Every Tuesday during the MLB season is NRFI night in America.
What's an NRFI? It's a baseball betting proposition that stands for "no-run first inning" in which you bet there will be zero runs scored in the first frame. (Unless you're betting a YRFI: yes-run first inning.)
- 2021 NRFI record: 115-78 (59.6 percent)
- 2021 YRFI record: 42-38 (52.5 percent)
- As posted on Twitter, @TroyHermo
How 'bout the column last week? 3-0, and all were all no-doubters. Fifteen minutes easy cash. What first-inning bettors' dreams are made of.
It's been a weird week as the trend of YRFI seemed to stop, and I haven't been able to find a matchup off my "Hermo map" that has popped since Aug. 3.
Luckily for my first-inning warriors, I was able to dig deep on Tuesday's card and find some great selections. As always, make sure to check in on Twitter for updated plays and cards as well as Hermo maps, which are complete stat breakdowns of matchups for your viewing convenience. All free, all on my Twitter.
Who knows what stat you might find in the Hermo map that will push your very own leans into cold, hard locks. Don't let your leans stay leans, and don't ever bet a game blindly.
Hermo Lock of the Week: The Return of Mr. First Inning
2-Unit YRFI Hammer: Cincinnati Reds (Sonny Gray) at Atlanta Braves (Drew Smyly) +100
I always love playing a YRFI when a starter struggles in the first and has bad stats against the hitters in the meat of the lineup.
The Atlanta Braves are sending out Drew Smyly, who has a 11.57 first-inning ERA at Truist Park. Smyly averages 4.42 batters faced in the opening frame, and overall for the year has a below-average 5.68 first-inning ERA, making him a YRFI favorite.
He will be facing a red-hot Cincinnati Reds lineup in the top of the first. Nick Castellanos, who recently returned to the lineup after almost three weeks on the IL, has been very successful against Smyly. Castellanos is 6-for-13 (.462 average) with four doubles.
Leadoff hitter and on-base machine Jonathan India is 2-for-3 lifetime vs. Smyly before Jesse Winker—who went 9-for-19 (.474) last week—steps to the plate, followed by Castellanos. Joey Votto has cooled off on his home run hitting spree but remains a threat to cash the YRFI.
I've called Cincinnati the "Big Red YRFI Machine" this year when its offense is running 100 percent. It's worth noting Smyly barely escaped the Reds in the first inning last time as Votto narrowly missed a homer with two runners on. They are going to cash Tuesday.
If we go to the bottom of the first scoreless, I fully expect the No. 1 scoring team percentage-wise to come through with a run. The Atlanta Braves score a run in the first inning 34.8 percent of the time, per TeamRankings.com. And Sonny Gray has allowed a first-inning run in three of his last four starts.
It's a tough top of the lineup to face with "Mr. First Inning" Ozzie Albies, who is batting 28-for-82 (.341) in the opening frame this year, new addition Jorge "Soler Power" and 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman, who exited Saturday's game with a respiratory infection and could return Tuesday. Also, Austin Riley has been on a tear of late, going 8-for-26 (.308) last week.
Word on the street is DraftKings might let me boost this one. So be on the lookout for the B/R Betting boost notification and hop on this juicy hammer with me.
1-Unit NRFI: Los Angeles Dodgers (Max Scherzer) at Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola)
I know what you're thinking.
First-ballot NRFI Hall of Famer Max Scherzer has an impressive 2.79 first-inning ERA in 20 starts and averages only 3.65 batters in the opening frame. He's matching up against the Philadelphia Phillies' Aaron Nola, who is always better at home than on the road NRFI-wise. He sports a 6-3 NRFI record at Citizens Bank, with two of those losses coming against the No. 1 and No. 2 YRFI teams in the league, the Braves and Boston Red Sox.
I love the cold offensive stats with some of the bigger bats in the lineup such as J.T. Realmuto, who is 5-for-49. The bat to worry about is the new MVP front-runner, Bryce Harper (3-for-10 vs. Scherzer). Nola also has favorable matchups with Mookie Betts (1-for-7), new Dodger Trea Turner (7-for-38) and Max Muncy (0-for-8).
This gives me full confidence to send this NRFI for the crew.
Why the Best Bet You Can Make Is Sometimes the One You Don't
Finding balance while also enjoying the sports betting we love.
Let's talk about life.
It's wild, it's out of control, and half the time it feels like a blur. Sometimes we can lose sight of the important things—especially when sports gambling is a part of it.
There are so many games, so many opportunities, and in some seasons you can literally bet on an event every hour from noon to 10 p.m. It's easy to get addicted to having action when it's so accessible.
But you should never let your sports betting control you so much that you need action to overshadow your time with your family. Take it from me, who has been battling a rare Stage 4 adrenal cancer the past two-and-a-half years.
You won't remember your losing parlay from today, but you will remember that night out with your partner. You won't remember that you were one strikeout away from Lucas Giolito cashing your K prop bet, but you will remember that dance recital your daughter had.
Take the time to enjoy your life before you regret it. Sports should enhance our lives, not control them. If you find yourself neglecting your family over measly bets, then it's time to get your priorities straight.
And after you do bet, put the phone away. By creating a healthy balance, I guarantee you will not only find more happiness, but will also have more success because you won't find yourself craving action and forcing bets.
Be patient and play when you feel it's right. A healthy, clean gambling conscience is the key to winning. Have an investing mindset, not a gambling one. Never chase and never lose sight of what's important.
Stay blessed, everyone.
As always, research pays and the stats don't lie.
Let's have a great week.