First five innings betting

MLB Baseball First Five Innings Betting Strategy

At about the time major league baseball organizations began to embrace the analytics of baseball (roughly 2010-12 area), betting a baseball game for the first five innings really started to increase each year.

Analytics has altered the betting landscape; not in the same way money lines did to run lines years ago, but they’ve created more options for sportsbooks and those betting baseball. Here is a detailed look into the various aspects of strategy, reasons why, and rules to place baseball bets on the first five innings of a game.

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What Is a 5-Inning Line in Baseball?

With the changes in how starting pitchers are handled, a first five innings wager is increasingly important. What you are betting on is just what it says, the result of the initial five innings of a baseball contest. With bullpen usage at an all-time high, this wager takes the sport back to its roots, where the starting pitchers dictated the line. This is now condensed to the start of a contest where you can find potential pitching mismatches and profit from them.

First 5-Innings Betting Methods

What we are looking for are edges in starting pitchers. Typically, an ace from a top-notch team would be a good starting point possibly facing a middle-of-the-road starter who has poor numbers going through the opposing lineup a third time. There could be no score after three innings, or your team is down 2-0 after one inning.

At that point, the better pitcher has settled in and is hanging zeros, while the team you bet against hurler walks the leadoff man and ends up surrendering three or more runs in the fourth and fifth innings. This does not happen all the time. However, if you know the starters history, you can forecast a quality result.

The same would also be true of possibly betting against a No. 5 starter whose main purpose on a weaker team is just to eat innings. If he has a history of rarely completing four-plus innings and permitting three or more runs a start and matched against a hot opposing hurler, that sets up a great scenario.

Where The First 5-Innings Wager Came From

Though the origins of this bet are murky, there is no doubt this wager came about because of how baseball changed. Though most fans and bettors want to blame the analytics crowd for the demise of the starting pitcher based on pitch counts and third time through the lineup, that is not entirely true.

Starting pitching innings have been in slow decline since the 1980s as the role of relief pitchers changed. Relievers were and to some extent are still failed starters. As baseball has evolved and teams realized a “closer” was a very useful tool to finish and win games, it began to view elements of the game differently. If a pitcher had a pitch or two that was extremely difficult to hit, this reliever added value to his organization as a specialist. His job became to throw your best pitch at full effort and generate three outs.

Baseball organizations decided that fresh pitchers with the right stuff was better to utilize than tiring ball-chucker in the later innings, all feeding to a closer to finish off a particular contest.

A resourceful sportsbook along the way saw an opportunity to create a new betting opportunity, and sports bettors loved the idea of the challenge. With this, the sport changed, and the days of a Nolan Ryan tossing complete games a throwing 140+ pitches will never be seen again.

First 5-Innings Betting Rules

The first element you will notice is that the odds are mostly the same as a full game, depending on the sportsbook.

All bets include the “listed starting pitchers”, and if one is scratched the bet’s canceled. Also, there will be more ties because of a shorter “game”, and you will find they will work for and against you.

Tools For Betting Half Games and Why It’s Worth The Work

Besides complete knowledge of starting pitcher matchups and how they relate to the current odds, consider these options.

Places like and have information related to this specific topic and can provide valuable insights on all 30 squads performances.

With more and more books adjusting their odds to discourage bettors from backing obvious favorites, especially after the all-star break, having another tool in your arsenal to combat the oddsmaker is important to you betting account.

With the usage of bullpen’s these days, more often than you care to remember, you’ve been burned by relievers blowing leads. This helps take down that late game stress.

A little-known fact is the team that reaches five runs first in a contest wins 91 to 92 percent of the time. Shorten a game to 30 outs, those odds of winning increase if your team hits that figure.

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