MLB BETTING GUIDE
Tips and strategies to become a more successful baseball bettor
Ok, so you want to bet on some MLB action, what are your options?
The money line bet might just be the easiest betting term to understand. Simply put, if you are betting on the money line, this means you believe that the team you wagered on will win the game. In baseball, there are two possible results for a money line bet; your team wins and you win the bet, or your team loses and you lose the bet. Remember, in the MLB there are no ties, so one team must win.
Let’s assume you want to bet on the Yankees to win this game. We refer to this as taking them “straight up” or taking them on the money line. To win $100 on New York money line (-150) you must risk $150 To win $100 on Texas money line (+130) you would only need to risk about $77
The run line to baseball is somewhat like the point spread to basketball or football. When betting the run line, your team is no longer required to just win straight up. If you are betting on the underdog (the team less likely to win) you don't need them to win the game. With the run line at +1.5, all you need is for your team to not to lose by 2 or more runs. Conversely, if you are betting on the favourite (the team that is expected to win), they must win by 2 or more runs for you to win the bet. Lets look at the following example:
Let's assume you want to bet on the Rangers on the run line (+1.5):
For you to win this bet, the Rangers need to win the game, or lose by exactly 1 run.
- Final Score - Yankees 5, Rangers 2 - You lose the bet
- Final Score - Yankees 1, Rangers 6 - You win the bet.
- Final Score - Yankees 5, Rangers 4 - You win the bet.
As you can see from the above example, taking the Rangers on the Money Line is +130, but taking them on the Run Line is -200. Why is there such a discrepancy between the two prices? This simplest answer is that baseball is a relatively lower scoring sport; so 1 run makes a big difference. if you want to take a team +1.5, you are normally going to have to pay a steep price.
A totals bet (also known as an over/under bet) refers to a wager where you are betting on the combined amount of runs that are scored in a game. In this type of wager, the winning team and the run line have no bearing.
Let’s use the following example:
The total for the Yankees vs the Rangers is listed at 8.5 runs. This means you can bet on whether you think the total score will be over 8.5 runs or under 8.5 goals.
- If the Yankees win 4 to 1 (a total of 5 runs) the game went under
- If the Yankees win 5 to 4 (a total of 9 runs) the game went over
First 5 innings
Much like betting the first half of a football or basketball game, you can bet on the first 5 innings of an MLB game. There is greater value on the starting pitcher when betting on the first 5 innings. The reason for this is the limited number of variables. Relief pitchers and substitutions are less likely to be a factor in the first half of a ball game; placing greater weight on the starting pitcher's performance. The following is an example of a first 5 innings line:
Daily Prop Bets
What is an MLB Prop Bet?
MLB prop bets are bets on the statistical performance of a player or a team. Prop bets are completely independent of traditional bets such as money lines or totals.
The most common daily baseball props include:
- Will player X hit a home run?
- How many total bases will Player X record?
- How many strikeouts will Pitcher X throw?
- What will the total hits, runs and errors be for the game?
If you don't want to bet on the result of the game, betting on props is another way to have some fun and maybe make some money.
MLB futures bets allow you to bet on an outcome that will take place in the future. For example, you can bet on which team will win the World Series. Here is an example from the 2021 season
The better the team, the smaller the payout. We can see that the Dodgers were +450 to win the World Series. That means for every $100 bet on them, you would win $450.
A team like Baltimore on the other hand were not likely to win. That's why they were offering odds of +8000. This means if Baltimore were to happen to win it all, for every $100 wagered, you would win $8,000.
Futures include more than just the eventual champion. You can bet on awards such as the MVP, Cy Young, or the Rookie of the Year; and you can bet on other props such as how many homeruns a player will hit during the season, or how many games a team will win. Futures are a fun way to keep engaged throughout a season.
MLB Tips & Strategies
If you want to increase your chances of being a successful bettor, here are a few tips to help you on your way:
- Price Shopping: When placing a bet, you always want to make sure you are getting the best price/line possible. Don’t be afraid to shop around. Different sportsbooks offer different prices; and they fluctuate throughout the day. If you want to save a ton of time, check out betstamp.app. It's free to join, and all the line shopping is quickly and efficiently done for you. You get updates in real time of which sportsbooks are offering the best line.
- Track Your Bets: Keep records of your wagers, and stay on top of what is working and not working for you. Without documenting your bets, it is difficult to see where you are winning or losing as a bettor.
- Bankroll Management: Set your bankroll and learn to manage it properly. Don't deviate too far from your average bet size and ensure that you are always betting within your limits.
- The Value of the Starting Pitcher: The starting pitcher is the most important player in the game; and he can very well dictate the line. A dominant pitcher is sure to make his team the overwhelming favourite in the majority of his starts. If a below average team has their ace (best starting pitcher) on the mound, and they are playing one of the better teams in the league without a reputable pitcher, it is very common to see the below average team as favourites in this type of scenario. The pitching matchup can easily shift the balance of a baseball game.
- Injuries & Rest: The MLB season is a 162 game grind. Don’t rush to bet on a line that you think is too good to be true. Take your time and do some homework. Make sure that your team doesn't have any injuries that you are not aware of. Teams will have their players rest for a few games in the season. So although your Allstar may not be injured, it's possible the team is giving him the night off to rest. This is known as load management. Also make sure you are aware of the starting pitchers, this is the most important information to have before wagering on the game.