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MLB Betting

How to Bet on Major League Baseball

Money Line (Straight) Bets

In baseball punters will commonly bet on the money line only and avoid other markets. On a money line or straight bet the goal is to simply predict what team will win the game. The team you select just has to win the game by any number of runs.

MLB Money Line Example: Colorado Rockies $2.16 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers $1.75

The bookmaker will set the money line odds based on the strength of the two teams and on the action they receive. The Rockies are underdogs and pay plus money to win while the Dodgers are favourites and you have to risk more than you’d win on them.

Run Line (Handicap) Bets

A run line or handicap bet in baseball is where you bet on a team to win or not lose by a certain number of runs. Punters will bet on the run line commonly when they think a favourite will win, but they want to limit how much money they place on the bet.

MLB Run Line Example: Colorado Rockies +1.5 Runs $1.52 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 Runs $2.60

In the example the Dodgers needs to win by 2+ (-1.5) runs to win while the Rockies can win the game or lose by 1 run (+1.5). The most common run line bet is on -1.5/+1.5 runs, but bookmakers also offer -1/+1 runs, -2/+2 runs, -2.5/+2.5 runs, etc.

If you bet on a -1/+1 or -2/+2 run line you can push the bet. If you had the Dodgers -2 and they win by exactly 2 runs the bet is void and you will receive your stake back. The odds on run line bets are enticing, but try to avoid anything above -1.5 runs in MLB.

Over/Under (Total Game Score) Bets

One of the easiest bets to handicap is the total game score or over/under in baseball, as pitchers play such as important role. On this type of wager the bookie sets a run total and the punter predicts whether the combined score will go over or under.

MLB Total Game Score Example: Rockies vs. Dodgers – Over 7.5 runs $1.92 vs. Under 7.5 runs $1.92

In most cases this wager starts at $1.92/$1.92 odds, but can vary slightly based on the action the bookie receives. If the run total is an even number such as O7/U7 the bet can push if the exact score is 7 (Stake returned).

Team Total Runs (O/U) Bets

Rather than bet on the combined final score like in the bet above, the team total runs bet is on a single team. You simply need to bet on whether or not a certain team will score over or under the posted total. This can be ideal with a strong/weak pitcher.

MLB Team Total Runs Example: Rockies Over 3 Runs $1.77 vs. Rockies Under 3 Runs $2.10

1st 5 Innings (1st Half) & 1st 3 Innings Bets

The 1st 5 innings bet is becoming more common because punters don’t want to worry about handicapping bullpens. You can bet on the money line and over/under in the 1st 5 innings market, but the odds will differ from the full match ML and O/U prices.

CentreBet and William Hill also offer a 1st 3 innings market, but punters can only wager on the money line. The odds are almost identical to the 1st 5 inning market. I recommend avoiding the 1st 3 innings bet, as there is too much luck involved in that market.

Double Result Bets

William Hill and CentreBet offers double result wagers in MLB and there are two types. The 1st double result bet is picking the team you think will win the game and whether the game will go over or under the total (Ex: Rockies Win + Over 7.5 Runs $3.90).

The 2nd example is where punters have to predict what team will be winning after the 1st 5 innings and full game. You can bet on Team A / Team A, Team B / Team B or Any Other Result (Includes Draw / Team A or Team B, Team A / Team B, Team B / Team A).

Exact Winning Margin Bets

To win on the exact winning margin bet you have to predict whether a team will win by 1 run, 2 runs, 3 runs or 4+ runs. Trying to predict whether a team will win by 1 run or 2 runs isn’t wise, but 4+ runs is worth a punt in some cases if you want a big payout.

MLB Exact Winning Margin Example: Rockies by 1 $6.00 / Rockies by 2 $9.00 / Rockies by 3 $12.00 / Rockies by 4+ $6.50

Single Inning Bets (1st Through 9th)

It’s common to bet on the 1st inning of an MLB game and most bookmakers offer 1st inning markets. Punters can wager on what team will win (Team A / Draw / Team B), over/under (O 0.5/ U 0.5 or O 1.5/ U 1.5) or total runs (o Runs / 1 Run / 2+ Runs).

You can bet on O/U 0.5 runs, O/U 1.5 runs or on the total runs (0/1/2+). Select the inning (1 – 9) and place your wager. It’s a market that I avoid unless I’m betting the game live.

There are also a number of 1st inning prop bets available at some bookmakers. You can bet on what team will have the most hits, strikeouts and pitches thrown in the 1st inning. You can also bet on the over/under for 1st inning H (Hits) + R (Runs) + E (Errors).

Parlay (Multi-Bet)

A multi-bet is a wager where you combine multiple single bets (2+ Bets) on the same ticket (wager) to increase the payout. It’s common to bet parlays in MLB, but you should keep parlays to 2-3 events only because anything bigger is tough to win.

MLB Multi-Bet Example: Dodgers $1.75 + Cardinals $1.65 + Yankees $1.70

If you bet on the three teams above a $100 parlay pays $391 ($4.91 Odds). All 3 teams have to win in order to win the multi-bet, but this bet is a great way to win a big payout without having to risk too much. You’d have to risk a lot more betting them SU.

Prop Bets

There are tons of MLB prop bets to wager on depending upon the bookmaker you’re betting with. Every game will have prop bets, but nationally televised match-ups will have a wider range of exotic prop bets that aren’t available on other games.

Prop Bet Examples:

-What Team Will Score First?
-Will There Be a Run in the 1st Inning?
-Over/Under on H+R+E (Ex: Cardinals vs. Cubs O24.5 H+R+E $1.91 / U24.5 H+R+E $1.91)
-Adjusted Run Lines / Game Totals (Ex: Cardinals -5.5 $8.92 vs. Cubs +5.5 $1.08)
-Total Number of Runs in Game Will Be Even or Odd?
-What Team Will Score the Last Run of the Game?
-What Team Will Hit the 1st Home Run?
-Will There Be a Home Run Hit in the Game?
-Bet on a Player to Hit a Home Run Anytime in the Game (Anytime HR Market)
-What Team Will Win the Series? (3 or 4 Game Series)

The examples above are all MLB prop bets that you can wager on. Some prop bets have value and you can find an edge, as the bookies spend less time setting prices on these wagers. Below we’re going to take a look at player props during an MLB game.

-Matt Holliday H+R+E $1.80 vs. Starlin Castro H+R+E $1.95
-Jon Jay to Get a Hit $1.65 / Jon Jay Not to Get a Hit $2.25
-Soriano H+R+E O2.5 $2.50 vs. Soriano H+R+E $1.56

Futures Bets

A futures bet is a season long wager in baseball, which means your money can be locked up for over 6+ months. You can bet on futures before the start of the baseball season, but most bookmakers will post adjusted odds throughout the season as well.

MLB Futures Bet Examples:

-What Team Will Win the World Series?
-What Team Will Win the AL or NL Pennant?
-What Team Will Win the Division? (AL East/West/Central & NL East/West/Central)
-Over/Under on a Team’s Regular Season Win Total
-Over/Under on Number of HR’s / Runs / RBI’s / Hits / Stolen Bases a Player Has in a Season
-Over/Under on Number of Wins or Strikeouts a Pitcher Has in a Season
-What Player Will Win the AL/NL Cy Young / AL/NL MVP Awards?

MLB World Series Betting

Since the World Series is a best-of-7 series there aren’t as many unique prop betting opportunities compared to the Super Bowl, but there are still some unique series props. The most popular World Series prop bet is betting on who will win the MVP award.

Punters can also bet on the exact series outcome (Ex: Yankees Win in 6 Games), how many games will be played in the series (4-7 Games) and other entertainment props such as whether a certain celebrity will be spotted at one of the games.

All-Star Game Betting

Just over halfway through the regular season the MLB takes a break to host the all-star game and home run derby. Punters can bet on most of the markets that we discussed above during the all-star game including the ML, O/U, RL and multiple prop bets.

Betting on the home run derby is also a popular wager. Each year there are 4 hitters from the NL and AL that are selected to hit in the derby. Punters can bet on the AL or NL to hit the most HR’s and on what player they think will win the home run derby.

MLB Live Betting

Bookmakers allow punters to wager on baseball live and you can bet on every single at bat with some bookies. Aussie bookies offer a range of MLB live betting markets. You can bet on the money line, over/under, run line and more as the game is played.

Biggest MLB Events

While there are a ton of big games that take place throughout the Major League Baseball season, there are certain games that are a must see, or must bet on. Here are a few of the biggest Major League Baseball events:

  • World Series – of course you have to bet on the World Series. The best two teams in Major League Baseball go at it in a best-of-seven series. Millions around the world watch the World Series, and many times the World Series will provide prop bets that can be wagered on. Prop bets are individual bets such as which player will have most hits in a certain game, or even something like how many pitchers will the starting pitchers throw?
  • All Star Game – while this game is not really a cut-throat all competitive game, this is a fun game that pits the best players in the National League against the best in the American League. Since the debacle in Milwaukee, where the game ended in a tie, this game now means, whichever league wins the game, will get home field advantage in the World Series. There are a ton of bets available for the All Star Game, once again, offering a ton of prop bets.
  • Fox Games of the Week – Saturday afternoons are a great time for Major League Baseball. Fox always offers the game of the week, and most of the time these are the best games of the weekend.
  • ESPN Sunday/Monday night games of the week – Again, some of the best games will be broadcasted on the worldwide leader in sports – ESPN. These are great games to bet on, because millions across the globe are tuned into it.
  • Rivalry Games – Major League Baseball has a ton of great rivalries. Rivalries are fun to bet on, but be sure you know what you are betting, and how each team has been faring as of late before making the bet. A few of the best rivalries in Major League Baseball include: Yankees/Red Sox, Dodgers/Giants, Cubs/Cardinals and Mets/Phillies.

MLB Betting Tips

We have talked several times about a few things you should think about before betting on Major League Baseball. Here are a few of the key tips that we have come up with to help you develop into an excellent Major League Baseball bettor:

  1. Know which teams is at home/on the road – Some teams play really well when they are at home. Some teams struggle big time when they play away from their home stadium. It makes a difference. Home crowd, hopsitality of home stadium, and most importantly being comfortable with the surroundings.
  2. Pitching match-ups – This is very important. All bookmakers will give you who the starting pitchers are. This is the number one factor as to what team is favored and what team is the underdog. Get a good read on both pitchers, and especially see how they have been doing in recent starts. Also understand and check out their career numbers against a certain team.
  3. Check the injury report – Be sure you know if a certain player, or several players are injured. Injuries are a big part of the game, and effect a team more than anything else. Check it out before you make the bet. This may be a reason you like the bet so much; a player is hurt.
  4. Shop for the best lines – there are bookmakers all over online. Join several of the bookmakers and check for the best lines available. It may be a big difference in the money you win for a game. Over time, this makes a huge difference. Do not just settle on a line that you like, check around – it may be better somewhere else.
  5. Do not bet just to have action – If you do not like the game you are betting on – do not bet on it. It’s important if you want to stay around in the world of sports betting. You should have a reason for liking the game – and then go with it. If you do not have a reason to like it – stay away.
  6. Use smart bankroll management – Basically, do not bet $1000 on one game that you are not sure about, and then $10 on another game. Set your limits first, and use that limit as your key factor. Maybe use a low bet, medium bet and high bet, and do not sway from those numbers.

Many sports tend to provide online sports bettors months and months of excitement. The longest season of them all is the Major League Baseball season. Major League Baseball season starts at the end of March or first of April and runs all the way until the end of October. The season is 162 games long, and it featured 30 teams, with 16 in the National League and 14 in the American League. 8 teams make the playoffs in Major League Baseball, and then it moves to 4, and then the final 2 will play in the World Series. In the World Series,they play to whichever team wins four games first (best-of-seven). Online MLB betting can certainly be profitable, but you must understand what you are betting on, and do your homework. The best Major League Baseball bettors know the teams, and know their tendencies. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular MLB betting types available.