Major League Baseball (MLB) is one of the most bet on sports in the world. The MLB’s season runs for 162 games, and a large part of their season runs during the off-season of the NFL, NBA, and College Football and Basketball seasons. Major League Baseball consists of 30 teams, 29 teams in the United States and 1 in Canada; and the teams are split into the National League (16 teams) and American League (14 teams). An interesting note about the two leagues, is that the National League has its pitchers hit in the 9 batter rotation, while the American League allows a Designated Hitter (DH). Eight teams make the Major League Baseball post season, the six division winners, and two wild card teams from each league. The MLB does their playoff schedule differently than most leagues, with the first round series being a best-of five series, and the next two being best-of seven series’. baseball betting typically is done a bit differently than most sports also, while sports like the NBA and NFL have spreads on the games; baseball betting is mostly done by straight betting.
MLB Odds and Betting Types
Baseball offers you a few different options to bet on, with the most popular being straight betting. Unlike NFL betting and NBA betting, the line for spread betting for baseball is always set at -1.5 for the favored team and +1.5 for the underdog. The odds then vary off of which team are favored for that bet. An example of a spread betting line is, say that the Los Angeles Dodgers are playing the Philadelphia Phillies and the Phillies are favored. The line would be set at -1.5 for the Phillies with odds at -110, while the Dodgers are +1.5 at even money. But, if you bet the game straight, the Phillies are -160 to win outright. What this means is that although the Phillies are favored to win the game outright, it’s expected to be a close game, and they aren’t heavy favorites.
As previously mentioned, straight betting is the most popular overall bet for baseball betting though. Mainly because, betting a team -1.5 or +1.5 will vary the odds some, but baseball games end in one run games much more often than most people imagine. Straight betting means that you’re taking one team to just win the game outright, and although the odds on betting the favorite may not be the best, it could definitely be the best bet. So for example, if the Boston Red Sox are playing the Los Angeles Angels, betting the Red Sox straight may give you odds of -165, and betting the Angels will give you odds of +145. This means that betting the Red Sox gives you a payoff of 20/33, and 29/20 for betting the Angels. The biggest factor that affects the odds of straight betting, and also which team is favored, is the pitching. If you have a very strong pitcher against an average pitcher, or one who’s struggled this season, you’re likely to find that the strong pitcher’s team is favored.
Another bet that is offered for baseball betting is total betting. When betting a totals bet, you’re typically going to get close to even odds on either side, with the most it normally varies to is about -120 for one side. The total for a game, is set based on a few different factors, but again the main factor is the pitching. If you have two strong pitchers going against each other, it’s more likely for the total to be set at about 6 or 7. If the two teams playing are hitting the ball well at that time, and the pitchers haven’t been excellent, you’re more likely to get a total of about 8 or 9. An example of a total bet is if the New York Yankees are playing the Athletics, and the total is set at 7.5 with the over 7.5 being -115, and the under 7.5 being -105.
Major Events to Bet On in Baseball
The World Series is definitely the biggest major event out there for baseball betting. The seven-game series gets not only a lot of attention from fans, but also a ton from sports bettors as well. The World Series features the top team from the American League against the top team from the National League. For the World Series, you not only have the option of the spread bet, straight bet, and total bet; but also betting on which team you think will win the World Series before it’s played, and even as early as before the season as well. Of course if you bet a team to win the World Series when all 30 teams are still possibilities to make it, you’ll get much better odds on them than you would if you were to bet them when they are already in the World Series. For example, if you think the San Francisco Giants are going to win the World Series, if you bet them before the year, the odds could be +1100, where if you bet them when they’ve already made the series, the odds could be +130. It is, of course, much easier to pick a team to win the World Series when there’s only two teams remaining compared to 30 before the season begins.
MLB Tips and Betting Strategy
While betting on MLB games, there’s quite a few things to keep your eye out for. For spread betting and straight betting during baseball betting, always watch pitching match-ups. If you have one pitcher who isn’t near the level of the other, you may get great odds to bet the underdog; but it’s probably not worth risking your money in that situation. Another thing to make sure you do is to research each teams current hitting. If one team is in a bad slump and has had a few games of bad hitting, it’s probably not the best idea to bet on that team against a tough pitcher.
In total betting pitching is important as well. The total is typically adjusted based on pitchers, which means that you’ll get a much lower total if there are two tough pitchers going. Just because you see a total that is around 5 or 5.5, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a good bet to take the over. Always research the pitchers and teams’ hitting, because just basing your bet off of a low or high total, is the easiest way to lose money.
Another tip for baseball betting, is to not get too outrageous in betting your World Series favorite before the season. Sure a team who finished middle of the pack or bottom of the pack the season before, may give you great odds on winning it all; but it’s unlikely that the team will turn it around out of nowhere, unless they’ve made some big moves in the off season. Money is still money, and although you’re getting 24 to 1 odds on a team, it’s still probably pretty unlikely for that bet to hit.
When betting on the MLB, always just make sure to place smart bets, and put yourself in a good spot to win. Don’t get too drawn into betting the spread of -1.5, and be content with taking the straight bet when you’re up in the air about a bet. Good luck with your baseball betting, but as long as you do your research and place smart bets, you won’t need luck!
Best Baseball Betting Sportsbook
This day and age there are hundreds if not thousands of online sportsbooks to choose from. We want to help narrow down which sportsbooks are the best for betting on baseball. We have one sportsbook we highly recommend listed below: