Baseball is America’s pastime and with the growing popularity and increased legality of online sports betting in America, it’s no surprise that there’s a rising interest in wagering online on baseball, specifically Major League Baseball (MLB). Before jumping in to make your first wager, let us show you the top 10 betting tips to make you a better bettor when it comes to wagering online on baseball.
Sportsbook of the Month: Betway
Know The Terminology
Baseball is a game of many metrics, terms, and abbreviations. To get you started, here’s a list of some common terms you need to know before betting online on baseball:
- Chalk- to bet the favorite in the game
- Final Margin- adding together the final run total with the underdog as well as the favorite. The final margin is considered positive if the favorite wins while the margin is considered negative if the underdog wins.
- Opening line- the initial odds that are posted for a specific game with a sportsbook, which can provide a ton of potential value when the line is first placed
- Parlay- a wager that involves two or more bets which will see an increased payout. The odds are worse when combining bets together but the payout is much, much larger
Main Types of Bets (ML, Spread, and O/U)
Like many other sports, there are a plethora of options when it comes to what you can wager on. Let’s look at an example of a baseball line:
|New York (A)||Severino||-1.5 (-105)||(-165)||O +8 (-125)|
|Toronto||Happ||+1.5 (-115)||(+140)||U +8 (+105)|
Let’s look at each column individually. The first is “Team” which shows the two teams that are playing. The one thing to keep in mind is the (A) next to New York. This means that New York is the away team and we’ll touch on why that’s important later.
“Pitcher” is next and shows the two pitchers that will be facing each other in the game. Pitchers have a heavy factor when it comes to determining the Runline and Moneyline odds. What also makes the pitcher unique is that if the pitcher listed doesn’t end up pitching in that game, then for most sportsbooks, the wager is void and does not count.
“Runline” which is also sometimes called the spread, is the number that the sportsbooks believe will provide action on both sides of the game. For this example, if you choose the Yankees Runline, you need them to win by more than 1.5 runs. Since there’s no such thing as half a run, you need them to win by 2 or more. In baseball, the spread is typically plus/minus 1.5, with the favorite being the -1.5 while the underdog is the +1.5. Since baseball games are a bit more challenging to create a spread for, the sportsbooks set the 1.5 number to make sure that the number is enticing enough to have players wager for both the favorite and the underdog.
The most popular bet for an MLB game is the Moneyline. The Moneyline is also the simplest bet as you’re wagering on who you believe the winner of the game will be. So if you’re choosing the Yankees’ Moneyline, then you’ll win your bet if the Yankees win. The Moneyline is how the sportsbooks make both sides even and have action on both sides of the game. The safe bet is going with the favorite for less of a payout. Or betting on the underdog, which will result in a higher payout.
The Over/Under, which is also referred to as “totals” for an MLB game, is what the sportsbooks believe will be the total score for a game. For an Over/Under bet to be considered, the game must be played in 9 innings/ 8 and a half innings if the home team is winning. Additionally, all runs in extra innings are included in the Over/Under bet.
The simplest way to analyze your bet when it comes to weather is: cold weather means less runs scored while hot weather leads to more runs and offense. Data has shown that the cold weather can decrease run score by 2 total runs compared to when the weather is a bit warmer. Simply put, the hitters have the advantage in warm weather while the pitchers have the advantage in cold weather. So if you’re betting on the Over/Under, make sure you know what the temperature in the stadium will be that day.
As the days of robot umpires are not yet upon us, there is still relevant data when it comes to umpires in the online betting world. Umpires are all different with their own strike zones and how they call pitches. Some umpires are more favorable to the pitchers while others seem to help out the batters more. Umpires can be prone to calling pitches outside of the zone while others may miss pitches low in the zone for a strike. There are different sources on MLB’s official website and on Twitter that show umpire patterns and tendencies.
The home stadium, when it comes to sportsbook wagers, can be one of the most influential pieces of data that you look into. Fields like Coors Field (Colorado Rockies) and Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox) are more conducive to high scoring games with lots of home runs. However, a field like the Oakland Coliseum (Oakland Athletics) or Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals) has some of the lower-scoring games in the league and not a lot of offence. Bettors must keep the home stadium in mind while making wagers on any sportsbook.
The health status of players on the roster, no matter if they’re an All-Star calibre player or an off the bench type, can have an impact on the outcome of the game. So knowing who’s out, who’s in, and who recently came back are all important factors to keep in mind when making a wager on any game. If a few stars are out, maybe make some adjustments to your bet. If a player just came back from injury, level expectations until you see some actual results for yourself.
Don’t Always Trust The Favorite
The game of baseball is really different from any other sport where any team can win at any time. Out of the four major sports (Basketball, Baseball, Football, and Hockey), baseball has the largest number of underdogs that win when betting the Moneyline. The clearest example that anyone can win at any time in baseball dates back to the 2011 postseason. The St. Louis Cardinals had the 8th best record in the league and barely made the playoffs. In the playoffs however, they made it to the World Series and won the championship in seven games. This is a long way of saying that any team can win at any time and baseball is the greatest example of that.
Divisional Underdogs Present Value
While the Underdog always has a chance in baseball, they have an even better chance when playing a rival from their division. There are six divisions in total in the MLB with three in each league (American and National League). Statistics have shown that teams not favored when playing against their division rivals have better odds than when they don’t play someone in their division. This is mostly due to having to face teams in division more than any other teams in the league, which leads teams to knowing their opponents in greater detail. So if you’re betting on the favorite in a divisional matchup, be prepared for a potential upset.
Shop For The Best Lines
When it comes to the “where” in where to bet online on baseball, make sure you don’t stick to one operator. There are many different online sportsbook sites that allow you to wager on all kinds of different baseball games and events. When you’ve done all the research and know what you think is the best outcome of the next game, make sure you look at a few different sportsbooks before placing your bets. There can be some operators who will give you a 2x return on your bet while another could provide a 3x return on the same exact bet. No matter what your bet is, whether it be by game or a futures, make sure you look at at least three different operators before placing your final bet.
Manage Your Money Appropriately
When it comes to online sports betting on baseball, the main rules are to have a set budget in total that you’re willing to wager and the percentage of that amount that you’re willing to wager on each bet. Typically, you should only wager a maximum of 5% of your total budget on each bet you make. So if you have a budget of $500 total for all of your online sportsbook wagers, you should only wager a maximum of $25 per bet in order to stay in line with increasing your overall bankroll. In addition to managing your bankroll, you typically should avoid all parlays and teasers when it comes to really getting into the online sportsbook industry. While the parlays can be incredibly enticing with a low wager, high reward payout, the odds of hitting a parlay are usually very low and can ultimately reduce your bankroll to essentially $0 if you’re not careful.
Manage Your Money Appropriately
When it comes to online sports betting on baseball, the main rules are to have a set budget in total that you’re willing to wager and the percentage of that amount that you’re willing to wager on each bet. Typically, you should only wager a maximum of 5% of your total budget on each bet you make. So if you have a budget of $500 total for all of your online sportsbook wagers, you should only wager a maximum of $25 per bet in order to stay in line with increasing your overall bankroll. In addition to managing your bankroll, you typically should avoid all parlays and teasers when it comes to really betting into the online sportsbook industry. While the parlays can be incredibly enticing with a low wager, high reward payout, the odds of hitting a parlay are usually very low and can ultimately reduce your bankroll to essentially $0 if you’re not careful.