MLB 'NRFI Night in America' Kicks off with Huge Hermo Hammer Lock Bet

Troy HermoContributor IApril 6, 2021

With a 0.90 first-inning ERA, Clayton Kershaw was an NRFI machine last season.
With a 0.90 first-inning ERA, Clayton Kershaw was an NRFI machine last season.Associated Press

Tonight and every Tuesday during the MLB season is NRFI Night in America, and we are locked in. 

What's an NRFI? It's a baseball betting proposition that stands for "no-run first inning," in which you bet whether there will be zero runs scored in the first frame. 

NRFI Nation, stand up.
One nation
Six outs
No runs
With locks and cash flow for all. 

Every Tuesday, I'll sift through the first-inning stats and hitter analysis to give the best plays available on the card. You can also follow my daily plays in the B/R Betting community section. Odds for every NRFI line can be found on DraftKings


NRFI of the Week: The Hermo Hammer Lock

4-Unit Play: Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) vs. Oakland Athletics (Chris Bassitt) -113

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

All aboard the Kershaw NRFI train!

Behold the first Hermo Hammer Lock of the season as I stake my reputation, my family name and my bankroll back into NRFI Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw. Even though he struggled in the later innings against the Colorado Rockies on Opening Day (5.2 IP, 5 ER, 10 H), he came out firing in the first inning to shut out the side and help give me my first NRFI win of the season at the dangerous Coors Field.

He comes into a more stat-friendly situation in Oakland Coliseum with the struggling 0-5 Athletics. In three career starts at Oakland, Kershaw has a 1.71 ERA and three NRFI wins (2012, 2015, 2018), giving me the utmost confidence he will handle their struggling bats and lead us to glory.

On the other side of the matchup is Chris Bassitt, who is an NRFI machine at home. He has a 3.63 career first-inning ERA, which makes him one of the more reliable NRFI pitchers in the league.

Last year, he struggled at times with a 4.91 first-inning ERA in 11 starts, but most of those problems came on the road. In Oakland, he shut out his side in the first inning five of six times. In fact, I dug through even deeper and found that in 34 starts at home, he rocks a 27-7 NRFI record.

Hammer, hammer, hammer. 

I can't help but get excited about this game. All signs point to NRFI, and all usual investment deterrents are wiped away by stats that overrule them. It's just begging us to hammer it. 



  • 2.66 lifetime ERA in the first inning
  • 0.90 ERA over 10 first-inning starts in 2020
  • 3.98 average batters faced in the first inning for his career

Top 5 Batters in A's Lineup's Career Stats against Kershaw:

  1. Mark Canha (R), CF: 3-for-6
  2. Matt Olson (L), 1B: 0-for-3
  3. Jed Lowrie (S), 2B: 2-for-12
  4. Mitch Moreland (L), DH: 0-for-0
  5. Matt Chapman (R), 3B: 1-for-3

Total: 6-for-24 (.250) 



  • 3.63 lifetime ERA in the first inning
  • 2.51 lifetime ERA at Oakland Coliseum
  • 5-1 NRFI record in six starts at home last year



2-Unit Play: Houston Astros (Zack Greinke) vs. Los Angeles Angles (Dylan Bundy)

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press


The Scoop

  • Greinke has a lifetime 3.90 first-inning ERA and is perfect through one start this year.
  • Bundy is 5-1 vs. Angels in NRFI opportunities.
  • Bundy has a 1-0 NRFI record to start 2021 after shutting down a stacked White Sox lineup.


0.5-Unit Play: San Francisco Giants (Aaron Sanchez) vs. San Diego Padres (Yu Darvish) -113

The Scoop

  • Sanchez has a career 2.62 first-inning ERA in 96 starts.
  • Sanchez had a 2.33 first-inning ERA over 27 starts in 2019. 
  • Darvish had a 3.00 first-inning ERA over 12 starts last year.



(Yes, I do reverse NRFI bets if the stats are right.)

0.5-Unit Play: Pittsburgh Pirates (Trevor Cahill) vs. Cincinnati Reds (Wade Miley) -130

The Scoop

  • Cahill had a 7.50 first-inning ERA last season.
  • Miley has a career 5.09 first-inning ERA and had an 11.25 first-inning ERA last year.


All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and Daily Baseball DataFollow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @TroyHermo.


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