The Best NRFI Bets Today (No Runs First Inning) - Wednesday (9/21): Odds, Picks, and Analysis

NRFI (No Runs First Inning) bets, pronounced "ner-fee," are sweeping in popularity, offering bettors nail-biting action straight from the first pitch. 

Still not sure what an NRFI is? Check out our detailed NRFI guide for the lowdown on NRFIs and how to capitalize on them.

We focus on today’s best NRFI bet. 

Best NRFI Bet Today

Cleveland Guardians @ Chicago White Sox

Wednesday, September 21 at 8:10 pm ET

The Guardians square off against the White Sox on Wednesday for the second game of a critical three-game series between the two best teams in the AL Central.

Game box:

Cleveland Guardians (81-67) @ Chicago White Sox (76-72)

Game Info: Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at 8:10 pm (Guaranteed Rate Field)

Starting pitchers: Triston McKenzie (10-11, 3.08) vs. Lance Lynn (7-5, 3.99)

Guardians vs White Sox - Best Betting Odds:

Moneyline: Cleveland Guardians (+116 with BetRivers) vs. Chicago White Sox (-130 with Caesars)

Run line: Cleveland Guardians +1.5 (-186 with BetRivers) vs. Chicago White Sox -1.5 (+162 with Caesars)

Total: Under 7.5 Runs (-108 with FanDuel) vs. Over 7.5 Runs (-110 with Caesars)

Check out our betting odds page for the best real-time best odds for MLB games.

Best NRFI Bet Today:

Rationale: Both teams will be lucky to scratch out more than a run or two against both of these starting pitchers all game, much less do so in the first inning. Even with these teams combining for 17 runs on Tuesday in an 11-inning game, neither scored during the first three innings. The extra innings on Tuesday could also make the players a little more tired for Wednesday’s game, leading to a lower-scoring game and making runs in the first inning even less likely.

On the pitching front, Lance Lynn has endured many ups and downs this season for Chicago, but he’s turned September into a month to remember, winning all three of his starts while posting a 0.93 ERA. He has an ERA of 5.00 in the first inning during the season. But teams haven’t been able to do much damage against him recently, as the veteran has been sharp early, keeping teams off balance during the rest of the game.

Meanwhile, Cleveland’s Triston McKenzie owns a 4.33 ERA in the first inning this season. However, he’s also been better during the second half of the season. The hard-throwing righty pitched to a 1.34 ERA in July, a 3.03 ERA in August, and has thus far compiled a 2.29 ERA through his first three starts in September. 

To be fair, both lineups are stacked at the top and capable of scoring in the first inning. But Cleveland leadoff hitter Steven Kwan is just 1 for 10 in his career against Lynn. If he doesn’t reach base, the Guardians will have a more challenging time bringing home a run. 

Ironically, Chicago leadoff hitter Elvis Andrus is just 1 for 10 in his career against McKenzie. The same principle applies to the White Sox, who would need multiple hits against McKenzie or a home run to score in the first inning, with Andrus unlikely to start the game with a hit. 

With both leadoff hitters having a poor history against Wednesday’s starters, the Guardians and White Sox are likely to have a scoreless first inning. Therefore, our best NRFI bet today is under .5 runs scored in the first inning at BetRivers.

Conclusion

Will you be backing our daily NRFI pick? Interested in more MLB content? Read our guide: How To Bet on Baseball, and visit our odds comparison tool to compare the latest odds.

Written by Bryan Zarpentine.

Bryan has been a sports and sports betting writer for over 12 years. When he's not writing about sports, he's usually watching sports, attending sporting events, or on road trips on his way to sporting events.  

Bryan is an NCAA football and basketball specialist who gives excellent insight into MLB and the NFL worlds. 

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