MLB NRFI Picks, Odds | Expert Custom Bet for Cristian Javier, Merrill Kelly

MLB NRFI Picks, Odds | Expert Custom Bet for Cristian Javier, Merrill Kelly article feature image

Via Ken Murray/Getty Images. Pictured: Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier (53) delivers a pitch during the baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 3, 2023 in Houston, Texas.

  • Our NRFI analyst has a custom NRFI bet ready for Friday's MLB action.
  • He's betting on Cristian Javier of the Astros and Merrill Kelly of the Diamondbacks to get off to quick starts this evening.
  • Find Shayne Trail's NRFI picks and analysis below.

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

Javier &


MatchupAstros vs. Guardians · Diamondbacks vs. Tigers
First Pitch7:10 p.m. ET · 6:40 p.m. ET

Today, we will create a custom No Runs First Inning (NRFI) bet by analyzing the performances of two pitchers.

This personalized bet can be crafted through sportsbooks such as DraftKings and Barstool Sportsbook. This NRFI bet is different from a traditional NRFI, as it combines two separate half-innings from the first innings of two different games. This approach allows you to tailor the bet to your preferences.

Cristian Javier, the ace of the Houston Astros, has value when he faces the Cleveland Guardians this evening. Javier has been in excellent form this season, boasting a remarkable 10-2 NRFI record. His performance on the road has been particularly impressive, with a split of 5-1 in favor of NRFI outcomes. Since 2022, Javier's overall NRFI record stands at an impressive 29-7, and when playing away from home, he has achieved a remarkable 16-3 record.

When facing batters for the first time through the order, Javier has showcased his proficiency, allowing only a .200 average with 20 hits in 100 at-bats. The Cleveland Guardians, on the other hand, have been struggling lately, especially in the first inning. In their last week of games, they have held a meager .190 average, managing only four hits in 22 plate appearances during the opening frame. Some of their key hitters, such as Eddie Rosario (1-7), Josh Naylor (1-5), Josh Bell (0-3), Steven Kwan (2-5) and Jose Ramirez (2-5), have struggled against Javier's pitching.

Veteran pitcher Merrill Kelly of the Arizona Diamondbacks also has an edge in the first inning of his matchup against the Detroit Tigers. Kelly has been nothing short of phenomenal this season, boasting an impressive 10-2 NRFI record. Since 2022, his overall NRFI record stands at an outstanding 33-12. Kelly has also excelled on the road, accumulating a stellar 17-4 record since 2022.

When facing batters for the first time through the order, Kelly has proven his mettle, holding opponents to a mere .182 average. He has been particularly effective against leadoff hitters this season, limiting them to a paltry .094 average with just three hits in 32 at-bats. Moreover, Kelly has found success against the Detroit Tigers lineup, including Javier Báez (3-13), Jonathan Schoop (0-3), Miguel Cabrera (0-3), Zach McKinstry (0-1) and Spencer Torkelson (1-3).

The Detroit Tigers have also struggled as a first-inning hitting team in the past week, as they have failed to register a single hit in their last 15 plate appearances.

This custom NRFI is -175 on DraftKings, but Barstool Sportsbook is providing a significant edge by offering this NRFI at -148.

As always, six outs to glory…

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