MLB Wants Starting Lineups Before The Public

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Prompted by the Supreme Court ruling in May last year that paved the way for sports betting in the US, beginning this season all major league teams must present the commissioner’s office with their starting lineups before they are announced to the public or the media.

“We are updating a number of our procedures to reduce integrity risks associated with the expansion of sports betting in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling last May,” an MLB statement says.

This new procedure is one way the league hopes to ensure its data, usually passed openly around the clubhouse doesn’t provide an edge to bettors.

In previous seasons, MLB clubs made their lineup announcements in a variety of ways: by email, on Twitter or the web or by simply posting in the clubhouses.  No, 15 minutes prior to announcing to the public, clubs must now send their starting lineup to MLB’s data operations.

“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.’ This approach mirrors those of international sports leagues in more developed betting markets,” the statement continues.

According to some published reports, that after the MLB office receives the lineup, the information will go to data providers, such as SportsRadar, who will relay it to the general public and sportsbooks.

In late November, the MLB announced an official gaming partnership with MGM resorts. As part of that agreement, MGM will use the league’s official stats feed on its digital and domestic sports gaming operations.

Late last month, the MLB also joined forces with Sportradar, in a wide-ranging partnership that includes distribution of MLB’s betting data feed in the U.S. to regulated sports betting operators, delivering a “significant competitive edge to sports books in in-game betting and liability management.”

Earlier this week, MLB requested gaming regulators in Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi not allow betting on spring training games due to “heightened integrity risks.”

In a statement, MLB said “Spring Training games are exhibition contests in which the primary focus of Clubs and players is to prepare for the coming season rather than to win games or perform at maximum effort on every single play.”

Nevada and New Jersey reportedly have denied MLB’s request.

In its history, Major League Baseball suffered betting scandals, most notably the Chicago “Black Sox” throwing the 1919 World Series and former Cincinnati Reds player and manager Pete Rose agreeing to a lifetime ban after an investigation showed he placed bets on the Reds with illegal sportsbooks.

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