Thursday MLB NRFI Odds & Pick: Michael Kopech Is a Young First-Inning Star

Thursday MLB NRFI Odds & Pick: Michael Kopech Is a Young First-Inning Star article feature image

Ron Vesely/Getty Images. Pictured: Michael Kopech.

Shayne Trail breaks down his favorite NRFI/YRFI bet of the day below, but you can follow all of his bets in the Action Network app.

Royals vs. White Sox — No Runs First Inning (-155)

MatchupRoyals (Keller) vs. White Sox (Kopech)
First Pitch2:10 p.m. ET
Books AvailableFanDuel

On Thursday, we will ride two 3-0 NRFI pitchers in an American League Central matchup between the Royals and White Sox.

Micheal Kopech is a young NRFI stud, 11-1 to the good since entering the league in 2018. In his career, Kopeck has a 0.82 ERA in the first inning and is allowing opposing hitters to hit just .222 against him. In 2022, he has allowed just six hits over 14 total innings this season.

Here is how Royals hitters who are likely to face Kopech in the first inning today have fared against him:

  • Andrew Benintendi: 0-for-5
  • Whit Merrifield: 1-for-6
  • Salvador Perez: 1-for-6

The Royals' first-inning hitting has been lousy at best, ranking 21st in the MLB in first-inning batting average at .196. It's even worse on the road at .167 (23rd in MLB).

Brad Keller has been NRFI worthy this season at 3-0 out the gates, with some splits we can get behind.

Opposing hitters are batting .077 this season the first time through the order this season against Keller. Specifically, the first three hitters in the opposing lineup are batting just .045 against him this year.

Some favorable matchups for Keller are:

  • Tim Anderson: 5-for-25
  • Jose Abreu: 6-for-32
  • Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-3

The White Sox bats have been underachieving for some time now, Mostly because they are missing big hitters like Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez and Yoan Moncada.

Missing those top-of-the-order bats, Chicago is 26th in MLB with a .190 first-inning batting average. At home, it's even worse at .125 (27th). Taking those one step further, the White Sox are hitting .063 in the first inning against right-handed pitchers at home, which is also 27th in the MLB.

Pair these 3-0 2022 NRFI pitchers with the wind blowing 10 mph in to keep these already sleepy bats asleep. Take the NRFI between the White Sox and Royals.

As always, six outs to glory…

Get all of Shayne Trail's NRFI/YRFI bets instantly in The Action Network app.

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