Tonight and every Tuesday during the MLB season is NRFI Night in America, but this week I decided to change it up because of how hot the YRFI has been over the past week and the matchups on tap.
There were no NRFIs to be found. So, for the first time, it is YRFI Night in America. A meatball-palooza, if you will. Grab a bib because these meatballs are going to get messy.
What's a YRFI? It's a baseball betting proposition that stands for "yes-run first inning," in which you bet there will be a run in the first frame.
- 2021 NRFI record: 105-59 (64.0%)
- 2021 YRFI record: 17-19 (47.2%)
As posted on Twitter @TroyHermo.
The last week has been really rough for NRFIs. I've always said when the weather gets warmer, the bats get warmer, too. Clear skies mean bombs away for lineups across the league. It's rare to get a card with no games that I like for an NRFI, but that's the case. That's right: zero plays. It was all major red flags. But YRFIs have been hot recently, so I followed the trend and found some juicy plays. Let's turn those red flags into green bills.
You know the deal by now. 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/YRFI line can be found on DraftKings.
The Hermo Hammer Play of the Week: A YRFI Meatball-Palooza
2-Unit Play: Pittsburgh Pirates (Tyler Anderson) at Washington Nationals (Patrick Corbin) [-125]
- Anderson has an atrocious 5.96 career first-inning ERA in 94 starts, making him a YRFI machine. This year has been no different with a 5.25 first-inning ERA and 7-5 NRFI record.
- The 31-year-old lefty has a 5.46 ERA on the road compared to a 3.79 ERA at PNC Park this year.
- Anderson has a 2-2 career NRFI record versus the Nationals.
- The Pirates are the worst in the majors at holding their opponent scoreless in the first inning. They get scored on 46.9 percent of the time.
- Corbin has struggled this year with an 11.25 first-inning ERA. His first-inning numbers are even worse at home with a 13.50 ERA in six starts at Nationals Park. He is averaging 5.2 batters faced in the first inning. Corbin's milkshakes and declining fastball have brought the bats to the yard.
- He is one of the few pitchers in the majors with a sub-.500 NRFI record (5-7), and his NRFI record against the Pirates over his career is only 5-3.
- Pittsburgh third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes is 6-for-10 with two home runs in the first inning this season, and he would be 7-for-10 with three homers if he would've touched first base after going yard against the Los Angeles Dodgers last week. The Pirates see the ball well in the first inning and are collectively 66-for-252 (.262) with six homers.
Keep an eye out for the umpire announcement around game time. I'll like this play even more if there's an ump who is prone to overs.
Other YRFI Meatballs I'm Considering For 1-Unit Plays
Texas Rangers (Kyle Gibson) at Houston Astros (Lance McCullers Jr.) [+100]
Kyle Gibson, or "Gibby" as I call him on Twitter, is an NRFI star at home (6-0 record this year). But on the road, it's a different story: He has a 15.19 first-inning ERA in six starts. He averages 4.6 batters faced in the first inning, which is just too much danger to not get me excited for a YRFI. And the Astros are 79-for-259 (.305) with 12 homers in the first inning this year, if you needed any further convincing.
New York Yankees (Jordan Montgomery) at Toronto Blue Jays (Hyun Jin Ryu) [-124]
Jordan Montgomery has a horrible NRFI record on the road with a 12.00 ERA in six starts. His overall away numbers aren't much better with a 5.52 ERA. His slow starts on the road seem likely to continue against Toronto. The Jays' first five batters are hot, especially in the Nos. 2 and 3 holes, with Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hitting a combined 21-for-47 (.447) with five home runs in the last seven days through Sunday. You've got to love the YRFI chance.
Hermo's Corner of Gambling Advice: Don't Force the Action
Today is a perfect example of seeing the warning signs and staying away from forced action that's giving you doubts. Remember this phrase: If your picks give you any doubt, leave them the hell out.
Nobody should be forcing action just to have action. That's when the books win. You are going up against some very smart people and very advanced computers. They make even the best sharps look stupid. You will never win while playing with doubt. Do your research, follow the three-capper system I talked about last week, keep the units affordable, stay the course, and we will be successful this year.
Now, having some stats to back up your plays such as a weekly batting stat, a ballpark angle (my new favorite) or a day vs. night statistic always helps. Find angles that will give you less doubt and bring you more success.
Remember, NRFI nation: Research pays; the stats don't lie; and when in doubt, leave it out. We are well on our way to greatness. Get ready to feast during the first-ever Hermo meatball-palooza.