Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

What does “action” mean when betting Major League Baseball?

In baseball betting, every game will have the starting pitchers listed. The starting pitchers are the most important factor when the oddsmakers set the odds on the game.

If you bet “action” then you are telling the sportsbook you want to wager the game, no matter if the starting pitcher listed starts or is replaced, before the start of the game. This rarely happens, but it could have a dramatic effect on the contest.

For example:

  • New York Mets -180 (Scherzer)
  • Philadelphia Phillies +140 (Nola)

You can state that you want to bet on the pitchers listed, which would make your bet active only if Scherzer and Nola are the starting pitchers. Because Scherzer is a dominant pitcher, you might want to protect yourself by stating that you want the bet only if Scherzer starts.

If you choose “action” your bet will be active, no matter who starts the game. “Action” has been getting bet on more and more frequently in recent years because the starters don’t get stretched out as much. Rarely do you see a starter throw a complete game. Even Scherzer, who is considered a modern-day workhorse, averages well below 7 innings per start.