WHAT IS A BASEBALL 1ST 5 INNINGS?
The first five innings bet has quickly become one of baseball’s most popular wagers. Also known as a “first half” bet, it offers every wager that the whole game does. There is a moneyline, a run line, as well as totals bets. You can even find prop bets for the first five innings. However, this is just one of the reasons for its popularity.
Modern baseball has become a very specialized sport over the years. The General Managers of teams have found it is better to build teams with players that excel at particular aspects of the game as opposed to more complete players. And nowhere is this more obvious than with pitching. These days bullpens are staffed with not only set-up men and closers but also 7th inning specialists, lefties specializing in getting lefties out, righties getting righties out, and strikeout artists who throw 100 mph.
Not only have the bullpens been improved but defense has as well. And this is thanks to all the defensive shifting we are seeing every game, every inning. Defensive shifting was once reserved for only the elite hitters and even then only in certain situations. Now, every lefty in the big leagues will see the shift on for one of his at-bats. Managers love to play percentages after all and so do gamblers.
All of this has put a premium on starting pitching. Those first 5 innings have become as important as ever so, naturally, the starting pitchers have value like never before. A good starting pitcher on the free agent market is going to get paid much better than any slugger or Gold Glove shortstop. And this is what attracts the gamblers to the first five innings. There are less variables to size up so the starting pitchers are the most important aspect of the bet.
You’ll also notice the odds are typically the same in a first five innings bet as they are in a full game bet. The run line will be reduced slightly as will the Totals but their odds will remain the same. Same for the moneyline. So, by shortening the game without changing the odds, bettors well-versed in starting pitching hold a distinct advantage against the house in a first five innings bet.