MLB NRFI betting odds, picks for Saturday, April 6: Red Sox, Angels offer underappreciated pitching matchup

There is no shortage of excellent matchups this weekend in Major League Baseball. Not only are some of the league’s top teams facing off, but some of the game’s best pitchers are also going head-to-head. One way to jump in on the MLB betting action is to wager on NRFI’s — No Run First Inning wagers.

You are betting that neither team will score a run in the first inning — if both starting pitchers put up blanks in the first, you win. NRFIs have become one of the most popular wagers in baseball over the past few seasons.

Let’s take a look at the full slate of MLB games today and offer our favorite NRFI picks for Saturday, April 6 at the best U.S. sportsbooks.

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MLB NRFI picks for Saturday, April 6

Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers NRFI

The Athletics and Tigers have not been big run-scoring teams to start the season. When they do score, it has not been early in games — both teams rank in the bottom half of the league in scoring in the first inning. Next, looking at the pitching matchup, Paul Blackburn had a fantastic first start, going seven innings without giving up a single run. Tigers starter Kenta Maeda had a bad first outing but is a veteran with a career ERA under 4.0, and he did not give up a first-inning run in any of his last three regular-season starts last year.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals NRFI

Before Friday, Washington had not scored a run in the first inning all season, and while Philadelphia has scored first-inning runs in over half their games this year, they face Jake Irvin, who has been good early in his starts. Irivin did give up three earned runs in his first start, but none came until the third inning. Strong starts have been a trend for Irvin in his career; he did not allow a first-inning run in eight of his final 10 starts in 2023.

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More MLB props for Saturday: MLB player props, odds, picks for Saturday, April 6

Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees NRFI

The Blue Jays and Yankees did not score a first-inning run in their first seven games. While each team has dangerous lineups, they are not doing very much damage early in games. Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman had a strong first start against Tampa Bay, and while he did allow a first-inning run, it was on a solo home run. He settled in and did not give up any more runs for the rest of his start. Yankees starter Clarke Schmidt was solid in his first start and was especially good early in the game. He gave up three earned runs, but none came in the first two innings.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Atlanta Braves NRFI

Brandon Pfaadt will be on the mound for Arizona, and he had a fantastic start in his first outing of the year. He went five innings, only gave up one run and struck out six. Going back to the 2023 playoffs, Pfaadt has not allowed a run in five straight starts. Braves starter Max Fried was shelled in his first start of the year and did not make it out of the first inning. He did not even throw 50 pitches, so he should be very fresh and looking to come out much stronger in his second start. Fried did not allow a run in his final five regular-season starts of 2023; expect him to get back on track with a strong start, allowing no runs early against the Diamondbacks.

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NRFI pick of the day: Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels

This pick is all about the pitching matchup between the Red Sox and Angels. Garrett Whitlock is on the mound for Boston, and in his first start he went five innings, giving up only one run on three hits with eight strikeouts. Whitlock was on point — his off-speed stuff was nasty, and he came out firing early in the game, not giving up any runs in the first inning. Reid Detmers had a similar first start for Los Angeles, going five innings with one earned run and only two hits allowed, striking out seven. Expect this to be a pitcher’s duel early, with very little to no scoring the first time through each team’s batting order. 

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