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NRFI & YRFI Bets Today: No & Yes Run First Inning Picks for Wednesday, April 3

It was our first losing night of 2024, going 1-1 on our NRFI bets, and losing a little bit of juice. A bit of a bad read by me there with the Rays bats against Andrew Heaney. They did knock him around a bit … just not until the fifth. But, we’re still pretty dialed in with these yes and no run first inning bets so far this season, so we’re looking to keep this train chugging down the tracks with a couple more today.

Now let’s get to my top two YRFI and NRFI bets today for Wednesday, April 3. 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.

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

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Kansas City Royals vs Baltimore Orioles | NRFI & YRFI Bets Today

We’re going back to the scene of the crime from Monday night where the Royals stole a gift-wrapped YRFI right out of our hands that the Orioles had given to us in the shape of two first-inning errors. Ugh, you really did hate to see it.

However, we’re going to be rooting against fun today, with two stud pitchers on the mound in Baltimore, and backing the Royals-Orioles NRFI bet today.

Cole Ragans vs Corbin Burnes looks to be a matchup we can target for a no run first inning pick, and the projected total agrees, sitting at just 7. We’ve also got nearly 20 mph winds blowing in to help suppress some of the flyballs hit in this game by some of the powerful Baltimore bats, which we love to see.

Burnes looked absolutely electric in his first outing with the O’s, striking out 11 guys in 6 innings and giving up only one run.

He had a 75% whiff rate on his curveball and 57% whiff rate on his changeup, which is proof that those babies were dancing and falling off the table in the first start against the Angels.

The stuff obviously looks good for Burnes, and the one real threat to launch one out of the yard is Bobby Witt Jr, who does most of his damage against the changeup, and not the curveball putaway like Burnes likes to feature.

On the other side, Ragans features that fastball-changeup-cutter mix, but in his first start the slider was incredibly effective. He got four strikeouts on the slider and had a 40% whiff rate.

A pitch like that might help against this Baltimore offense, as Gunnar Henderson, Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle all hit the cutter and fastball quite well, so being able to rely on the changeup and slider a little more might be helpful here.

All that said, Ragans is a talented young arm that is capable of shutting down any offense in the league with his dynamic stuff. And, we only three outs. Let’s ride with the with the NRFI bet today.

YRFI & NRFI Bets Today: Royals-Orioles NRFI (-130 Bet365)

New York Yankees vs Arizona Diamondbacks | NRFI & YRFI Bets Today

Small sample size alert: The Diamondbacks lead the league in average runs scored per first inning this year, plating 2 per game. Of course, that’s wildly noisy at this time of year with so few games played, but it does show that they do have — at least a little — capability of scoring early runs. Are they going to be the YRFI kings this year? Possibly. Time will tell.

But, as always, we start on the mound by putting the pitchers under the microscope a little bit. And, wouldn’t you know it, we see Carlos Rodon under the microscope here again for us. I’m going to be less of a believer until he makes me more of a believer, so you can probably tell this already headed more toward a yes run first inning bet than a no run first inning bet.

The Diamondbacks love to see lefties on the hill, and for good reason. Lourdes Gurriel has CRUSHED left-handed pitching in his career, and has an .820 OPS with 27 homers in 628 ABs. Ketel Marte also has drastically better splits against lefties in his career: .305 AVG, .515 SLG, .875 OPS in 1,139 ABs.

Those guys really don’t need much help, but, Rodon is no stranger to being a good little helper to the other team, and gets himself into jams by missing the zone and walking guys frequently. He had a 3.9 walk/9-inning rate last year and walked three guys in his 4.1 innings in his first start.

But, we buried the lede here. This Yankees offense also has some pop and a brand new toy at the top of their lineup as well. Obviously, Aaron Judge looms large — literally — at the top of the order, but Juan Soto gives this team an added threat in terms of power and protection for Judge.

Merrill Kelly is on the mound for the Diamondbacks today, and the Yankees have an implied team run total of 4.25, which is interesting because the projected game total is 8.5. Yet, the Yankees are -1.5 on the run line. Just seemed … odd to me.

I digress, Kelly throws four main pitches: a cutter, four-seamer, slider and changeup. And, when I looked up how Aaron Judge and Juan Soto performed against those pitches, do we dare guess what shade of red the spreadsheet was? Oh, baby, it was lookin’ bright.

Judge has yet to hit a home run this year, and he actually has reverse splits in his career with a better batting average and slugging percentage against righties than lefties. Not to go all old man “I know baseball” from Moneyball on you, but this does feel like a spot where Judge gets off the mat and gets his first home run of the year. Possibly two.

We’re getting some strong value here on the YRFI bet, as I’ve seen the yes run first inning line juiced as high as -130 on some books. We’re getting the YRFI at -110 at ESPN here. So, with two good offenses in a park that can yield a lot of balls into gaps and a total of 8.5, I like this spot for a YRFI bet.

YRFI & NRFI Bets Today: Yankees-Diamondbacks YRFI (-110 ESPN)

If you’re looking for other ways to play, why don’t you check out some of the best daily MLB DFS picks in the industry?

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