I am studying the similarities between Cricket and Baseball.

I understood that every Baseball game consists of a series of innings (7-9 depending on the league) where one team tries to score as much as possible. Similarly in cricket, every game has 2 innings{1} where one team bats and the other bowls/fields.

Now, in Cricket, the team batting second is most often called the "chasing team". The chasing team has to get past the score set by the other team.

According to the Wikipedia article on Baseball,

One team—customarily the visiting team—bats in the top, or first half, of every inning. The other team—customarily the home team—bats in the bottom, or second half, of every inning...

That brings me to my question:

  • Can I call the team that bats in the "bottom" or "second half" in a Baseball game as a team that "chases"?

  • Or is there any other term to indicate the team batting second? (barring "home team")

Consider an example sentence,

Very similar to Cricket, the chasing team must try to score as many runs as possible in their innings. The only difference is that baseball players run around in counter-clockwise circles instead of running in straight lines along the pitch.

Native speakers might not appreciate the wording but if I tell this to someone from the Indian subcontinent, they'll understand instantly! Since most of my audience is cricket-loving, I want to make it easier for them to correlate.

{1} - With the exception of Test Cricket where every game can have up to 4 innings, 2 innings a side each

  • 5
    You may consider asking here: sports.stackexchange.com
    – user66974
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 15:34
  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on sports.stackexchange.com.
    – Paul Rowe
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 15:36
  • @Josh61 Does Sports SE tolerate questions on terminology and sentence construction? The core question might belong to Sports.SE but I need someone to validate my example sentence. However, I have no objections towards migrating this question.
    – BiscuitBoy
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 15:40
  • 3
    You'd only ever use in your sentences 'home team'. There's no concept of 'chasing team' in baseball, so to use that term even to those who only know cricket would be very misleading.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 18:12
  • 1
    I just think that you could probably be better served in the sport site.
    – user66974
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 18:35

3 Answers 3


I am a big fan of baseball and I can't live without it.

Chasing team doesn't refer to a home team in baseball which doesn't have anything to chase. Each team has 9 innings and they usually (in Major League) can't score as many runs in baseball as in cricket especially when aces (the best pitchers in each team) pitch the ball.

Two advantages for a home team in batting in the bottom of each inning while a visiting (away) team bats in the top are (1) it can finish a game by batting only 8 innings if a visiting team doesn't lead a game and a game is not tied in the top of the 9th inning and (2) it could have a psychological advantage known as home advantage as explained in Wikipedia:

In baseball, there is always a psychological home advantage when the game is tied or close in the 9th or in extra innings. The visiting team, if they are leading after batting in their half of the inning (the top), must face and record three outs against the home team in order to finish off and win the game. But the home team, upon scoring the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 9th or an extra inning, wins in sudden death without having to take the field defensively following their period at bat. If the home team is in the lead following the top of the 9th, the game ends at this point, and the bottom of the 9th is not played at all. There is no clear-cut, physical advantage because both teams are given the same number of opportunities (i.e. innings). The advantage is knowing how well one must perform in the last inning, if at all.

There is no alternative word to replace home team in baseball. I heard a bottom inning team mentioned several times, but it is rarely used to mean a home team.

  • 3
    This is a very comprehensive answer, and it is entirely correct. But it can be boiled down to a few brief sentences: The home team always bats second, so that's the designation you would use to refer to the team that bats in the bottom half of the inning. In the circumstance that both teams share the same home field, then the schedule makers will designate which games will be Team A's home games, and which will be Team B's home games. Thus, in every game, there's only one official home team. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 18:41
  • You're a bag fan, eh? May I assume that you're at least a four-bag fan? Maybe it's not as boring as cricket, but it's still eight guys standing around in a field hoping that a ninth does his job so they don't have to do theirs. What's the fewest number of pitches required for a regulation game? That's what I call a "perfect game" of baseball.
    – deadrat
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 19:25
  • 4
    The fewest pitches in a reguation game is 0. If the other team fails to show, it is a forfeit. And there better be at least 2 fellows not standing around. The catcher needs to be squatting and catching every pitch.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 21:23
  • 2
    I have seen (in news reports of, for example, preseason Major League Baseball games played overseas, and tournament games played in Omaha, Nebraska, in the NCAA College World Series) the wording "Team X, playing as the home team" to get around the fact that neither team is actually playing in its home city.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 6:33
  • 1
    @SvenYargs Yes, home team doesn't necessarily mean it is playing in its home city. If one stadium is shared by two or more teams, they will take turns in playing as a home team. Home team in baseball means the team who plays in the bottom of each inning.
    – user140086
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 6:43

A tongue-in-cheek expression for the home team (which is really the only term in use) is the good guys, at least to fans of the home team.

There is not really a second half of a baseball game. Given that there are nine (or seven) innings, each game develops at its own pace, and it may take one hour to play the first five innings and then another hour to play the sixth inning. Football, soccer are sports whose games have first and second halves. In baseball there is the seventh inning stretch which marks a recognizable spot in the game.

There is a second, or bottom, half of each inning, except the last non-extra inning if the home team is ahead; or if a game, once started, gets called (cancelled) due to rain or something else and at least four and a half innings has been played and the home team ahead (there are some exceptions to this). In this sense, baseball recognizes a sort of halfway point.


to answer the question: the team that bats first is the "visiting" team. because they literally are visiting in order to play, technically that's how it was invented. the second to go is the "home" team because its their field, again technically. the visitor goes first as a courtesy, but one team does not "chase" the other because they each get to go 9 times. this allows for situational strategy and tactics.

if interested in more heres my attempt to be plain spoken: two teams home and visitor (or "away"). each get 9 turns to hit and score runs. the visiting team attempt is called the "top" and the home team the "bottom" because that's how the scoreboard is designed, visitor listed above home, and score horizontally tallied with a total to the far right.

the first team to bat is always the visiting team as a courtesy. they swing at pitches one by one until the defending team in the field records three "outs" then the teams switch.

because they take turns, the last inning is special (usually 9th but technically any inning can be the last in a casual game or if there are "extra innings" due to a tie): if the visiting team (who goes first) is in the lead after 3 outs, then the home team gets their 9th try to win. if they pass the visiting team's total by 1 run (point) they win, if they fail they lose. however, if the visiting team is losing on their 9th try, and they get 3 outs, the home team wins automatically and does not have to bat a 9th time, as there is no need for the home team to pad their victory.

on another note, the fewest pitches possible for one team is 81. (3 strikes equals an out, need 3 outs for 9 innings 3x3=9 x 9=81) but you can win with less if the batter hits to the field and they are put out. in that instance you could have as few as 27 (3 hits, three outs, x 9 innings) pitches.

i know i'm 2 years late, but felt i had to clarify. all the other posts while accurate are a little incoherent and deviate with colloquialisms and snark.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.