MLB Betting: Rain Delay Rules
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 4/27/2010
Leave it to the umpires and Mother Nature to throw a wrench into your Sunday evening betting plans. Sunday’s MLB game between the Braves and Mets in New York caused a big headache for bettors and bookmakers alike. This game was one of the most wagered on games of the week, and due to inclement weather the game was called final just one pitch into the sixth inning. This awkward result engulfed even some seasoned bettors in a wave of confusion as they wondered if they had won, lost or if their wager was graded ‘no action’.
Of course, even though the game was delayed just shy of 10 p.m., bettors had to wait until just before midnight to finally find out the game was officially called. The Mets 1-0 lead would hold up and that would be deemed the final score. Five full innings of baseball were played and one pitch was thrown in the top of the sixth inning.
A Major League Baseball game is official after 4.5 innings as long as the home team was winning. So having played five innings, the game was official. That part was clear enough for a baseball standpoint, but from a betting standpoint things were not as clear.
All money line wagers became official as soon as the umpire called the game. Five innings (or 4.5 if the home team is winning) is all that is needed to be played to make a money line bet official.
Run line and total wagers have different rules than the money line betting because these bets in nature are projected over a nine-inning game. Run line and total wagers are official after nine innings of baseball (8.5 innings if the home team is winning). Because the Mets and Braves game only went five innings, all run line and total wagers are graded as ‘no action’.
If the umpire really wants to confuse bettors they can opt to suspend a game if the circumstances allow them. If the game was tied and the weather continued to worsen, then the game would have to be suspended to a later date. No wagers carry over to a later date, but some wagers could be determined based on what already had happened.
For money line bets, the score of the last completed inning is used to determine the bet unless in the bottom half of the following inning the home team scores to tie or take the lead. If that occurs then the score of the game at the time it is suspended is used to grade bets.
For a run line and total bet, the game has to go 8.5 or nine innings, as previously mentioned, so the only way a suspended game could result in action in those bets is if it reaches extra innings and is then suspended. The same rules apply for money line wagering in suspended games. The score of the last completed inning is used to determine the bet unless the home team scores to tie or take the lead in the bottom half of the inning. In that instance the score of the game at the time of the suspended is used.
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