MLB picks 5/24: YRFI & NRFI best bets today

If you aren’t interested in a bet that will take 9 innings, one of the shortest-lasting bets you can make in an MLB game is if a run will be scored in the first inning. All it takes is 6 outs to glory, and one swing of the bat can make or break your bet.

There is also a lot of value in these bets because the odds are usually very well-priced, and if you’re not a fan of sweating out your bets for 3 hours then this one will take only about 15 minutes to win or lose. Before we dive in, don’t forget to check out our MLB picks for every game on Wednesday.

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Los Angeles Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves: NRFI (-105)

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.

Between Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder, the Braves rotation has a bright future. Elder is a second-year man out of Texas and has posted a 2.06 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP in 9 starts. Looking at his advanced metrics, he has been getting a little lucky considering his higher-than-average barrel rate, hard-hit rate and xERA. However, the good news is that he’s been nearly perfect in the first inning. In 9 starts in the opening frame, Elder has allowed only 1 earned run while limiting hitters to a .172 batting average. He has a tough task ahead of him with Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith at the top of the Dodgers’ order, but I like Elder’s chances against them because of the way that he pitches. He works backwards a lot, and what I mean by that is he throws a lot of sliders early in the count and then will try to spot up a sinker or fastball for the punch out. Doing this gets a lot of ground ball outs.

An ankle injury held Tony Gonsolin out for the first few weeks of the season, but now he’s back and better than ever. He has a 1.13 ERA with a 0.92 WHIP in 5 starts and has been rolling in the last few weeks. In his last 16 innings, Gonsolin has allowed only 6 hits and zero earned runs while racking up 15 strikeouts. His success starts early, as Gonsolin has not given up a run in the first frame and has held hitters to just a .118 batting average and a .167 on-base percentage. Similar to Elder, Gonsolin has a dangerous first few hitters in front of him. But if he can sit down Ronald Acuna Jr., his chances for a scoreless first frame increases dramatically. At this price, it’s worth a shot.

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Oakland Athletics vs Seattle Mariners: NRFI (-115)

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.

Bryce Miller has captivated the baseball world in his first few starts. In 4 outings, Miller has accumulated a 1.42 ERA with a 2.42 xERA and has become a high school baseball coach’s new favorite pitcher because he doesn’t give up a lot of hits and rarely walks guys. In 25.1 innings, the rookie has allowed only 11 hits while surrendering only 2 walks and will have the easiest opponent of his season on Wednesday night — the Athletics. Coming into this game, Oakland ranks 30th in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS in the last 7 days. Since they likely won’t be getting any free passes from Miller, it seems hard to imagine that they can string a few hits together against the rookie sensation.

In all transparency, Ken Waldichuk is not a great pitcher. The lefty holds a 6.85 ERA with a 6.25 xERA in 9 starts and has one of the higher barrel rates in baseball. However, he’s been weirdly good in the first inning. Waldichuk has given up only 1 first-inning earned run while limiting hitters to a .161 batting average with a 29% strikeout rate. His troubles begin soon after that as hitters have at least a .294 batting average from the second to the seventh inning. So if the southpaw can continue to start well before sharply declining, we could have another NRFI on our hands.

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