How to bet on Major League Baseball

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

MLB ( Major League Baseball ) bets are considered a great challenge by many punters. Because MLB is different, a sport that many of us do not understand. Even so, any punter who has ever looked at the odds of a baseball game knows that these are at higher levels than other sports.

From experience, I could say that in baseball one finds the most valuable odds. The average and balance odds are over those one meets regularly. For instance, if you find in basketball odds of @2.00 by @1.78, in baseball you will find @2.05 by @1.83. Why these differences? Continue to read to see why baseball is different and why it enjoys this attention from punters and betting agencies.


Major League Baseball


Line bets – Money Line

Once you understand this sport and how to bet on baseball, the next step is to find out how to get an advantage over the betting agency. Line bets, Money Line, are the bets on the team that will win the match. There are two main factors that might be considered when becoming informed and analyzing baseball, those related to Money Line, defense and offence:

Defense – Starting pitcher

As there are many games in a typical MLB (Major League Baseball) season, it is important to be aware of the rotation and to know who will be in the start team in any given game. Most betting agencies list the pitcher, but there are also exceptions. Although analyzing a team’s bullpen (the place where pitchers warm up) is important, the player who will start the game is the most important.



The most conclusive statistics for pitchers are: IP (Innings Pitched), WHIP (Walks Plus Hits per innings pitched), ERA (Earned Run Average) and WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player).

Certainly, baseball terminology has its own specificity and it is good to be familiar with the employed terms, otherwise difficulties in comprehension and interpretation of statistical data may arise. MLB is an extremely analyzed sport, there are similar data similar to the xG from football, and statistics play a very important role.


Offence – Hitters (those who hit the ball)

Each match is analyzed based on the two aspects, offense and defense After analyzing a team’s defence, it’s the offence’s turn. Again, there are many available statistics, but some are considered more valuable than others: PA (Plate Appearances) wOBA (weighted On-Base Average), OBP (On-Base Percentage) and ISO (Isolated Power) are just a few examples of the most important statistics that punters should use.

Major League Baseball



Run Line bets at Major League Baseball

Run Line bets can offer better value, but also require slightly more advanced baseball knowledge. At a basic level, for those who know the 3-point value in NFL bets, 1.5 points is actually the same in baseball bets – it is a 1.5 point handicap that each party must cover, so that the bet would be a winner.

A Run Line strategy can be designed to help punters assess whether there is value on the market or not – this is done by converting Run Line odds into a percentage winning chance.

The formula is: RISK/WINNING *100 = percentage probability

However, a baseball punter will calculate the probability without the betting agency’s margin – something that can easily be done based on the example below:

Team American odds Decimal odds
Tampa Bay Rays (+1.5) -101 @1.99
Boston Red Sox (-1.5) -109 @1.92

The following formula can be used in order to calculate odds without the betting agencies’ margin:

(Boston Red Sox odds – Tampa Bay Rays odds) / 2 = real odds for Boston Red Sox

After converting the odds for Boston Red Sox into real odds, one easily realizes the win percentage for a bet -1.5 Run Line:

(105 / 205) x 100 = 51%

The process of converting decimal odds into probabilities is just as simple. Only convert odds into a real percentage, unaffected by betting agencies’ margins.

1/Decimal odds = default probability

1/1.92 = 0.5208 or 52.08%

Then you can calculate the default probability of all possible results to get the margin:

(1/1.92) + (1/1.99) = 1.022 or 102.2% = 2.2% winning margin

Default probability x (100 – margin) = real winning percentage

0.5208 x (100 – 2.2) = 51%


Over/under bets (Totals)

As in any other sport, under/over in baseball bets refers to a bet on the total number of points (runes) scored in a game being over or under a number set by the betting agency – each team has 27 outs to score. This type of bet is considered the most predictable during the match, a true type of strategic bet.

Similarly to baseball line bets, the two teams’ analysis of the offence and defense forces can provide a very accurate picture of each team’s possibilities. In addition, there are several external factors that can influence these under/over bets.


External factors

Besides analyzing the performance of each team and players, it is important to consider the external factors that could affect baseball bets. While baseball has many similarities to other sports in terms of host field advantage and is affected by weather, luck has a slightly lower role.

Many baseball stadiums have different sizes and this can influence the number of scored rounds. Coors Field, Home Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks ‘Chase Field are famous for high score games. Instead, AT&T Park San Francisco Giants and Safeco Field – if Seattle Mariners play their home games – are known as stadiums where low scores are recorded.

Temperature, humidity and wind speed on the day of the game also affects baseball bets. Heat attenuates air and allows the ball to travel faster, but the less moist, the more the air becomes thicker, making the circulation of the ball more difficult.

Wind has a more obvious impact upon baseball, which can work both for and against hits. If a strong wind blows in the opposite direction of the hitting area, the ball will not get too far. If the wind follows the hit, it will help the ball move further – the speed and direction of the wind are very important factors and deserve to be carefully analyzed.

Most betting agencies (offline and online) offer baseball bets. However, most games are played overnight (daytime in the United States) and it is a little more difficult to bet live. The value of odds makes these types of bets appropriate to be played single, less on tickets.

If you think of betting on MLB (in other countries, baseball is insignificant), the simplest way is to build your own strategy (for instance, odds between @2.00 and @2.10 for the teams playing on their own fields) and apply it on very low stakes. As you begin to find out the secrets of this sport, you will find that it is very attractive and a gold mine in the summer, when there are not many options.

The base idea is very simple: analyses the offense, analyses the defense and take into account the external factors. It is simpler than it seems.


by Mircea Panait

Author: Editor

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