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date: 28 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This study explores the impact of elite starting pitchers on the Major League Baseball betting market. Starting pitchers are the key defensive element of a baseball game, and their value is generally reflected in the market odds on baseball games. This study uses highly detailed and previously unavailable data to examine the role of elite starting pitchers on game betting volume, percentage bet on the favorite and the underdog, and percentage bet on the “over” and the “under” in the baseball totals market. Not surprisingly, games involving an elite pitcher see significant differences in betting percentages and play a key role in the determination of betting volume. In addition, the star-player nature of elite pitchers being of a defensive, rather than offensive, nature leads to bettors wagering significantly more on the under in games involving elite starting pitchers.

Keywords: baseball, pitchers, betting, betting market, wagering

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