This article is part of our MLB Betting series.
Previous day: 1-2, -0.5 RWBucks (one void)
Season: 7-10, -1.57 RWBucks
So let's talk about action.
There are different ways you can make baseball bets. You can also have "action" no matter what; you can specify that one or both starting pitchers must start the game for your bet to have action. For a long time, "listed pitchers" was the default; a change in a listed starter prior to the game would void the bet. This mostly protected the bookmakers against bettors taking advantage of an information advantage.
These practices became more fraught in recent years. First, the Rays' introduction of the opener in 2018 redefined a starting pitcher. What did it mean to post a line with Sergio Romo or Ryne Stanek as the listed pitcher, when Yonny Chirinos or Ryan Yarbrough would be getting the largest slice of innings? Here at Rotowire, the daily lineups are listed with the pitcher expected to get the bulk of the innings as "PRIM," to differentiate between that pitcher and an opener.
The 2020 season ramped up this problem. Teams would change their starters, change their pitching plans, without much notice. The default of "listed pitchers" left books voiding bets and having to explain to their customers why a win was not a win. Some simply declared that all baseball bets were action regardless of who started the game, a decision that exposed both sides to additional risk.
Today, it's important to check the house rules where you play. Some places deem baseball bets to be "action" as the default, giving you the option to declare "listed pitchers," sometimes just on one side of the bet. For example, you like the Dodgers behind Dustin May tonight no matter who is on the mound for the Rockies. You can list May and take "action" on the Rockies no matter who they start.
Yesterday, I gave out the Cubs over the Brewers, believing Kyle Hendricks would start. Hendricks was scratched and replaced by Alec Mills. I saw this and placed a comment in yesterday's piece just after first pitch:
We haven't talked about "listed" versus "action" yet, and I should have made explicit that all my bets are "listed primary pitchers." I'm booking the Cubs as a void at 745 ET. Objections can be placed below.
No one has objected, so that stands. Going forward, all bets in this space are provided as "listed pitchers" unless otherwise stated.
Even with the Cubs win being voided, it was good to stop the losing streak, especially on a day when two bets were crushed. On to today...
7 p.m. Mariners (Justin Dunn)/Orioles (Matt Harvey) over 9.5 (-104). Dunn walked eight of the 22 batters he faced in his first start, and has walked nearly 20% of the batters he has faced in his short MLB career. Matt Harvey has a 6.08 ERA and a 5.53 FIP since the 2017 season. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, it's a pretty simple game. 1.5 RWBucks
7 p.m. Phillies (Zack Wheeler) -118 over Mets ( David Peterson). If there's something that's working early on, it's betting my pitcher evaluations coming into this season. I was very high on Zack Wheeler entering 2021, and remain so even after the righty had a rough outing against these same Mets last time out. 1 RWBuck
10 p.m. Rockies (Jon Gray) +225 over Dodgers ( Dustin May). Picking spots against this Dodgers team will not be easy. They are the best team we've seen in a very long time, and they've started the year like a house on fire, 9-2 and nearly doubling up their opponents on the scoreboard, 64-34. The Rockies are...not as good. Here, though, we get the better starting pitcher at a very big plus price. The Dodgers are still down Cody Bellinger as well. The Dodgers are going to lose 50 or so games. Identifying some of them is a path to profit. .5 RWBucks