From the Black Sox and Shoeless Joe to the Hit King Pete Rose, sports betting and MLB baseball, for better or worse, have had a relationship for over a century now. Even with its long storied history, it is common knowledge there is interest in the sport that goes beyond hometown allegiances or childhood loyalties.
I mean, the odds are printed right there on the sports page everyday. And they always have been. Everyone knows you can bet on baseball but not everyone knows the basics of baseball betting. So, let’s build a quick baseball betting guide to use all season long.
First we’ll look at the bets you need to use and then the strategies that make them work. How to bet on baseball is easy. It’s how to win that is tough.
As with every sport, if you can think of a bet, you can place that bet. And baseball betting is no different. Parlays, point spreads, teasers, props, etc. and et al. are all available at every sportsbook window in Vegas or online. But to follow the basics of baseball betting, we need to use the only the bets that work for us.
That said, get rid of all of the props and over/under bets. These are terrible in baseball betting. The basics of baseball betting tells us to use the following bets when laying down our money because they are the most effective.
- The RunLine – Works the same in baseball as with all sports. The RunLine (point spread) is created to establish a favorite. You pick the team to win, plus or minus the number. The biggest difference in baseball is that the RunLine is nearly always -1.5 or +1.5 runs.
- The Moneyline – Here you are simply picking a winner and getting the odds. Favorites payout less. Underdogs payout more. Another popular bet.
- Parlays – With a parlay you are combining a number of bets into one bet overall. Parlays can payout huge sums because they combine all the odds of the bets taken and are simply hard to hit. However, if you miss one of the bets in a parlay, it is a loss.
Our basic baseball betting strategy to simply pick the winners. It’s just that easy. Forget total runs in a game or total stolen bases in an inning. They are a waste of time. The key to picking winners is to understand baseball is a long game.
The games are long. The season is long. And baseball is also the most dependant on stats of all the sports. They are compiled game after game. These stats are considered before every pitch thereafter. And they should be considered before every bet as well.
- Starting Pitching – The starters of every game influence the line the most. The number of runs in the point spread and the odds on the moneyline. Good starts earn wins so go with the best starter. Be sure to note how the pitchers have performed recently to sure up your call. Is this pitcher an ace? Or a mid-season call-up? Did they throw a complete game their last time out? Or get shelled and pulled early? Know your starters and bet accordingly.
- Pitching Beats Hitting – Pitching is the most important aspect of a baseball game and therefore the most important aspect of a MLB betting strategy. All of the betting lines are based on the starting pitching matchup after all so knowing your starting pitchers, bullpens, and closers inside and out is a huge advantage. The old adage, “Good pitching beats good hitting every time,” is as true today as it was a hundred years ago. Find a few teams with solid pitching and you can win a lot of games.
- Homefield Advantage – Just as in every sport, playing at home gives teams a big advantage. Teams pitch better at home and hit better at home. Home teams win more games and home teams win more series.
- The Game Before – One game is not like the next in baseball. Though are a lot of games in a season and teams usually keep their last game fresh in mind. Statistic and outcomes usually even out over the course of a season. A team that scores a ton of runs one game probably won’t do it the next. Scoring bunches of runs is tough to do in the first place and even tougher to do it twice in a row. Look for teams to come back to Earth the day after a big offensive night. 10 runs, 14 runs don’t come around too often and when they do they aren’t around for long.
- Parlaying Aces – Every team plays every day in baseball. Or so it seems. Everyday there are heavy favorites playing and parlaying these teams together on the moneyline is a solid bet. You can get a good return with little risk by doing so.
- East to West – Watch for teams on long road trips. Especially if it is a team travelling from one coast to the other. This trips are long and grueling for teams and it is reflected in their play. Take the home teams and the easy money.
- Money over Points – The Moneyline is an odds bet where you simply pick a winner. The Runline is a points spread bet made especially for baseball. Because baseball is so low scoring the spread is low, usually just 1.5 runs and this affects the odds and payout. A Moneyline bet is smart if you are playing a long game, making bets on the same team, day after day. The Runline is a good bet when there is a good matchup and you want to make a big bet. The Runline is the harder bet to win so it’s wise to pick and choose the correct matchup with the best odds and payout.
- Easy Goes It – It is best to make conservative bets in baseball. It’s the long game we want to win. There’s another game tomorrow after all.
- Ballparks –Every ballpark in the majors is different from the rest and this makes scoring in every ballpark different. There is no regulation when it comes to dimensions of a ballpark beyond from the pitching mound to home and base to base. Some parks give advantages to the hitters while some give advantages to the pitchers. It’s good to know your parks and how teams play in them. This is especially helpful with Totals bets.
The baseball season is long and there is plenty of action out there. You need a strong MLB betting strategy in order to be successful for the long haul and paying attention to the small details of the season can make a big difference. Everything from injuries to weather conditions can change the matchup and give one team a big advantage over another. In order to make an informed bet, you must be as informed as possible.
Just as the game does, learning how to bet on baseball takes time. Build your own baseball betting guide as you play on the best sportsbooks. Look for the trends and note all of the stats you can and you’ll notice the bets playing out as the games do, with the good bets separating themselves from the bad just as the good teams separate themselves from the pack.