Micro Betting on MLB Pitch Outcomes Is Surging

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Baltimore Orioles clung to an 8-6 lead in the bottom of the ninth at Tropicana Field on Tuesday and options abounded as closer Felix Bautista stared down Tampa Bay Rays batter Isaac Paredes. Two down, man on first, 2-0 count.

Four-seam fastball?



Those were Bautista’s choices.

But for a growing number of MLB bettors becoming enamored with micro or “rapid” bets, it was the outcome of each individual pitch to follow, right down to whether Paredes would hit a home run to continue a seven-run comeback for the American League East leaders.

Tipico Sportsbook, which has an “estimated 1,764 markets available pitch-by-pitch for each MLB game,” has noted the rise in interest in these moments.

Comparing April-May 2022 and April-May 2023 in MLB betting, Tipico found:

  • Increase in Active Customers: +328%
  • Increase in Handle: +210%
  • Increase in Live Share: +12%
  • Increase in Player Prop Share: +50%
For Bautista, it was four-seamer, four-seamer, splitter, and game over. For micro bettors, it was on to the next game and the next matchup within it.

Gaming Today spoke with Andre Zammit, VP of Sportsbook Tipico North America, about the growing appetite for in-game bets.

MLB In-Gaming Betting Markets Gaining Traction

GT: Is this just an MLB phenomenon?

ANDRE ZAMMIT: Live betting is gaining traction in all sports in the US.

This is not just specifically for MLB, but MLB has seen a higher rate of increase versus the other sports.

And to me, it’s not really that much of a surprise. I’ve been, now, 20 years in the industry, so I remember Europe going through the phase as well of pre-match betting being 95% of the handle, and these days, it’s 65% live. So it’s not really any surprise. And I think it’s going to grow and grow in the years to come.

In regards to the offerings on baseball, it’s amazing, because you could also bet to the granular level of pitch betting as well. S0, any pitch, if it will be a hit, a home run, strikeouts, or anything like that. That granularity already exists.

Baseball’s Tempo Benefits Microbetting

GT: Has the MLB pitch clock hurt in-game betting?

ANDRE ZAMMIT: I’ve been to a couple of Rockies games already, and it’s amazing. The pace of it is much faster. And from a betting standpoint, Tipico, because we have our own tech stack, we’re positioned very well to deal with these situations. In fact, even for these pitch-betting markets, we have a 10-percentage-points lower of bets being failed despite the duration from the ball being pitched being much shorter.

So it hasn’t really impacted us and it made it a lot more interesting because every 20 seconds, 30 seconds you can bet on something new.”

Fast Data Feeds Crucial to Allow In-Game Betting

GT: How hard is matching up bets with a television feed that can be several seconds behind?

ANDRE ZAMMIT: It’s quite frustrating. I have to say that that’s probably one of the biggest challenges the industry has in regards to not just baseball, but also TV latencies. I mean, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Because the betting data is faster than the TV, let’s say we’re on the 120th pitch, I’m betting on the 125th. So I can place that bet, maybe put my phone on the side, watch the TV, and then go back. There’s that transition between the live TV data and the betting platforms.

It’s not optimal, but it still works, and it makes it quite interesting.

In-Game Betting Continues to Grow in Every Sport

GT: What other sports are conducive to this?

ANDRE ZAMMIT: Rapid bets, micro bets, they’re gaining traction all around. We’re looking forward to the next NBA and NFL seasons as well to have some of these unique markets, which you can’t find anywhere in the industry.

We’re internally working on producing a few more things, like for example, take the NFL, and you might have, ‘In the next drive will Joe Burrow have two-plus completions?'”

Things along those lines.

There’s certainly a lot of opportunities in these micro markets.

Fans are Still Figuring Out Which Microbets They Like

GT: What are the most popular micro baseball markets?

ANDRE ZAMMIT: I think the exciting thing with baseball, it gives the betting markets a wide variety for everyone. We’ve seen higher traction this year as well on the “first five innings”. That seems to be a market that the industry loves, the customer loves.

And then we have the other ones, which maybe someone wants a bit more of a quicker payout, so they just do the first inning, who will be winning, number of runs, number of hits, so on and so on.

The goldmine of baseball is player props, whether it’s hits base hits, anything, strikeouts, that’s where the industry is heading, the sheer granularity when it comes to player props.”

Microbettors Analyzed

GT: Who’s making these in-game bets? Dabbling fans? Bored whales?

ANDRE ZAMMIT: It varies on a customer-by-customer basis. The recreational customer could be stumbling across the game on TV, and he says, ‘OK, I’m interested now, the score is whatever, and I’m going to try and have a bet.”

But then you do have also certain users who tend to maybe think a bit more before placing a bet. Let’s say, for example, the favorite is two or three runs behind, maybe they got three runs in one inning, he would say, “I really believe in the comeback happening.”  There are those who would really read a bit more into the data. So it’s quite a wide variety of cohorts of players betting behaviors.

About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Senior Writer
Brant James is a senior writer at Gaming Today. He has covered the sports betting industry in the United States since before professional sports teams even knew what an official gaming partnership entailed.

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