What is Tipping Pitches in Baseball? (in the Houston Astros)

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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what is tipping pitches in baseball

Baseball has been here since the 18th century, which is why this American sport is regarded as the United States of America’s national pastime. But more than bearing this nickname, baseball has gained popularity in many countries like Japan, Cuba, Korea, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

There are many rules and statistics to this game, which is one of its appeals to its avid fans. As a baseball enthusiast, you may wonder, what is tipping pitches in baseball? This is described as the pitcher’s signal for a particular pitch he’s about to throw.

Want to know more? I’ll tell you more!

Pitch Tipping Definition


Baseball tipping pitches happen when a team’s batter accidentally or intentionally communicates his preplanned pitches to the opposing team.

There are a lot of giveaway signals of tips coming from the batter that are usually transmitted through bodily movements that include the motions of hands, an increase in the batter’s tipping speed, the way he handles his glove, or just simply the position of his head and hand while delivering pitches.

These subtle bodily signals may not attract a lot of the viewers’ attention, but these seemingly random and irrelevant motions play a huge part in determining who wins the match.

What Does It Mean to Tip Pitches?

Usually, pitchers have different types of pitches up their sleeves to provide the batters a challenge in guessing which pitch he’s about to throw. However, when the batter gets used to the pitches of the other team, it may be easy for him to read the upcoming pitches and, by then, read the pitcher’s bodily motions.

This is when pitch-tipping comes into play. This variable in baseball reduces the amount of guesswork but also correspondingly takes the challenge away sometimes.

In some cases, the pitcher might know well that he’s tipping due to his weak arm strength or poor pitching accuracy. This happens with younger players.

What is the Purpose of Tipping Pitches?


Pitch tipping can be used to put pressure on the opposing team, causing them to make a mistake. In detail, pitchers use tipping to catch opposing teams off guard and disrupt their rhythm and tactics. Tipping pitches can make or break a team’s strategy, so players need to know when and how to execute these plays properly.

Pitchers may be tipping pitches meaning that sometimes, they freely offer their services to hitters during batting practice. Pitchers could be paid more if their tips are helpful or if it affects the game’s outcome.

Tipping Pitcher in Houston Astros


Lance McCullers Jr., a starting pitcher for the Houston Astros made headlines in Game 3 of the World Series in their game against the Philadelphia Phillies last 2022 as he was caught tipping his pitches.

The Astros tipping pitches made it to the news as McCullers Jr. may have tipped the Philadelphia Phillies to victory. McCullers became the first pitcher to ever allow that many home runs in a World Series game after allowing five home runs during 4 1/3 innings of work.

Angels Tipping Pitches

On July 29, 2022, in Major League Baseball (MLB), Los Angeles Angel’s Mike Trout seemed to know what was happening as he was caught live, appearing to taunt Elvis Peguero during their game against the White Sox.


It was later made known that Trout’s fellow pitcher, Peguero, was tipping his pitches, which might have caused them to lose to their opponent during the match.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Usually Do Pitcher Tip Pitches?

Tipping pitches can sometimes be hidden through gestural motions of the hands, but most tipping pitches examples happen when the pitcher’s hands are at unusual angles before or during the pitching happens.

Paying attention to the pitchers’ breathing patterns and body language is crucial since these indicators can help a batter predict what will happen next.

Is tipping pitches illegal in baseball?

Tipping pitches is considered legal in baseball. However, when news of a player tipping his pitches gets out, the results of this circumstance will not be favorable for the pitcher.

Tipping pitches can cause different outcomes in baseball, but tipping pitches as cheating is one that is not written in any rule and guidebooks of the sport. Therefore, it happens more with young baseball players or amateur ones rather than in professional games.

Why would a pitcher tip his pitches?

Pitchers essentially give away which pitch they are going to throw when they swing at pitches for the other team. Ironically though, pitchers often utilize a variety of pitches to surprise and throw off their opponent’s gameplay.

It’s crucial to pay attention to the pitcher’s motions on the mound since the pitch you see could not be the one he delivers the following time.

Is tipping pitches intentional or not?

Depending on the situation, a pitcher tipping a ball can both be intentional and not. Tipping pitches can be considered intentional when these tippings are part of the team’s gameplay to counter their opponent’s patterns and momentum.

On the other hand, this can be considered as not intentional in the cases where a pitcher unintentionally makes hand signals that he might not be aware of. Baseball is a sport that is jam-packed with varying motions so it’s no wonder why pitchers accidentally tip pitches off.

Is there a tipping pitches podcast?

Apparently, there is! For all baseball fans, there is a podcast channel on apple podcasts called “tipping pitches”.

They have hundreds of episodes as they talk about the United States of America’s national pastime — baseball.


Over the years, baseball has evolved into something that most people do constantly. There may be different reasons for participating in baseball games — be it for fun, a hobby, school, or even a job.

But one thing remains common — one must love baseball to be able to enjoy the course of its technicalities. Especially the ones that could make or break a match, the subtle force that may or may not bring the bacon home.

I hope you gathered insights from this “what is tipping pitches in baseball” guide. I’ll see you on your next read!

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