Who Bats First in a Baseball Game? Home or Away?

By colin99 •  Updated: 10/01/14 •  4 min read

by Pat
(Manhattan, KS)

In baseball, does the home team bat first or last? And in Babe Ruth League, does the coach have a choice if the home team bats first or second?


Thanks for the question Pat!

Which Team Bats First, Home or Away?

In baseball, there is no choice on who the team batting first or last in baseball. If you are the home team – the home fields resident team – you bat in the bottom half of the inning (last) and the visiting team bats in the top half of the inning (first). These team batting positions continue for the entire game. Each half inning of course consists of three outs.

This is the rule in youth leagues and all other competitive levels.

The term home field advantage comes from this rule as a home team’s batter always has the last chance of scoring the tying or winning run of the game with their last at bats in the 9th inning. That advantage continues into extra innings if necessary.

Which Team Bats First in Baseball Tournaments

In some tournaments, there may be a coin flip by the plate umpire at home plate to determine who is home team and visiting team. The winner of the coin flip choices whether they want to be the home team or visiting team. However, the visitor will always bat first and the home team bats last.

Advantages of Team Batting First

Some baseball managers and coaches think being the batting team first has a tactical advantage. If your batting ability is above average and you don’t know the level of talent or have a scouting report on your opponent, you may not know if you need to use your ace as your starting pitcher or if you can save that pitcher for a different opponent. If you jump out to a big lead after a half inning of baseball, you change pitchers, sending a lesser pitcher to go pitch.

Another factor is if the tournament games have a time limit – an official clock for baseball game.

Who Bats Last in Baseball?

This question is not as absolute as which team bats first in a baseball game. The home team will always bat last if the score is tied or the home team is losing to the visiting team. The home team will not bat in the bottom of the ninth or last inning if the visitor fails to tie the score or take the lead.

In Major League Baseball, who bats first, home or visitor?

In the MLB, thew visitor always bats first in a baseball game. In the World Series, the home team is determined by the baseball team from the league who wins the All-Star Game.

I hope this helps.

Thanks again!

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