Changes Ahead of 2017 Online MLB Betting SeasonPosted by: Mike Davis
Irony seems to be all too common in professional sports, especially within the last year. Witnessing NFL commissioner mount a witch hunt against the New England Patriots for ‘more than likely being generally aware’ of underinflated footballs and then suspend Tom Brady for his conduct during the investigation, only to have to hand that same organization the Vince Lombardi Trophy amidst a jeer of boos was the splitting definition of irony. Likewise, to keep in line with the theme of irony, sportsbook fans witnessed 3 of the 4 North American major sports leagues’ title games, or series, featured a historic comeback. Each comeback was monumental in its own right, and seeing so many in such a short tenure was paradoxical to say the least.
Without a doubt there have been plenty of ironical coincidences over the last year and the latest online MLB betting news is not exempt. Tuesday afternoon, Howard Bryant, a writer for ESPN The Magazine, reported that the MLB and the MLBPA (Major League Baseball’s Player Association) have agreed to implement a new rule for intentional walks.
Previously teams that wanted to walk a player would have their pitcher throw 4 ‘balls’. However, the latest online MLB betting reports from both ESPN and the Associated Press indicate that the league views this game mechanic as ancient and time consuming.
Overall, the new rules would essentially eliminate roughly a minute or two of dead time per walk. But in an age where sportsbook fans are seeing less and less walks, is the ruling change warranted? During the 2016 season, fans were only treated to a walk once every 2.6 games. So is barely speeding up the game worth making walks easier on the pitching team?
Sure pitching a ball isn’t the hardest thing to do at the professional level, but mistakes can still happen. Sure, the new rule won’t drastically impact the baseball betting odds, but it does make ‘walking’ mistakes impossible to happen. In fact, adding to the irony we’ve seen in professional sports this last year, the day the news broke about the implementation of the new intentional walk rule, we witnessed, albeit at the collegiate level, exactly what can happen when a ball goes awry.
With two on the bases, Stephen F. Austin elected to walk a player, only to botch the pitch and ended up losing the contest. Texas A&M had a player on third who was able to steal home plate after the overthrown pitch, and in doing so gave his side the walk off win.
So while online MLB betting fans might agree that the pace of the game could use a boost, at the same time, few things can rival the excitement of seeing that type of ending. Nevertheless, the new rule will be implemented at the start of the 2017 MLB sportsbook season. Instead of having to pitch four balls, teams can now use a dugout symbol to walk a batter. Since it will be much easier, fans can expect to see more walks this coming season.