MLB Teams Must Send Lineups to League Office Prior to Being Made Public, Effort to Protect Game Integrity

Posted on: March 7, 2019, 11:04h. 

Last updated on: March 7, 2019, 11:04h.

Major League Baseball (MLB) teams will be required to send the league their starting lineups at least 15 minutes before they are made public. The new mandate for this season comes as legal sports betting continues to expand across the country.

MLB odds lineup baseball betting
New this baseball season: MLB lineups cannot be made public until the league receives the information. (Image: Las Vegas New Bureau)

MLB will distribute the lineups to its data and business partners, one being Sportradar, which will circulate the information to international sports betting operators, as well as domestic sportsbooks where such gambling is permitted.

We are updating a number of our procedures to reduce integrity risks associated with the expansion of sports betting,” an MLB statement explained. “One new procedure is that we now ask clubs to submit starting lineups in a uniform fashion in order to reduce the risk of confidential information being ‘tipped.'”

The league concluded, “This approach mirrors those of international sports leagues in more developed betting markets.”

Key Info

Proficient sports bettors seek knowledge that might tilt the odds in their favor. And knowing whether a certain player is sitting the game is cherished intelligence.

MLB wants all bettors to be on the same page with the same information. Previously, teams sporadically released their starting lineups. Some came via social media channels; others by way of team media.

Under the new condition, lineups can only go public through those outlets after 15 minutes have passed since the team notified the league of their starting nine and pitcher.

MLB, like the other three major sports leagues in the US – NFL, NBA, and NHL – has embraced sports betting in the wake of the May 2018 Supreme Court decision to strike out the longstanding federal ban. But the league is committed to making sure the expanded gambling doesn’t impact the outcome of games.

Players – especially those not named Bryce Harper with a $330 million contract – will be closely monitored to make sure they aren’t being influenced. The league recently petitioned state gaming regulators to force sportsbooks to bar preseason baseball betting, as the games feature players who won’t make teams’ final rosters and therefore might be more prone to be lured by illicit gamblers.

Sportsbooks in Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, Delaware, Rhode Island continue to offer odds on preseason MLB games, but regulators in Pennsylvania obliged and forced casinos to suspend such wagers.

2019 MLB Odds

Oddsmaker William Hill has the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros the Las Vegas favorites for the World Series, with all three at 6/1. The Los Angeles Dodgers follow closely at 7/1.

The Philadelphia Phillies, the team that shelled out Harper’s record contract, is fourth at 10/1. The Cleveland Indians are at 12/1.

For the bettor prone to substantial risk for a big reward, the longest odds are on the Baltimore Orioles, a team that won just 47 games to 115 losses a year ago. At 350/1, those who bet on the O’s and the team shocking the baseball world and winning the World Series would net $3,500 for every $10 wagered.