Baseball and cricket are often linked to one another when people think about different sports, due to the fact that both sports involve batting a ball in an attempt to outscore the opponent.
And with plenty of similarities and differences between the two games, comparing them yields an interesting look into both the sports themselves and the cultures around them.
What Are The Similarities Between Baseball And Cricket?
Baseball and cricket, despite their many differences, have the same objective. That objective is to score more runs than the other team in the number of outs or wickets that you are allotted.
While there are different ways of amassing those runs in each game, the fact that the general idea of the sports is the same is one of the things that puts baseball and cricket so close together in the minds of sports fans.
In cricket and baseball, there are roles that exist in both sports. Of course, the technical aspects of those roles vary from sport to sport, but they follow the same basic premise to deliver results.
Pitchers and bowlers have the goal of minimising the scoring that the other team is able to do. Baseball pitchers tend to do this by either racking up strikeouts or pitching to contact to set up harmless ground balls or fly balls.
In the case of cricket bowlers, attempting to force contact that sends the ball toward defenders to create wickets and dot balls is the name of the game. Either way, damage control is the purpose of pitchers and bowlers.
On the offensive side of things, batsmen in cricket and hitters in baseball both aim to create as many runs as possible. Both sets of batters are looking to hit the ball over their respective boundaries when possible.
In baseball, this means hitting home runs over the walls in the outfield, while cricket batsmen seek sixes that sail over the boundary through the air.
In both cases, swinging for the proverbial fences is done in moderation, as attempting to do too much with the ball can result in strikeouts in baseball or wickets in cricket.
Defensively, players in the field also have the same general role. That role is to stop the ball and get opposing batsmen out as often as possible.
This tends to be easier in baseball with nine defensive players looking to defend a smaller overall surface area than what exists in cricket.
But both cricket defenders and those in baseball want to catch balls before they hit the ground and throw runners out to give their teams the best possible chance to win.
While there are so many differences between cricket and baseball, the ability to recognise that so many key roles are similar is important to relating the two sports.
What Are The Differences Between Baseball And Cricket?
Betting on both baseball and cricket is fun, but there are some differences to be noted throughout both. When betting on baseball, for example, betting on totals does not necessarily relate to which team bats first.
Given the high variance of baseball, a few at-bats can determine the success or failure of a totals wager. In cricket, though, the order in which teams bat can have everything to do with a total's likelihood of being reached.
When it comes to betting on cricket, the team that bats first has the opportunity to set the pace in any given match.
So it stands to reason that if the first team at bat is a more offensively gifted team, the target score for the second team to bat should be higher than if the roles were reversed.
Keeping an eye on the batting order is important in cricket, whereas it is not so much in baseball for totals betting purposes.
And when it comes to cricket outright betting markets, they are less predictable than those in baseball. Whereas cricket totals can be more predictable if you know what to look for, their outright wagers can vary based on a number of factors.
Baseball, meanwhile, relies so heavily on the strength of starting rotations in the postseason that you can get an idea as to which teams will be competing for a championship just by looking at the starting pitching staffs at the beginning of the year.
Perhaps the starkest contrast between baseball and cricket is the atmosphere that surrounds each of the sports at a stadium.
Cricket has almost a party atmosphere depending on where you take in a match. In big international matches, or popular 20-over leagues like the IPL, the crowd can be in a constant state of song or other revelry.
That same thing cannot be said about the highest levels of baseball, especially Major League Baseball in the United States.
The sport operates on a series of unwritten rules, where players and teams are encouraged not to celebrate anything too loudly or show too much personality.
This creates an atmosphere where aside from big plays or the occasional spectacular moment, fans don't have quite as many reasons to get excited as they would in cricket.
There is also the matter of capacity at play here. Cricket grounds are much larger than baseball fields from a field dimensions perspective.
This means that more seats can be put around the cricket grounds, even if baseball stadiums build seats higher up to make up the difference.
With more fans at a ground level, the on-field atmosphere for the players is also more exciting than it is during baseball games.
Pitching And Hitting Differences
While the goal of pitchers in baseball and bowlers in cricket are the same, to minimise damage, the way they try to go about it can be vastly different.
In baseball, balls are pitched through the air from the pitcher's hand to the catcher's glove. This is done from a still position to start, as pitchers are forced to set themselves on the pitcher's mound before starting their throwing motion.
In cricket, bowlers are allowed to take a run up from distance before getting to the line at which they have to release the ball. Once they let go of the ball, they are able to bounce it just before it reaches the batsman in an attempt to make it more difficult to hit.
And in cricket, the penalty for throwing an errant ball is more severe than it is in baseball, with the batting team receiving one run and that ball not counting toward the number of balls in that over.
In baseball, you can throw four misplaced balls before a runner is allowed one base.
From a batting perspective, the main difference between cricket and baseball is where players are allowed to hit the ball. In cricket, you can hit the ball backwards, forwards, and sideways to rack up the runs.
In baseball, though, the ball has to stay within fair territory, which extends out at 90-degree angles from home plate on both the left and right side. The ball has to go forward, or it is deemed a foul ball and a strike is charged to the batter.
As you can see, there are plenty of similarities and differences between baseball and cricket, with each making both sports a unique experience despite having plenty in common.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*