Paul Skenes

Paul Skenes

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Paul Skenes

A growing trend in sports betting, alongside typical player bets such as home runs and strikeouts, is wagering on whether there will be no runs scored in the first inning. This type of bet is known as a No Run First Inning (NRFI) bet.

Below are a few NRFI bets our AI-powered projection model likes for the slate of games scheduled for Friday, July 5.


New York Mets vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Under 0.5 1st Inning Runs Scored (-160, DraftKings)

The New York Mets are set to go up against Paul Skenes, whose first-inning performance has shown mixed results. In his last five starts, he has given up runs in the opening inning in three of them. Despite this, he maintains an impressive strikeout rate early in games, which poses a challenge for the Mets, given their struggles against high strikeout pitchers. Among starters with more than five starts this season, Skenes ranks second in strikeout rate, trailing only Garrett Crochet. The Mets’ top four hitters all have strikeout rates exceeding 24%. While the Mets have shown improvement in first-inning performance over the past month, it remains uncertain whether they can translate this into scoring opportunities against Skenes’ formidable strikeout abilities.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be facing Luis Severino, who has excelled in the first inning. His NRFI record stands at 14-2 this season and has been flawless over the last month. Despite the Pirates planning to field two to three left-handed batters against Severino, he has been exceptionally effective against them. He has held lefties to a batting average of just .161 and boasts a 24% strikeout rate, having issued zero walks to the 33 left-handed hitters he has faced in the first inning.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals Under 0.5 1st Inning Runs Scored (-130, DraftKings)

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