Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi (26) runs the bases after hitting a three run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi (26) runs the bases after hitting a three run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

3 Reasons to Play YRFI for A’s at Rays on Wednesday Afternoon

Currently, wagering on first inning scoring has become immensely popular in the baseball betting world. It’s a quick play that is won and lost at the beginning of the game, so one can see why it’s all the rage right now (most sports fans think baseball games are too long, anyway).

At WynnBET, these markets can be found under the individual games at “More wagers” > “Innings” > “1st Inning Total Runs: O/U 0.5” but are more commonly referred to in the industry as NRFIs or No Run First Inning markets.

After yesterday gave us the first day of the year featuring all 30 teams in action, I’m looking to ride that same positive energy into a plus-money play for Wednesday evening. So far, this baseball season has showcased some pleasant (depending who you are) surprises, one of which was the restripped-Oakland Athletics knocking off MLB’s last unbeaten team (Tampa Bay) on Monday by a score of 13-2.

Following the first two games between Oakland and Tampa, I am fully supporting a run being scored in the first inning of Wednesday’s game for a +110 payout (choosing Under 0.5 runs pays -130; Who is that fun for?). Remember: Both teams do not need to score for you to cash this market—All you’re hoping for is at least one lone run from either side.

Ok, glad we’ve got you up-to-speed. Here are three reasons why I am betting 1st Inning Total Runs OVER 0.5 (or “YRFI”) for A’s vs. Rays on Wednesday:

All lines current as of April 13th.

6:40pm ET/3:40pm PT - Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays

1. Know the Projected Starters

This contest is scheduled to pit RHP Frankie Montas of the A’s and LHP Shane McClanahan of the Rays against one another. On the short season, each pitcher has only had one previous outing. For Montas, he was lit up by Philadelphia’s sluggers in the season opener, surrendering five runs on six hits in 5.0 innings of work. In relation to the NRFI market, Montas allowed a first inning homer to Kyle Schwarber.

McClanahan is in his second season at the big-league level, and did well in his opening start against a weak Baltimore lineup. The 25-year-old southpaw worked short in his opener, allowing no runs and four hits in 4.1 IP. Despite that the A’s just liquidated a good portion of their clubhouse this offseason, I still think they will pose more of an offensive threat than the Orioles (kind of shocking, but the Athletics have scored the third-most runs this season with 32 runs in five games).

2. Know the Lineups

The Swingin’ A’s have taken the liberty of scoring in the top-half of the first inning in both games against the Rays so far; Home runs have been a prevalent theme, too. Game one, 1B Seth Brown jacked a 3-run shot to start things off. In game two, both ball clubs got on the board in the opening inning—Oakland DH Jed Lowrie cracked the egg before the game’s first out was recorded, blasting a 3-run homer of his own. Then, Rays 2B Brandon Lowe hit a solo-shot in the bottom-half. That game would eventually end 9 to 8, with RF Manual Margot providing a walk off double in extra innings.

Let’s not front; perhaps we don’t see the flashiest of names in these respective lineups, but these sides are both seeing the ball well. As aforementioned, the A’s are currently one of only three teams in baseball to have scored 30+ runs on the season (Cleveland and Atlanta are the other two). Tampa Bay is obviously no slouch at the plate either—They’re currently fourth in the American League in scoring. This current moment, in a series where runs have been aplenty and scoring in the first has looked easy, I’m confidently on OVER 0.5 runs in the first inning of A’s at Rays for a payout of +110.

3. Know the Venue - Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL

Notably, the Tampa Bay Rays play indoor baseball when at home. “The Trop,” as locals call it, is a domed venue with its fair share of quirks. Since we are counting on runs in the first inning, playing inside Tropicana will assist us here, eliminating any possibility of inclement or sluggish weather. Additionally, The Trop is most notably known for the series of catwalks and balconies that line the dome’s ceiling. Naturally, this gives defenses in the field something else to battle. When things get weird on the baseball field, it usually favors the offense.

Is Tropicana Field a hitter’s park or a pitcher’s park? According to a cumulative algorithm conducted by Rick Weiner for Bleacher Report back in 2014, The Trop falls rather neutrally in the middle of the pack (sandwiched between LoanDepot Park in Miami and Camden Yards in Baltimore). Sitting at a low elevation of 43 feet, the park does not have crazy carry, but the confines of the dome will eliminate any wind or outside air, allowing fly balls to travel just a smidge further.

REMEMBER: First pitch here is just a few hours away at 6:40pm ET/3:40pm PT. Head to WynnBET now and make your play!