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Listed Pitchers vs. Action

MLB Betting: What is Listed Pitchers vs. Action?

By Loot, Major League Baseball Handicapper,

When betting on baseball, you often will have to specify between a few choices--listed pitchers, one pitcher, or “action.” Listed pitchers means that both pitchers who are scheduled must start the game for the bet to have action (be valid). One pitcher means you designate one pitcher and that starting pitcher must begin the game or the bet is no-action. And “action” means that the bet proceeds, regardless if the scheduled starters begin the game or not.

For the most part, it won’t be an issue. In the vast majority of cases, the pitchers who are scheduled to start do in fact end up starting the game. But there are exceptions and it’s important to account for that. After all, a pitcher isn’t just a regular player. Most of our baseball bets are made with the identity of the pitchers being a major consideration.

Betting baseball games as “action” opens you up to some different factors that might not be so pleasant. The pitchers could be changed and you will be stuck with whatever change was made, which is something that good handicappers of baseball would obviously not want to do. In addition, you will be stuck with some different odds, with the opening line of the game with the new pitching matchup being applied. It’s usually not a good way to go.

When specifying listed pitchers, you lock a bet in with whatever odds were offered at the time that you bet, which is good because you found those odds to be worthy of betting in the first place. Having the rug pulled out from under you is no way to win bets. Again, this doesn’t happen very often, but it’s good to provide some insulation for the different things that might come up.

A pitcher could hurt himself while warming up. The replacement may be another starter, but can also be a guy who is unproven in the starter role. You don’t know and eliminating the unknown elements is always a good thing in baseball wagering. A pitcher could be a game-time decision, with the starter a bit up in the air. Then you really want to think it through.

When betting on listed pitchers, both pitchers must open the game or the bet is deemed as “no action.” For that to qualify, both starters must throw at least one pitch to open the game. If that doesn’t happen, your bet amount is returned. No harm, no foul. When betting “action,” you are locked in and no changes will affect your bet.

When betting on one listed pitcher, you specify one pitcher, either the one you’re betting on or the starting pitcher for the opponent, and that pitcher needs to start for your wager to have “action.” The bet will be listed as a team versus a pitcher, like Clayton Kershaw vs. San Diego Padres. In this case, the Padres’ pitcher could be changed, but if Kershaw doesn’t start, the bet is graded as “no action.” If the other pitcher is changed, you will receive new odds--whatever the opening line was for the replacement pitcher. Only a change to the one pitcher you specified would allow the bet to become “no action.”

It can be a little upsetting to handicap a game and receive odds that you found were a good value. Then when you sit down to watch the game, a pitcher was changed and so have the odds of your pick. We recommend almost always wagering on baseball with the “listed pitchers” option.

There can be a few exceptions. The main one is when picking an underdog team whose starting pitcher is not well-known or proven facing a favored team with a well-known ace pitcher. A pitching change is likely to help us. If the starter of the team we picked doesn’t start, the replacement might not be much worse and could even be better. But if the ace gets pulled on the team we picked against, that will definitely help us and give us a better chance to win our bet. But when the team you bet on has a pitcher that played a major role in you picking that team, betting with the “listed pitchers” option is definitely a good idea.

Another good idea is betting into the lowest favorite odds and the highest paying underdog odds. Dumping your bookie and making the switch to reduced juice MLB betting will save you THOUSANDS of dollars over the long haul. Find this valuable offer at the web's best baseball betting website: 5Dimes.

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