox have scored plenty of first-inning runs, but all too often it’s at home. On the road they rank 24th in the majors in first-inning scoring percentage (16.7).
🚨 CRONE ZONE 🚨 #BringTheGold pic.twitter.com/CgBqEIwC8g
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 17, 2023
As for Paxton, he doesn’t have much recent history to go by. The Big Maple will be making just his second start after a two-year absence due to a run of injuries, but the first one was pretty promising. He gave up two runs and struck out nine in five innings against St. Louis a week ago.
San Diego is just a slightly above average first-inning offense. It’s been rather ordinary overall lately, scoring 21 runs over the last eight games. When analyzing the MLB lines, think about a no-RIFI bet here.
Royals vs White Sox
These AL Central foes begin a three-game series in Chicago just a week after completing a four-game set in Kansas City. This one features Zack Greinke for the Royals against Michael Kopech for the White Sox and we think there could be a yes-RIFI opportunity at the sportsbook.
Kopech enters the start ranked fifth in the majors in walks with 28, including at least five in two of his three starts this month. That lack of command has certainly been an issue in the first inning, when he’s walked five batters and hit another in eight innings overall.
The 27-year-old has a 5.62 ERA in the first inning and will be facing a Royals offense that ranks sixth in first-inning scoring percentage at 37.8.
Greinke has been better of late and pretty solid in the first inning, allowing two runs in his nine firsts. But it’s been rough on the road for the cagey veteran, who has a 7.71 ERA away from home.
Chicago ranks tied for 12th in the majors in runs per first inning at home (0.73). Consider an early run for either them or Kansas City (or both) when making your MLB picks.