3 First Inning Betting Picks For Tuesday, June 20

Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson has been very strong in first innings this year. (Photo credit: DandreaPhotography via Foter.com / CC BY-SA)

Last week, we posted a couple of articles about first inning betting, including which big-name pitchers often struggle in the first inning and which teams generally score runs in the opening frame.

Today, we’re going to put some of that theory into play as we go with 3 first inning betting picks for Tuesday, June 20. Most of these picks are based on first inning splits of the starting pitchers, which is information you can find at Baseball-Reference.com.

If you’re interested in tailing along, we recommend betting these games at www.Pinnacle.com, since they generally offer the best odds on these types of props.

1. Over 0.5 Runs In Giants/Braves (-130)

Julio Teheran has struggled at home all year, and his first inning splits are bad in general (5.14 ERA in the first). Mound counterpart Matt Moore of the Giants has also gotten off to rocky starts, allowing opponents to hit .298 in the first inning while posting a 6.43 ERA.

2. Over O.5 Runs In Pirates/Brewers (-134)

Milwaukee leads all of baseball in runs scored in the first inning, which isn’t good news for Pirates starter Chad Kuhl. The righty has allowed opponents to hit .300 in the first inning, allowing 9 runs in 13 opening frames thus far.

We might have already won this bet before the Brewers get to bat, however. Milwaukee’s Zach Davies may be 7-3 on the year, but he’s struggled to start games, allowing a .293 average against and an .859 OPS. Davies seems to get better as he settles into games, with hitters batting .265 on their second time through the lineup, compared to a .316 clip in their first at-bats against Davies.

3. Under 0.5 Runs In Cardinals/Phillies (+113)

The Cardinals offense isn’t exactly lighting the league on fire this year, ranking 23rd in baseball at 4.29 runs per game. They should have trouble early with Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson, who has held opponents to a .226 batting average in opening innings this year.

St. Louis starter Mike Leake has been dynamite this year, posting a 3.14 ERA and 1.093 ERA through his first 13 games, and strong starts to outings is a reason why. Leake has allowed just 3 runs in 13 first innings this year, limiting opponents to a .269 on base percentage. He doesn’t usually seem to tire until the 7th, when he’s been knocked around for 11 runs in 7 innings.