Major League Baseball is making changes to pregame protocol heading into the first season with expanded state-sponsored sports betting.
This year, clubs will be required to submit starting lineups to MLB's data operations department at least 15 minutes before they are made public in an effort by the league to reduce the value of inside information and add uniformity to how data is disseminated.
Starting lineups and umpire assignments -- two things valued by oddsmakers and bettors -- will be released first on MLB's official data feed.
In previous seasons, starting lineups were released randomly, sometimes by team social media accounts, other times by beat writers at the team clubhouses. Teams might continue to release lineups in their preferred manner, but only after submitting them to the league. When MLB confirms reception, teams may make their starting lineups public. They do not have to wait a full 15 minutes.
"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," Major League Baseball said in a statement. "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."