Along with Major League Baseball (MLB), the 30-team professional league in North America, there are pro leagues in Japan and other parts of Asia and the world. With online sports betting, players can wager on the MLB 162-game season, as well as other leagues such as Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan), KBO League (South Korea), and Dominican Professional Baseball League (Dominican Republic).
Not only can you just take part in basic bets, online sportsbooks will offer numerous baseball futures and daily props. Depending on a book’s emphasis, you may be able to bet eight or more props per game. In addition, a large number of books now offer live betting with some providing the opportunity to wager on every batter and outcome.
Basic Baseball Bets
Of the baseball bets available, the runline is the most commonly played. The runline is similar to the spread in football or basketball, but the spread with the runline is always 1.5 runs. Thus one team, the underdog, will be listed as +1.5, and the other, the favourite, at -1.5.
Runline odds for a MLB game would look like this:
- Boston +1.5 -140
- New York -1.5 +110
Note, because the Red Sox are being given runs, you have to bet $140 to win $100. To win $110 on the Yankees, you would bet $100. The runline basically changes the payout odds that are offered via the moneyline. Here’s a moneyline bet where you’re wagering on the actual outcome, of the same game.
- Boston +170
- New York -200
With this bet, you would wager $100 on Boston to win $170 and $200 on New York to win $100. The moneyline is a good bet when you think the underdog will win the contest outright. The runline is preferred if you think the better team will win by two or more runs or if you believe it’s going to be a close game and the extra runs will help the team that’s not favoured.
Many baseball punters like to bet on the over/under. With this wager, you’ll be given a total representing the number of runs each team together may score. For baseball the total usually ranges from 6 to 9 runs, depending upon starting pitching, team batting, and bullpen strength.
An over/under may be listed as a whole run bet such as in the example below:
- +/- 7.0
- Over (-120)
- Under (+140)
Or it may be offered as a half-run wager, as noted below:
- +/- 7.5
- Over (-120)
- Under (+140)
With the half-run, there cannot be a push whereas there may be a push, or tie, when a whole run total is listed. If there is a push, all bets are returned to the players.
There is one thing that makes baseball bets different than any other type of team sport wager you may make. With all of the above bets, the starting pitchers will be listed. If the scheduled starters do not toss the first pitch of the game, all bets are off and all money is returned to the punters.
Pitching vs. Hitting
With baseball betting, pitching is the most important factor. Excellent pitching will, more often than not, defeat great hitting. Remember that hitting a baseball is one of the toughest things anyone can do. The best players are able to connect with a baseball and get safely on base a little over 30% of the time.
Fine starting pitching is essential to any team’s success. Solid starting pitchers are the scarcest commodity in baseball. In addition, baseball bettors need to be able to evaluate each team’s bullpen, including long relief, setup guys, and closers.
Of course, you can’t win a ballgame without hitting. A top hitting team going up against a weak or even mediocre pitcher has a good chance of winning. It is also essential that sports bettors be able to recognize when a hitter is on a tear or in a slump.
That means if you are going to wager on the MLB, you need to follow it everyday. Those who are most successful focus on the sport and its happenings throughout the year, including the off-season and spring training.
Live In-Play Wagering
Live wagering, which is also known as in-play betting, is very popular with baseball bettors. There are various reasons for this. First, baseball is a relatively slow game, but, at the same time, each game provides bettors with hundreds of live wagering opportunities. Many punters use live betting to hedge their runline, moneyline, or over/under wagers.
Depending on the online sportsbook, you’ll be able to bet on the game outcome, with changing odds, the result of each at bat, and what the team that’s at the plate will do in a specific inning. In order to be successful in making these wagers, you’ll need to pay strict attention to the game. If you wager on a whim, you’ll greatly reduce your chances of winning the bet.
If you are going to wager on the MLB, you need to follow it everyday. Those who are most successful focus on the sport and its happenings throughout the year, including the off-season and spring training.
Stay in the Game
Baseball and MLB betting provides players with a lot of wagering opportunities. Before placing any bets, you need to understand the sport and the competition thoroughly. In addition, it’s important to study each league, team, and the various personnel. Following the day-to-day developments in the league will help you make smart bets.
Don’t wager on every game. Look for value, such as a team going with a top ace playing a club that's struggling at the plate. Baseball games tend to be played as three- or four-game series, and MLB teams often go on long road trips or enjoy extended home stands. Some teams excel on the road, while others post amazing home records. Recognizing such trends can really pay off for the savvy sports bettor. To be success at baseball betting, you have to stay in the game and know it inside out.