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NRFI & YRFI Bets Today: No & Yes Run First Inning Picks for Thursday, May 16

It was our first losing day on NRFI bets in a hot minute, so I’ve kind of forgotten what this feeling is like. To be honest, I hate it. So we’re going to turn that around with our no run first inning picks for today. It’s a short slate, so again the move is only one NRFI bet today; let’s dive into it.

If you’re hungry for more, check out our MLB betting tools or our other MLB articles! Also, check out our guide to NRFI & YRFI betting.

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NRFI & YRFI Bets Today: Best No & Yes Run First Inning Picks

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs | YRFI & NRFI Bets Today

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The Pirates and Cubs are squaring off at Wrigley Field tonight with the teams’ two best pitchers on the mound, which is why we’re seeing a 7.5 total on this game. I was surprised we didn’t see all of these books open the NRFI bets at -130/-135 or worse on this game. We’re probably going to see the lines move to be almost unbettable by day’s end, so you’re going to want to jump on this fast.

Justin Steele is back for the Cubs after a lengthy stint on the IL. He’s made two starts since being back — one good, one bad.

The bad one, however, was against this very Pirates team, last Saturday in the heralded Paul Skenes start where Steele went four innings, gave up six earned runs and allowed three homers. So … it wasn’t great for Steele in his second start off the IL.

Is that who he is? No. Do I care a ton about all those numbers? Also no because he gave us the NRFI we’re looking in the game despite being Hulk smashed.

Steele will be back at home tonight, where his career ERA is over half a run better.

Small-sample alert, but in his three starts this year, Steele is 3-0 on his no run first inning chances. So he’s been really good in his limited first-inning opportunities this year. Pittsburgh is also No. 20 in terms of first inning scoring this season.

It’s not enough for the Pirates to have one electric prospect arm in Skenes, they also have Jared Jones, who has been a revelation this season.

This dude has been making hitters look silly all year with his filthy stuff, which is exemplified by his 93rd-percentile chase rate and 97th-percentile whiff rate. He’s striking out almost every third batter he faces and has 56 strikeouts in 47 innings in 2024.

And when we’re going for NRFIs, we love a pitcher who can get outs without giving up any contact at all. Those are premium outs when you’re looking for the no run first inning.

Jones has been an ELITE NRFI pitcher this season. He’s 7-1 on his chances, with the lone loss coming against — ironically — this Cubs team last Friday when he gave up a solo home to Cody Bellinger in the top of the first.

If that’s my guy’s only blemish in the first all season, I’m gonna ride with him again.

Like I said, jump on this one fast because this line is liable to move into -140 or -150 territory where there’s no value for us. So grab this NRFI bet today at -125 on DraftKings, and let’s cash this thing.

YRFI & NRFI Bets Today: Pirates-Cubs NRFI (-125 at DraftKings)

Nathan Joyce


Nathan Joyce

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