Listing Baseball Pitchers
Baseball bettors enjoy the luxury of being able to state that the listed starting pitchers must go for their bet to be valid, which is something that bettors in other sports are unable to do. If Dwayne Wade is listed as questionable, you can’t place a sports bet on the Miami Heat that states the wager is only good if Wade plays, just as you cannot place a bet on the Boston Bruins and state that Tuukka Rask must be in goal or your bet is no action.
But it’s different in baseball, where the bettor can state that Mat Latos starts for the Cincinnati Reds or the wager is off. It’s something every baseball bettor should take advantage of, especially when they are playing favorites. Some online sportsbooks automatically list the expected starting pitchers, while others require you to click an extra button that states listed pitchers must go.
While late pitching changes don’t happen too often, losing a wager one time because of a change in starters is all most people need to learn a valuable the lesson the hard way. You should make it a point to make sure that the starting pitchers are listed in the vast majority of your plays.
But there are times when not listing starting pitchers can work to a bettor’s advantage. In the past few years the lines on the “big name” pitchers have gotten higher and higher and as a result, going against them has been profitable. In 2013, the top 10 pitchers who cost their backers the most money included names such as Justin Verlander, Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain. Even Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez cost bettors money over the course of the season.
If you want to wager against Verlander at a sportsbook and take the big odds on the underdog, it won’t hurt your feelings one bit to find out that he has been scratched in favor of somebody else. Of course, your pitcher could be the one who is replaced, so you do have to weigh the pros and cons of listing the starting pitchers. But when in doubt, go ahead and list the starters just to be on the safe side.