How Sportsbooks Handle MLB Props If a Player Is Out

Too many bettors are unclear about how MLB props are handled if the player they bet on is out of the lineup. With a 162-game schedule, there are often times when a healthy player is given a day off. Plus, baseball lineups aren’t released until a few hours prior to a game. It’s likely you might already have placed a prop or parlay bet involving that player. What happens to your wager then?

Key Points

– Most sportsbooks handle MLB props the same way if a player is out of the lineup.

– Bettors should know the rules for how sportsbooks handle situations when a player is out.

Action vs. Listed Pitcher

In case you didn’t already know, baseball bettors can make sure their moneyline wager will win. Bettors can choose between Action and Listed Pitcher for their MLB bets. 

When choosing Action, a bet is still valid even if there is a pitching change. Often MLB teams will list a probable pitcher, but can change starters prior to the game.

Bettors that choose Listed Pitcher will have their bet voided if the listed pitcher is scratched and replaced. The sportsbook returns the bettor’s wager. 

It’s important to note that MLB props are exempt from this restriction. Wagers will stand unless something affects the particular player that is wagered on. 

Straight MLB Props

At most sportsbooks, a player must start in order for a prop bet to be graded. This would include props like betting on a player to hit a home run or wagering on a pitcher to record a certain number of strikeouts. 

If you bet on Pete Alonso to hit a home run at +275 and he starts the game, the wager is going to be valid. However, if Alonso is on the bench for the start of the game and enters in say, the third inning, the bet is voided.]

At most sportsbooks, it works as follows for MLB props when a player is out of the lineup.

  • Hitting Props: If the player is not in the starting lineup, most sportsbooks will void a hitter prop wager. However, there are sportsbooks where the player only needs to make one at-bat. Be advised.
  • Pitcher Props: In most sportsbooks, a pitcher must start and throw one pitch before a wager is considered valid. If a pitcher doesn’t start and enters the game after the first pitch, any wagers on that pitcher would be voided. 
  • Stolen Bases Props: Make sure you review your sportsbook’s rules on stolen bases. Most books will grade a stolen bases prop if a player enters the lineup at any time during a game. 


Multi-Game Parlays

Many bettors don’t know how multi-game parlays work either when a player is out of the lineup. It’s pretty simple as it’s the same as any other parlay bet.

If a player is not in the starting lineup, most sportsbooks will simply drop that leg of the parlay. The rest of the wager then remains but at a decreased price. 

Let’s say you put together a parlay with three players on three different teams playing in three different games on the same day. The bet is on each of the three players to score a run.

Player A is listed at +100. Player B is given +130 odds and Player C checks in at +105. The odds for the multi-game parlay are a sweet +843. 

When the starting lineup is revealed for Player A’s game, Player A is not listed as a starter. Most sportsbooks will just eliminate Player A and keep Player B and Player C. The bet would receive new odds of +371. 

MLB Props & Same Game Parlays

Same Game Parlays are all the rage. Sportsbooks love them because they produce a ton of revenue. Bettors love them because of the odds and potential winnings. 

Bettors need to be careful and make sure they understand the rules of the sportsbook they are using when they bet on same game parlays (SGP).

Most sportsbooks will void your SGP if one of the players included fails to start the game. Some sportsbooks will count the wager if a player makes a plate appearance. It’s worth taking the time to understand all the rules before making a bet.

It’s also worth noting that sportsbooks are likely to change the rules and avoid nullifying bets because of a player not in the lineup. Same game parlays are just too profitable for the books for them to be voiding bets.

Bookies do their best not to offer players who aren’t going to be in the lineup. They want increased betting volume and they don’t want to have to void bets. Books will do their best to list MLB props only for players anticipated to play.

Why Most Sportsbooks Void SGP Bets

Sportsbooks are in the business of making money. They can lose money when unusual circumstances occur, even though they typically do well with same game parlays.

Bookies are unable to account for the changes in probability brought about by a player being out of the lineup. Because of this, most books won’t simply drop that leg and re-price it. They’ll simply nullify it entirely.

Take the following example. A bettor places a SGP bet on the following in a game between the Mets and Marlins:

  • Brandon Nimmo 1+ Hit
  • Tommy Pham 1+ Hit
  • Tommy Pham 1+ RBI
  • SGP Odds: +475

Now, Nimmo typically bats first in the Mets lineup. Pham is more frequently found at the bottom of the batting order.

The Mets decide to give Nimmo the night off. Pham ends up moving into the leadoff sport in the batting order. Pham is now much more likely to get a hit and an RBI since he’ll probably get an extra at-bat since he’s batting leadoff. The sportsbook would need to re-price the entire parlay.

Any bookie worth anything will not just drop the Nimmo leg and maintain the same price. That’s where books get burned. As a result, the bet is voided.