Spring Training starts on Sunday, Feb. 28 and so does the start of betting on individual baseball games.
Wagering on Spring Games is permitted at online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania.
Last year, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board implemented certain modifications such as wagering limitations and no prop betting on preseason MLB action. A rep from the PGCB said they “likely” will keep those limitations in place to mitigate risk.
Of course, once Opening Day arrives, it will be “Play Ball” as usual for bettors.
Spring Training games in 2021
The reason we were curious about Spring Training betting getting the okay this year is because the games are going to look slightly different. Here are rules for the length of Spring Training games per the 2021 Operations Manual:
“Games from the start of Spring Training through March 13 will be scheduled as seven-inning games, though they can be shortened to five innings or lengthened to nine innings upon mutual agreement of both managers. From March 14 until the end of camp, games will be scheduled for nine innings, though managers can mutually decide to shorten to seven innings. Clubs must notify MLB of any game length modifications by 5 p.m. ET the day before the game.”
A decrease in dingers?
Home run prop bettors take notice.
The past five years have been big for home runs. Five of the six highest home run rates in MLB history occurred during that time; The other was in 2000 AKA the steroid era.
However, 2021 might end the current heyday for homers as the league is “deadening” the ball.
“MLB is slightly altering the construction of its baseballs in the hopes of deadening them off the bat. The league sent a memo to all 30 teams outlining changes that would “center the ball within the specification range” of bounciness — a range that has always been wide enough for significant variance among balls.”
2021 MLB betting and season schedule
Currently, at PA online sportsbooks, there are various futures markets available for the 2021 season of MLB betting, including:
- Team futures
- World Series winner
- NL and AL Winner
- Division Winner
- Regular season wins
- To make playoffs
- NL and AL MVP
- CY Young (NL and AL)
- NL and AL Rookie of the Year
- Player totals for Home Runs, Hits and RBIs
- Season Leaders
- MLB 2021 schedule
MLB 2021 Season schedule:
- Feb. 28: Exhibition games begin
- Apr. 1: Opening Day
- July 13: All-Star Game in Atlanta
- Oct. 3: Regular season end
- Oct. 26: World Series, Game 1
Phillies partnerships with DraftKings and Live! Casino
Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Phillies extended their radio deal with Entercom, which owns WIP-FM 94.1 FM and broadcasts Phillies games.
Jeff Blumenthal of the Philadelphia Business Journal first reported the extension. Another notable change mentioned in the PBJ exclusive is an increased role for DraftKings.
“DraftKings will be presenting sponsor for the pre-game show and have a two-minute segment dedicated toward sports betting analysis of that night’s game and others around Major League Baseball.”
Also, the Phillies’ new neighbor, Live! Casino Philadelphia will join the list of team sponsors this year.
According to representatives for Live! Casino Philadelphia, the partnership with the Phillies includes:
- Field signage
- Phillies radio ads
- Digital and social media inclusion
- Season tickets
- VIP hospitality experiences
- Commemorative Live Rewards card
Are fans allowed at Phillies games at Citizens Bank Park?
The Phillies open their 2021 season at home at Citizens Bank Park against the Atlanta Braves on April 1.
Will fans be allowed at the Home Opener or at any games at Citizens Bank Park this season?
Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said:
“I can’t guarantee anything, but I can say that it’s likely that there would be some fans in the stands at the Phillies home opener. How many is going to depend not just on us, but also what the state decides.”
Last week, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Sixers also requested to have limited fans in attendance. The Phillies requested limited capacity, also.
Dr. Farley noted that the requests need approval from the State of Pennsylvania since the city of Philadelphia cannot be less restrictive.
Philadelphia Phillies 2021 odds
The Philadelphia Phillies have not made the playoffs or finished above .500 since 2011. The Phils missed the expanded eight team postseason during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season largely due to a historically awful bullpen.
PA sportsbooks put the Phillies over/under win total for 2021 at 80.5.
Philadelphia Phillies futures markets at DraftKings:
- World Series: +4000
- National League winner: +2000
- NL East: +875
- To make playoffs: Yes (+285)/No (-385)
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II