Baseball has been deemed as “America’s Pastime” since the 19th century. The game itself has many fans and players across the world, as even leagues overseas compete to try and make it to the MLB. Additionally, fans collect baseball cards and other highly sought-after memorabilia.
Betting on MLB still requires the same level of discipline as any other sport. But if you are new to sports betting, there are some differences as compared to other major sports leagues like the NFL or NBA.
Learn how to bet on Major League Baseball (MLB) with this easy guide filled with tips. We take a look at betting the basics when it comes to America’s most enduring sports. Take a few minutes and let’s get to brass tacks about what to do and how to read even the simplest of lines and bet types.
How the MLB Season is Constructed
Baseball season begins in early April or late March. Then, the season continues until October. In some cases, it lasts until early November. Baseball gets the most attention in October due to the postseason, which of course culminates in the World Series!
The league is split into two different divisions. You have the National League and the American League. Within those divisions, you have smaller grouped divisions, typically based on location, such as National League East or National League Central.
Throughout the season, you will see teams play each other often. In fact, when teams are scheduled to play each other, they must play a minimum of three games in a given week. This is due to the number of games that a season typically has, so it makes sense that it cuts down on traveling and expenses. So do not be surprised when you see teams play each other three times in a row in the same stadium.
Where to Bet on the MLB
Finding the best MLB sportsbook does not have to be a challenge. However, there are important things to consider before you place your first baseball wager. For example, is this site legal and licensed? In the United States, legal sports betting varies by state.
You will need to check your state laws and make sure you set up your sports betting account following it. Most sportsbooks will either accept or reject you if you are out of their betting area, but you still need to make sure that it is legal for you to bet.
Some other things to look for are the new member sign-up bonuses, the payment methods, and other notable features that set itself apart from the competition. This could include having the best lines as compared to other sportsbooks.
One more factor to look at is the reviews of the sportsbook and customer service. By taking a look at reviews, you get a painted picture of other sports bettors’ opinions on the site. This could lead to the discussion of customer services and how they respond to any issues. You are going to run into a problem eventually, so it would be nice to have a customer service team be able to take care of you.
Different Types of Major League Baseball Bets
There are a handful of bets you could make on MLB games. These range from the moneyline to the run line, and even futures.
A moneyline bet requires you to choose between two teams on who the winner is going to be. For example, let us look at two teams.
St. Louis Cardinals: -135
Chicago Cubs: +115
The Cardinals are the favorite, as depicted by the minus sign. A bet for them would mean you need to place $135 to get a return of $100 if they win. For the Cubs, they are an underdog, as noted by the positive sign. A wager on them for $100 will allow you a return of $115 if they win.
A run line is similar to what covering the spread means in football or a point spread in other sports. Below is another example from the teams used previously.
St. Louis Cardinals: -1.5
Chicago Cubs: +1.5
Using the same rules as the moneyline, as all odds go by this method, we know who the favorite and underdog is here. However, we are simply wagering on the number of runs a team will score and win the game. For the Cardinal’s bet to win, they would need to win the game by two or more runs. For the Cubs, they would need to win the game outright or lose by no more than two runs.
The First Five bet is a wager on the first five innings of the game. This is an interesting bet since you are not betting on the entire game or the outcomes associated with that.
Instead, you are solely looking at how the first half of the game plays out. These include who leads the game after those innings, the run line, and potentially other prop bets to consider.
As the name suggests, you are looking for the total of something. In this case, it is the total score of both teams combined. For example: You could see something like this,
This means that both teams together would need to score a combined effort of eight runs or more for the over bet to work. For the under, they must simply not pass seven runs in all for the bet to payout.
Parlays, Futures, and Props
Parlays are a series of different types of bets that are bundled together to make a large payout. If one net loses, though, you are out of money.
Futures bets are events that will take place at a later date. This means you will place a bet on the World Series or other playoff events before they happen.
For prop bets, these can be fun bets targeted at certain players or teams. These could include how many RBIs a player could have or how many home runs a team will have in the game.
How to Live Bet on the MLB
Live betting is the next step for a lot of sports bettors. This changes the aspect of betting in general for a lot of reasons. One key factor is the ability to watch the game in real-time and make bets associated with those moments. This is where the First Five bet also comes in handy.
By placing bets live as they happen in real-time, you are also more engaged in the bets. You can watch a lot more action versus just watching an updated screen of information. Live betting has the same rules as regular bets. It is important to have patience and to do your research.
Depending on your sportsbook, live betting could be an option for you. This is a great tool for any sports bettor looking to increase their earnings and be more engaged with their sports bets.
Tips for Betting the MLB
No magic button or crystal ball is telling you the right information all the time for your bets. Things happen, but is it crucial that you stay on top of your bets.
The most important thing you need to do is to conduct the best research you can before placing any money down on a team. Betting on a team just because you are a fan is not going to end well for you in the long run. In some cases, you need to bet against the public. As the odds are released, many times, sportsbooks will have a heavy favorite on a popular team.
Stick to the information that you know. Just because someone has a good tip on a team or player that you know nothing about does not mean that it is a good bet.
You should only bet an amount that you are comfortable with. If you feel like you are betting too much too often, then take a step back and find a pace that is comfortable for you. Make sure you keep a level head and stay positive. You never want to place bets when you are upset or not in the right state of mind.
Major League Baseball Betting FAQ
Best place to do research?
There are a handful of places to find valuable research information. This could be like ESPN, MLB website, or even the sportsbook of your choice. Be sure to check multiple places for data just to be sure.
What should I look up?
You want to see a variety of different types of information when doing research. This includes the location, player injuries, starting pitchers, new coaches, and so on. Anything that could impact the game.
How much money to bet with?
No matter the amount, you should only bet what you are comfortable with betting. Some say a small percent of your take-home pay, but as long as you set up a budget and stick to it, then you should be fine.
Should I take the underdog?
A lot of times, when divisional rivals play each other, it is not the same as when two other teams play. Since they are in the same division, they are okay each other more often, and there is a familiarity between them. So do not count out the underdog there.
How do I look for good lines?
By shopping around different sportsbooks, you can see what the market thinks of certain teams and what they offer. This way, you can get a good idea of your sportsbook has a good line or not, and if it is a good deal.