One of the basics of baseball betting is understanding the difference between action vs listed pitchers.

Sometimes starting pitchers are scratched on gameday. It happens for a variety of unexpected reasons including injuries during warmups, illnesses, and even last-minute trades. When this occurs, everything changes. Oddsmakers are quick to set new lines and baseball bettors must reevaluate their positions.

In striving to educate baseball bettors, this post provides a high-level breakdown on action vs listed pitchers.

Action vs Listed Pitchers - Tips and Advice - Blog - Square Bettor

Screenshot of Action vs Listed Pitcher Options in Mobile App

Action

When you bet ‘action’, this means your bet is locked in. Regardless of any pitcher scratches, your bet stands because you chose action.

Listed

When you bet ‘listed’, this means both starting pitchers must start the game as announced for your bet to stand. If either starting pitcher gets scratched, your bet is voided and your money is refunded.

Listed / Action

Some sportsbooks allow bettors to split the decision by designating one starting pitcher as ‘action’ and one starting pitcher as ‘listed’.

Example

Imagine placing a $100 wager (action) on Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers as a -150 favorite vs the Chicago White Sox. A few hours before game time, Verlander is scratched (back tightness) and Detroit announces their long reliever is going to start. As soon as Verlander is scratched, oddsmakers take the game off the board (OTB) and adjust the spread. After this significant downgrade in starting pitchers, oddsmakers set the new line at Detroit Tigers -110.

Strategy

In the above example, the ‘action’ bet resulted in a negative outcome. You’re getting much worse odds due to the pitcher scratch. Had you chosen ‘listed’, the bet would’ve been refunded once Verlander got scratched.

Betting ‘action’ can also work in your favor. For instance, imagine being on the other side of this example and placing a $100 wager (action) on the Chicago White Sox +140 (prior to Verlander’s scratch). After Verlander is scratched, the new spread is set to Chicago White Sox +110. In this example, your bet is locked in at +140 odds thanks to selecting ‘action’.

Conclusion

If your bet is largely predicated on the starting pitcher matchups, you should choose ‘listed’ to protect your wager from unexpected starting pitcher scratches. Otherwise, ‘action’ is typically the default selection.