When winter arrives, this means baseball betting season is back! After horse racing, baseball is known as the reason gambling became so popular. I will cover the good reasons for this later in this article. Unlike other sports like football and basketball, where bettors place most of their wagers on the point spread, Moneyline is the most popular bet in baseball. This means you only need to pick the game’s winner. Although it may sound easy, there are things you should learn before placing your bets on baseball games. For this reason, keep reading this article to learn baseball betting basics, rules, strategies, and tips.
Baseball Betting Rules, The Game Basics
I am not here to teach you how to play baseball and the rules of the game. In fact, the beauty of sports betting is that sometimes you should not even know the rules! However, to be on the safe side, here is a refresher on how the game and America’s pastime are set up:
🔎 North Americans, Canadians, and Japanese are known to be big fans of baseball.
🔎 30 teams in Major League Baseball are divided into two 15-team sub-leagues. These teams are further subdivided into three divisions.
🔎 Each baseball team consists of 9 players, and age groups vary between 7 to above 18 years, depending on the leagues.
🔎 The game’s objective is to score more runs than the opponent team.
🔎 To score, you-known as the batter- should hit the ball thrown to you as far as you can before the fielding team can collect the ball and throw it to the base the batter is running to.
🔎 The game lasts for 9 innings, of which both teams take turns to bat once. The inning is a measurement of the game’s periods or simply the game’s basic unit. 9 innings in baseball games are divided into two halves or frames; top(first half) and bottom(second half).
🔎 In each half-inning, a team bats until three outs are made while the opposing team plays the defense. If three outs are recorded for a team during a half-inning, the team loses its batting turn. When an out happens, the referee – known as the umpire – rules the batter or baserunner out. The batter loses their ability to score a run and must return to the dugout until their turn for the next bat.
🔎 The game starts with throwing the baseball toward home plate, which is known as pitch.
🔎 Each team plays 162 games during each regular season based on a predetermined schedule. Each team’s schedule will be heavy in their own division, less heavy in other divisions, and some interleague plays.
🔎 Each baseball team plays around six games per week. Each team faces opposition in a series of 2 to 5 games at a time to reduce travel.
🔎 Sub-league teams play until there are three winners and they play the winner of a play-in game, which is the first round of the playoffs.
🔎 In the playoffs, four divisional series are present, where each team should win 3 to 5 to move forward.
🔎 Each sub-league holds a best-4-out-of-7 championship series, followed by World Series. World Series is another best-4-of-7 where two sub-league winners compete against each other.
Baseball is considered a stat-centric sport because with 162 games during a season, bettors have a lot of time figuring out the character of a team. Unlike soccer, no key numbers are involved in baseball, and runs are somehow distributed around the mean. In addition, as I have said before, there is no point spread to consider in this game. As a result, bookmakers adjust baseball odds in a straightforward way. According to several academic studies, baseball betting markets are almost as efficient as NFL and NBA markets. This means no significant areas where the odds significantly differ from the outcome. But this does not mean you cannot make money by betting on baseball markets(more on this later).
Baseball Bets And Odds Explained
As shown in the figure above, a standard listing of baseball bets consists of multiple pieces of information you need to learn how to read and analyze. Let us review each piece together:
- Time and date show the schedule for the first pitch of each game.
- Rotation numbers are unique identifiers for each side of the baseball bet.
- Teams and starters show away and home teams. Away or road teams are always listed on top, and home teams are always listed on the bottom. Also, projected starters are sometimes listed, along with whether they are left or right-handed.
📈 Oppening odds is an optional section where bookmakers show the opening Moneyline and total. You cannot bet on the opening numbers. They are just there to give you an idea about the market and help you to compare the opening odds with the current odds to better anticipate where the market is going.
📊 Every baseball odds listing should show the Moneyline odds for the favorite team and the game total. The favorite odds are represented by a negative 3-digit number. The game total is shown with a number between 5 and 15.
The information I already covered is the primary and standard for baseball odds listing. The listing formats may differ from sportsbook to sportsbook. For example, this is what you can expect while betting on baseball online at Betonline sportsbook:
Baseball Moneyline Betting Explained
Moneyline is the most basic form of sports betting, where you bet on the winner of the game. In other words, you predict who the winner will be and bet on your prediction. When placing a Moneyline wager on baseball, you pick the winner, and it does not matter by how much the team wins; it does not matter if it’s in 9 innings or 90 innings!
A quick refresher on oddsmaking: bookmakers have the following two choices to spit the betting action between teams of differing quality.
1️⃣ Handicapping one team by including a point spread: betting on either side of the spread is close to an even money 11/10 bet. However, the bookmaker adjusts the final score by a certain number of points to determine the winner of the handicap bet.
2️⃣ Moneyline: this alternative is where the winner of the bet is determined by the game’s winner, and the game’s final score indicates the winner. Although there are no run or point adjustments, the payouts differ depending on whether you bet on the favorite or the underdog.
Moneyline is Moneyline, and baseball Moneyline bets are no different from any other sports; If your team wins, your bet wins.
Baseball Moneyline bet includes several critical pieces of information. Let us review each using an example.
Suppose there is a baseball game where the favorite is set at -110 and the underdog at +100. In this case:
🔎 If you back the favorite and place your bet on -110, the break-even winning percentage for this bet will be 52.4%. How? To calculate your break-even rate on a favorite Moneyline, you should divide the odds by itself minus 100. In this example, -110/-210 x 100= 52.4%. Using the same calculation, the break-even on the underdog will be 50%.
🔎 To determine the Vig or bookmaker’s commission, you need both the favorite and the underdog Moneylines. In this example, the bookmaker’s vigorish will be 2.3%.
There will be no tie in baseball except in the occasional ALL-STAR game. The game’s final result, including any possible extra innings, will determine the fate of your Moneyline bet.
Baseball Total Runs Bets Decoded
This is similar to the other over/under bets in other sports. In baseball, the sportsbook sets a number of total combined runs in the game. Now, if you bet under, teams should score less than that number for you to win. On the other hand, if you bet over, the teams’ total scored runs should be more than that number for your bet to win.
Baseball total bets are offered as straight 11/10 bets with -110 on either side(over/under) and in increments of ½ runs.
Like football and basketball, any extra play will be counted in the total bet. In other words, extra innings will be included in your total bet. For instance, if you bet over 6.5 and the 9th inning finishes at 3-3, you lose your bet because the game continues until one team tops the other.
MLB Run Line Betting Explained
There is no point spread in baseball. However, in Major League Baseball(MLB), teams with noticeable quality differences compete against each other. Long ago, sportsbooks realized that extreme Moneyline bets do not appeal to some bettors. Because for favorite bettors, payouts are not big enough to make it worth it, and underdog bettors feel they are risking for handsome but rare payouts. As a result, sportsbooks decided to run line bets. In fact, a run line bet is a baseball version of spread bets.
The baseball run line betting market is a crossover between a point spread and a Moneyline. This market operates according to the rules below:
✅ In a favorite run line bet, a -1.5 handicap will be applied to the final score. The odds for a favorite run line bet are equivalent to a favorite Moneyline bet plus 80 to 110 points.
✅ Opposite to the favorite run line bet, for the underdog, a +1.5 handicap will be applied to the final score. The underdog odds for run line bet are equivalent to the underdog Moneyline minus 80 to 110 points.
Sportsbooks have different approaches to listing baseball odds. Some offer low-vig bets, some offer considerably better odds on favorites, and some do the exact opposite. The main takeaway is that regardless of which betting market you pick, you should have at least 3 outs! In other words, you must have a handful of betting options and select the best possible odds of winning.
Baseball Parlay and Prop Bets
Parlay betting is a way of creating larger bets with increased odds by combining multiple picks from two or more games. The more picks or legs are involved in the parlay bet ticket, the higher the odds will be. In other words, smaller stakes would end up with higher payouts. However, remember, to win your baseball parlay ticket, every single pick should win; otherwise, your parlay bet loses. The higher the odds of the parlay bet, the harder it is to win, as you need multiple picks to win if you want to win your entire parlay ticket.
Prop bets, on the other hand, are bets that have independent outcomes from the result of the game. For example, the team to score first in the game, the first team to reach 3 runs in the game, total strikeouts, etc. Player prop bets are very popular in football and basketball sports. Similarly, baseball player prop bets are very popular. Because they allow bettors to mix their betting and wager on more unique markets that are independent of the overall outcome of the game.
Baseball In-Play Betting
Live betting is another popular sports betting market. In-play baseball betting means you place your wagers during the game. Live betting adds to the excitement of the game because everything happens in real time, the speed of changes is fast, and you should stay sharp to place a winning bet. An example of a live baseball bet could be Yankees VS. Athletics. Athletics score 3 home runs in a row. Betonline sportsbook increases Yankees Moneyline, allowing you to place your wager on them and win with higher odds.
As the name suggests, future bets are wagers that will not pay off until some time in the near future. In MLB, future bets would be backing a team to win the World Series month before the playoffs start. You can place future bets before and during a season. But remember, the odds keep changing depending on the team’s performance. If you are patient enough for your bet to pay off, future bets are for you!
Baseball and MLB Betting Tips
Here are some helpful tips to turn a profit this season:
- Know the players who are playing. Not knowing the players is a typical baseball betting mistake.
- Don’t bet on favorites TOO OFTEN.
- Know your limits and manage your bankroll.
- Keep emotions out of your wagers and do your research before placing a bet.
- Shop the line. Do you wonder what this means? It simply means that odds or lines differ from sportsbook to sportsbook depending on the betting traffic. So, checking different odds to find the best is known as shopping the line. You can shop around easily if you have multiple accounts in different sportsbooks.
- Don’t try out any strategy you happen to see!
Baseball Betting FAQ
What Does +1.5 Mean In Betting Baseball?
Well, I explained the signs above. In a nutshell, this means a +1.5 handicap is applied to the final result. In other words, the underdog you wagered on must win the game or lose by a single run. Otherwise, your run line bet will lose.
What Are The Best Baseball Betting Apps?
Many sites and apps offer baseball betting. However, I recommend the following betting sites not because I’m paid to recommend them but because I’m one of the happy customers! Plus these sites are licensed, trusted, and offer competitive odds.
- Betonline – our number one site and app for sports betting. Betonline is the top, most trusted, and safest gambling platform for baseball and other sports betting. It offers a $1000 welcome bonus.
- Bovada- is the second-best real-money baseball betting app for the US and international players.
- Fan Duel
How To check Baseball Bets Today?
Well, it is pretty straightforward. Just check the sites I provided above. Other sites also offer different bets and predictions like oddsshark and so on.
Is It Legal To Bet On Baseball?
The answer depends on where you live in the US. However, it is legal to place your wagers online using baseball betting apps and sportsbook websites across the US.
To Sum It Up
Baseball is not only fun to play but also to bet on. There are plenty of betting options, including Moneyline, run line, props, futures, parlay, and in-play. Even if you don’t know every detail about the game’s rules, if you review the basics and watch a couple of games, you can place bets with high chances of winning.