A Quick Guide To Betting On MLB Pitchers


Understanding Baseball Betting. 

For a long time Baseball has been considered to be a popular American pastime, and with all the history and culture around it, it is now also a spot for a bit of betting action. 

Other sports such as football may get more attention for betting, but baseball attracts dedicated sports fans who love the long grind of a long. Not only do baseball fans enjoy the game, they know how the sport works, the teams, the trends and the players like the back of their hand. With baseball fans, betting on the games is popular, and with its rising popularity it is even getting close with fantasy sports partners. 

If you are a beginner to betting on MLB, then check out Fanduel’s MLB sportsbook. One of the most popular ways to bet on MLB is ‘pitchers’ and there are a few different ways to do this. Today, we will look at how you can bet on MLB pitchers. 

Terminology to know. 

  • Chalk– i.e. The favored team to win. 
  • Dog– i.e. The underdog team, not favored to win. 
  • Futures– These bets are odds on events in the future, such as division winners or the teams that will win the pennant or World Series. 
  • Listed Pitchers– The two starting pitchers announced by the teams taking part in the game. 
  • Money Line– Simply select the winning team, no matter how many runs they win by or the total runs scored. This is a bet on who the winner will be. 
  • Spread– The spread is a set at plus or minus 1.5. The chalk is listed at -1.5 and the underdog is listed as +1.5 for the game. 
  • Over/Under– This is the predicted total score for a game set by the sports book. It can also be referred to as the ‘totals’ or as the ‘run line’ in MLB games. 

Listed Pitchers Vs Action. 

When betting on pitchers, if you choose to bet the ‘listed’ starting pitcher, then your bet will only be valid if the pitchers listed at the time that you placed your bet tackle the mound as they are scheduled to. This means that if you take the ‘listed’ pitcher, then your bet would be canceled if the expected starting pitcher is scratched before the first pitch. 

However, if you take an ‘action pitcher’ then all money line wagers will be valid. This means that even if there is a pitching change, that you would be locked into the original bet with a revised money line based on the new pitches. A majority of experienced MLB betters will avoid taking action pitchers because it gives up the element of control that they seek and negates the whole previous analysis. It is far more desirable to take the listed pitcher and then decide whether you still like either team at the new and adjusted price. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Listed and Action Pitchers. 

By betting listed pitchers, you are stating that your bet will only be valid if both of the starting pitchers start their game for their respective teams. If, for any reason, one of the starting pitchers does not make their scheduled appearance, then your money is refunded, and the bet has no action. Action bets are more for who will win, regardless of who takes the mound for either team. 

It is strongly recommended using the ‘listed’ option, while there are some advantages to using the on and against option, the option that you select depends on the reasoning behind your pick. More often than not, you will make your pick based on which team has the better starting pitcher. However, if you are picking the team simply because you think they have more going for them on the mound, then you may want to always choose the ‘listed option. 

If you make bets on the run line or total, you don’t need to worry about listed or action bets. Sports books will automatically use ‘listed’ options on these. This is just an example that proves how many sports books will use starting pitching when they set up the lines, and why it is advantageous to use the ‘listed’ options in bets. 

Listed is probably the preference among most, and it is the most sensible. After all, if the sports books are using it to set the lines for total bets, then it is obviously a good port of call to take advantage of this when you are placing your own bets.