Tonight and every Tuesday during the MLB season is NRFI Night in America, and we are on fire.
What's an NRFI? It's a baseball betting proposition that stands for "no-run first inning," in which you bet there will be zero runs scored in the first frame.
As posted on Twitter @TroyHermo.
Oh boy, NRFI nation. Last week was one of the bigger roller-coaster weeks of my life. We swept the board a couple times, had a ton of success with the YRFI (which is the anti-NRFI and stands for yes-run first inning), and it seemed like we didn't lose one of my "Meatball YRFI Specials" on Twitter all week.
It's good that we are incorporating the YRFI into our sports investing portfolio, as it keeps the books honest. The YRFI (believe it or not) is the favorite, but the NRFI is always juiced by the casinos, which is a shame. As MLB.com's Mike Petriello showed, the first inning has historically featured more runs than any other inning. So why the juice? Because when you're smart like we are, you can do the research and hammer the NRFIs day in and day out with solid educated guesses. But throwing in a YRFI at plus money from time to time can throw them off and keep the juice honest. If the stats and weather all point to runs, and a team throws out a pitcher who's not in form, the YRFI can be a beautiful thing.
But enough YRFI talk. That's just bad juju on everyone's favorite day. Time for everyone's favorite bet. Americas bet. The NRFI.
NRFI Night in America: The Hermo Hammer Play of the Week
4-Unit Hammer: New York Mets (Jacob deGrom) at St. Louis Cardinals (Kwang Hyun Kim)
The Return of the NRFI king.
The first-inning messiah.
The chosen one who on this May the 4th will bring peace and balance to the NRFI force.
He is unbeaten this year, shutting out all batters in his half of the first inning during five starts.
Yes, we're talking about the one, the only Jacob deGrom—or as I and NRFI nation call him, deNRFI.
This is one of those games where I look at the matchup and I just can't help but get excited about the opportunity to play it. We get the legend deNRFI and Kwang Hyun Kim, who in five starts at home is a perfect 5-0 in keeping his side of the first inning scoreless. The Mets' projected first five hitters are hitting .193 in the first inning this year, making it an easy decision to hammer this one with my play of the week.
If that's not enough evidence, here are the scoops for why this one is a hammer lock:
We've got everything working for us. Home success for the other pitcher, the wind blowing in from left (keeping borderline homers in) and friendly batting stats from scary NRFI nation enemies Goldy and Arenado. I'm going to focus all my energy on this game. Let's hope Kim starts fast, and we know deNRFI will take us to the promised land. DraftKings is gonna juice this one, making it that much more of a perfect investment opportunity.
Leans Also On the Card for Tuesday
Chicago White Sox (Dylan Cease) vs. Cincinnati Reds (Jeff Hoffman): NRFI
Dylan Cease and Jeff Hoffman have a combined 9-1 record this year in keeping their half of the first inning scoreless.
Atlanta Braves (Huascar Ynoa) at Washington Nationals (Joe Ross): YRFI
The Braves are the No. 1 scoring offense in the first inning this year, averaging 0.96 runs in the frame.
Ross' career results against some of the Braves' best hitters suggest that trend is unlikely to change:
Texas Rangers (Kyle Gibson) at Minnesota Twins (J.A. Happ): YRFI
The wind is forecast to be blowing out to right field at 11 mph, and we get not one but two pitchers who have been shaky in first innings throughout their careers in Kyle Gibson and J.A. Happ. Gibson in particular has had trouble earning NRFI nation's confidence with a 5.22 career first-inning ERA, and Minnesota's Josh Donaldson is 6-for-13 with two home runs in his career against Gibson.
Pittsburgh Pirates (Mitch Keller) at San Diego Padres (Ryan Weathers): YRFI
Take a look at the Padres' first five hitters' stats versus Mitch Keller:
That brings the total to 6-7 with three extra-base hits. It's YRFI time.
Hermo's Corner of Gambling Advice
Remember that this MLB season is a marathon, not a sprint. I get it—you're fiending for a play all the time, and I see that in my inbox. But my best advice to you is this: If you don't love the game 100 percent, you don't have a stat that you like, and you are forcing a play solely on your addiction for the action, then you need to stop and stay away from that play.
Remember: The only way you get caught in a bad place is if you let yourself go there. You are in charge of your future. We all lose ourselves from time to time, getting caught chasing, but you must stay the course. Stay disciplined. Stay focused with your eye on the prize.
All professional gamblers I've seen or talked to play quality over quantity, and they never hedge. The better the games you choose and the more you become a sniper, the more luck you are going to have. When you lose, take a deep breath and don't chase that feeling; chase the greatness that's around the corner, the better opportunity that's coming up in a few days. Don't live in the now. Live in the future, knowing that even when we lose here at NRFI nation, we know that the sun comes up tomorrow, the Starbucks will serve our coffee and there will be another ripe NRFI ready for us to hammer.
So don't sweat. Don't fret. Trust the process because we're just one month in.
"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or call or text the TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789 (TN).
21+. NJ/PA/WV/IN/IA/CO/IL/TN only. In partnership with Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.