Baseball is back, and what better way to get back into betting on it than by looking at some of the best run first-inning plays on the board? Out of the 15 games set to be played tonight, we’ll be looking at my two best-run first-inning plays, which feature on YRFI and one NRFI.
After being the host city for the All-Star Game, Mariners fans did not need to wait long for baseball to return to T-Mobile Park. In need of a big second half, the Mariners will send one of their electric arms to the mound in Luis Castillo to square off with the Detroit Tigers. Not only is the right-hander taking on a Tigers team that saw the NRFI hit 56% of the time in the first half of the season, but he is also boasting a 2.50 first-inning ERA.
Castillo has been dominant both at home and when facing a lineup the first time through the order this season. When on his home mound, Castillo has a batting average against of .190 to go along with 3.05 FIP. The right-hander also has an xFIP of 3.53 and a batting average against of .172 the first time through an order.
Taking the mound for the Tigers tonight will be left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who could be making one of his last starts in a Tigers uniform. The lefty has also been able to come out of the gate strong this season, pitching to a 2.25 first-inning ERA. He poses as a tough matchup for the Mariners, as he has also found success the first time through the order and on the road this season.
Entering tonight, Rodriguez has an xFIP of 3.07 and a .235 batting average against the first time through the order. With a hard-hit percentage in the 90th percentile and expected batting average in the 60th percentile, the lefty should get through the bottom of the first inning unscathed.
One of the most profitable YRFI teams during the first half of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers, will get the back half of their season started tonight against the New York Mets. Getting the start for LA will be left-hander Julio Urias, and starting off the game strong has not been something he’s been good at this season, as he is pitching to a 10.50 first-inning ERA.
Not only has Urias struggled in the first innings, but he has also been hit around a bit when pitching on the road this season. In 26.2 road innings, the lefty has a 7.29 FIP and a batting average against of .342. While the lefty will take the ball for the Dodgers, veteran right-hander Justin Verlander will take the mound for the Mets with a 6.00 first-inning ERA.
Verlander has a 5.19 FIP the first time through the order, which does not bode well for him since the Dodgers' offense is hitting .292 with a .830 OPS against right-handed pitching on the road over the past month. LA finished the first half of the season with the second-highest average of runs scored in the first inning per game, and I expect them to continue their success tonight.
Tigers @ Mariners No Run First Inning (-152)
Dodgers @ Mets Yes Run First Inning (-110) (.5 units)