Betting On Major League Baseball

Posted: October 6, 2014

Updated: June 4, 2017

The Major League Baseball season accelerates towards the climatic World Series so we have a look at how you can bet on this wonderful sport.

The Major League Baseball remains one of the least bet upon sports and yet provides some of the best opportunities for sports betting, and if you like to bet on sports in the US you couldn’t find a more exciting spectacle to watch whilst you’re doing it. The 30 teams of league battle it out over 162 games of the regular season until the playoffs where the eventual winners of the National League and America League play each other in the World Series for the MLB title.

Major League Baseball Betting

• 30 teams in 162 regular season games

Online gambling sites in the US offer odds

• Who will be World Series champions?

Why baseball remains less popular than other sports for gamblers is a bit of mystery. Certainly it has had no more scandals than any other sport. There were some issues in the early 20th century, the Black Sox Scandal where eight players were accused of throwing their series against the Cincinnati Reds, but those are ancient history, and whilst there was an instance of a manager betting on games in the late eighties, MLB has stayed relatively clean.

Of course as with most modern team sports the competition to have the best players is fierce, baseball odds tend to have the opening pitcher of each time listed next to them, which in of itself should tell you how important team composition is in the sport, and that has led to some instances of large quantities of money being bandied about to attract them whilst they are still technically amateurs, it is no worse than the NBL or NFL.

Like those two leagues baseball has had a few run ins with drug issues. The eighties saw the Pittsburgh Drug Trials, and steroids were an issue a decade or so ago, but more recently attention has been focused on Biogenesis with 20 players in 2013 accused of using HGH (a growth hormone) leading to a number of notable and lengthy bans, however given the NFL has only just begun testing for HGH recently baseball is still ahead of the game, and if you bet on it, so can you be.

The Run Line And Total Bets

One of the attractions of betting on baseball is the different bets available for the discerning punter allowing a huge flexibility of where your bankroll can be sensibly wagered on this great sport. US gambling laws allow for these in those states that permit it and you can find superb odds online from both within the US and abroad. As is usual with American sports betting this is, in the main, based around a handicapping system.

Teams are, in any particular match up, either favored or unfavored by a varying amount, which will be represented in the Moneyline odds, the odds of one team beating the other, and displayed as a negative and minus number. The minus number represents how much you have to bet to win 100 dollars, because that team is favored to win, and the positive number (on the unfavored team) how much you win if you bet 100 dollars.

Run Line bets offer better odds but are, by definition, a riskier proposition. Here one wagers on a team winning by 2 or more runs, and remember 30% of all games are settled by a margin of one run, so those better odds have a reason. Of course this means you can bet on an underdog and so long as they only lose by a single run you still win, but of course those bets will cost you proportionately more because of the increased odds in your favor.

Another favorite is totals under/over betting where for each game the bookies list a number of runs that combines the scores of both teams at the end of the game. One can thus wager if the end result will be more or less than this total, and this simplicity attracts a lot of money in the baseball betting world. Of course as in other sports there are parlay bets to be had, but given the adjusted odds because of the moneyline betting system, it has its differences.

Dime Lines And Form

You’ll often hear of Dime Lines and these provide the arena for those who are betting on baseball seriously as the odds are set at only +10/-10 and no more, this means you’re getting close odds regardless of the teams squaring off against each other. Should you be betting consistently over a season it’ll be the Dime Lines you’ll want to play although do be careful as some sports books don’t offer them at all or only offer a +20/-20 book.

Of course you’ll need to have some idea of a team’s form, winning (and indeed losing) streaks of a half dozen games are quite common, and paying attention to that all important team composition is wise too. The loss of a talented starting pitcher can put a team at a significant disadvantage over their usual performance potential, and with most starting pitchers leaving a third of the game in the hands of their relief you have to know who’s in and who’s out.

It is also important to note that the game itself is not all run rates and batting averages, the defense plays a huge part in game results, especially in close games, with the stark truth being that teams who make fewer unforced errors in the field tend to win more games, regardless of the odds and changes in team line up can make the difference between a good field and a mediocre one. So if you’re going to bet on baseball take a look at the gambling news sites and get a handle on how your picks are playing and who’s playing for them.

This season in the America League the Baltimore Orioles are running at 5/6 to win the pennant with the Kansas City Royals at 7/5, whilst over in the National League the LA Dodgers are getting 8/5 and those SF Giants 9/5. This means overall the odds on the World Series are in Baltimore’s favor with them at a good 3/1 and the Dodgers trailing at 7/2. Which way will it end up, tough call, but whichever team you think will take it betting on it couldn’t be easier or more enjoyable.

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