The MLB Season is often described as a marathon instead of a sprint. Not
only do players and teams go through the ups and downs of the regular
season, but handicappers often fare the same way. Baseball spans more than
seven months and has 4,860 regular-season games to wager on, which means
it’s vital that you pick the right spots and know how to properly place an
MLB wager. There are several betting options available to the MLB, with the
most popular ones
being the moneyline
However, because baseball is such a “me vs. you” type of sport (read:
pitcher vs hitter), sportsbooks set their odds based on the pitching
matchup. And if a starting pitcher were to get scratched before throwing a
pitch, the whole handicapping process gets thrown for a loop.
What Happens to my MLB Bet if There is a Pitching Change?
The answer to this question is relatively simple, but there are a few bases
to cover before we come to the final answer.
If you were to look at the run-down of games through an online sportsbook
or a giant digital board inside one of Las Vegas’ many sportsbooks, you
will notice four things that are vital to making a bet. You will notice the
rotation number, team name and listed odds. The fourth thing you will
notice is the pitcher’s name. Knowing this is crucial for betting baseball
because you are not only handicapping the starting pitcher but also the
rest of the bullpen behind him.
501. Toronto Blue Jays: +130 (M. Stroman)
502. Cleveland Indians: -150 ML (Trevor Bauer)
There are two ways to bet this game; listed pitchers or action.
If you decide to go the “listed pitchers” route, you are making a wager
with the mind frame that both pitchers will start the game and throw at
least one pitch. If they throw one pitch, it doesn’t matter what the
outcome is, or if they leave through injury, your bet will be live and be
graded as per the final result.
Let’s say you bet “listed pitchers” and Stroman gets a blister or breaks a
nail during warmup and is unable to start the game. All bets that have
“listed pitchers” will be voided and your money will be returned. What
happens when a pitcher is scratched is the sportsbooks take down the lines
and adjust them to factor in the new pitcher. If Stroman gets scratched and
the Jays have to rely on a bullpen pitcher to start the game, their odds
will check in somewhere at +170 when the line reopens.
Now, let’s say you want to bet this game regardless of the pitchers because
Cleveland is on some sort of heater and has won 17 straight day games or
something like that. You would choose “action”, which means that your bet
will be graded as a winner or a loser regardless of which pitchers start
Some sportsbooks offer up the option to choose listed pitchers for one team
or the other. For example, if you want to make sure your bet is graded on
Stroman starting, you can select listed pitchers for the Blue Jays and
regardless of who starts for the Indians, the bet will be graded.
We understand how frustrating it can be to run your analysis, lock in a
good price, and still have your bet voided by a pitching change. However,
all of that research is immediately nullified when the starting pitcher is
scratched and there may not be any time to run the models again and come up
with a determination on whether or not the game is actually worth betting
with a new pitcher. That’s why we almost always recommend taking the listed
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