Friday MLB NRFI Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet on Scoreless Opening Frame Between Cubs’ Justin Steele, Phillies’ Kyle Gibson (July 22)

Friday MLB NRFI Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet on Scoreless Opening Frame Between Cubs’ Justin Steele, Phillies’ Kyle Gibson (July 22) article feature image

Adam Hagy/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Gibson.

  • Kyle Gibson and the Phillies host Justin Steele and the Cubs on Friday night.
  • Both pitchers have started games strong this season, but both starting lineups have struggled to hit early in games of late.
  • Shayne Trail breaks down the matchup and shares his plus-money first-inning bet below.

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.

Cubs vs. Phillies — No Runs First Inning (+110)

MatchupCubs (Steele) vs. Phillies (Gibson)
First Pitch7:05 p.m. ET
Best LineFanDuel

There's NRFI value on Friday at Citizens Bank Park in a matchup between two National League teams – the Cubs and the Phillies.

The Phillies will send out veteran Kyle Gibson, who holds a respectable 15-3 NRFI record this season. Gibson's 15 scoreless first frames this year stem from great first-inning control as he has only issued three walks to 68 total first-inning batters.

Here is how several key Cubs hitters have done in the past against Gibson:

Frank Schwindel: 0-for-3
Patrick Wisdom: 1-for-2
Ian Happ: 0-for-2
Rafael Ortega: 1-for-6

The Cubs' top-of-the-lineup has struggled lately as Ian Happ, Patrick Wisdom, and Willson Contreas are hitting for a combined 3-for-30, a .100 average, over the last week. The Cubs as a whole have also struggled to hit this month early in games as they hold the league's 23rd-ranked first-inning batting average at .189 over 58 plate appearances.

The Cubs will counter with up-and-coming NRFI stud Justin Steele on the mound. Entering today, he holds a 14-3 NRFI record in 2022. He has consistently held the upper hand against hitters the first time through the lineup, only allowing a .203 average against in these scenarios.

Steele hasn't faced the majority of these Phillies hitters before, which leaves the edge of unfamiliarity to him. He has had success against Kyle Schwarber, who is 0-for-2 against him.

Two key Phillies hitters at the top of the lineup are entering Friday in a slump as Rhys Hoskins and Schwarber have hit for a combined 2-for-23 this past week.

The Phillies, like the Cubs, haven't hit well in July thus far. Over 51 plate appearances, they have only nine hits, a .188 average. They are also tied for 29th in the league in walks in the first inning this month with just three. A big reason for their struggles has been their inability to put the ball in play as they have also led the league in first inning K% at 35.3%.

Fade these two floundering first-inning offenses against pitchers with first-inning momentum. Take the NRFI between the Cubs and the Phillies at plus-money on FanDuel.

As always, six outs to glory…

For all of Shayne Trail's favorite NRFI/YRFI bets, follow him in the Action Network app.

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