YES Network’s MLB ‘Pick-N-Play’ Game To Debut In Saturday’s Yankees-White Sox Matchup

Written By Mike Mazzeo on May 13, 2022

After Thursday’s soft launch, YES Network will have its single-screen, Pick-N-Play free prediction game available to users for the first time during Saturday’s matchup between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox in the Windy City.

Each at-bat, which lasts an average of 90 seconds, will feature an eight-sided market. Users can predict whether each AB ends in a:

  • Single
  • Double
  • Triple
  • Home Run
  • Strikeout
  • Walk
  • Reach on an error
  • Out

“Even if it’s a few seconds behind what’s happening in the stadium, it’s a really good user experience,” SimpleBet CEO Chris Bevilacqua told PlayNY.

YES Network launching Pick-N-Play MLB prediction game

Due to an abbreviated spring training because of the labor dispute, the prediction game remained in test mode during the first month of the regular season.

As PlayNY has reported, the free game — where users can compete against one another and win prizes — will serve as a spring training of sorts, with the end-game being a real-money, micro-betting experience.

MLB executives believe it can further engage fans and keep them watching longer. The slower pace of the sport appears perfect for live betting. In fact, it might actually serve the game better for every pitcher to throw at the same pace Steve Trachsel used to — rather than speed things up.

“We’ve believed since the very beginning — and we’ve built in-play micro betting products for five different sports (MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NFL, NCAAF) — is that baseball has the best cadence for in-play micro betting,” Bevilacqua said.

“It has natural pauses. Every pitch and every at-bat has multiple potential markets. And then you can work that into micro parlays — for example is this batter going to get a base hit on the third pitch to right field? “There’s a lot you can do with this sport.”

Plenty of MLB season left for SimpleBet prediction game

With 131 games remaining, plenty of time exists to work out the technological and latency issues.

“It’ll get a little more challenging as we go — and we’ll see how this plays out over the course of a season — when you start pitch-level markets where is a pitch going to be a ball or a strike or in-play?” Bevilacqua said.

“We’ll be doing those before the first pitch is thrown to the first batter of the inning, but doing that on a regular cadence will be a little bit more challenging until we can bring the latency down.

“But the whole point for this type of product is the first time it’s ever really been done where you can have more of what I like to call more of a ‘slot machine experience’ where you have multiple bets throughout an inning and they’re creating and resulting all in a matter of minutes. That’s brining a whole different type of engagement experience to a live baseball game.”

Legal NY sports betting continues to expand

MLB has multiple sportsbook partners, including DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM. The Yankees have multi-year NY sports betting partnerships with DraftKings, FanDuel and Bet365. The Mets, meanwhile, plan to open a Caesars Sportsbook lounge later this season at Citi Field.

“This is going to be a great use case for all of our real-money betting sportsbook partners who are offering these types of bets in a second screen,” Bevilacqua said. “I think we’re now going to showcase how this could possibly look and feel and actually work in practice with a video stream.”

Bevilacqua said that “low-latency video” appears possible over the “next number of years.” This would allow video and data to stream closer to the same speed.

“Putting low-latency video together with in-play micro betting into one single-screen inside of a sportsbook app is the killer product.

“That is coming. And it’s actually doable today, but the leagues have to work out all the video rights issues related to that.”

Photo by AP / Nam Y. Huh
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a contributing writer for PlayNY, reporting on legal sports betting in New York while covering the potential legalization of NY online casinos and poker. He previously wrote for ESPN, the New York Daily News and The Ringer, among others.

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