What Happens to My MLB Bet if There is a Pitching Change?
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 the game.
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 pitcher.
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