Sports Betting 101: How to bet on Major League Baseball
Betting on Major League Baseball (MLB) can be a fun and exciting way to add an extra level of interest when you watch a ballgame. However, you shouldn’t start doing it before you understand the basics of betting on baseball. We’re going to explore some of these basics. Let’s get started.
Types of Bets
Moneyline Bets: This is the simplest and most common type of MLB bet, where the objective is to pick which team will win the game outright. The odds for each team are represented by a positive or negative number, with the favorite having a negative number and the underdog having a positive number. For example, if the New York Yankees are -180 and the Boston Red Sox are +160, this means that you would have to bet $180 on the Yankees to win $100, while a $100 bet on the Red Sox would win you $160.
Run Line Bets: This type of wager will be recognizable to those who are familiar with betting on a point spread in football or basketball. A run line bet happens when you bet on a team to win by a certain number of runs. For example, if the run line is set at -1.5 for the Yankees and +1.5 for the Red Sox, this means that the Yankees need to win by two or more runs for a -1.5 bet on them to be a winner, while the Red Sox need to either win the game or lose by one run or less for a +1.5 bet on them to be a winner. That should be easy enough to understand.
Totals (Over/Under) Bets: In this particular type of wager, you’re going to bet on the total runs scored in the game to be over or under a set number. For example, if the total is set at 9.5, you would bet on the game to either go over 9.5 runs or under 9.5 runs. And either side in that one will have a price attached to it. Maybe it’s -110 (where you lay 11-to-10) on either the over or under, or one side of that is “favored.” An example of this is where the price on the “over” is -115 and the “under” is -105.
Prop Bets: These are bets on specific events within the game, such as whether a player will get a hit or a home run, or how many total bases they will account for, or how many strikeouts a pitcher may generate. You could conceivably have hundreds of proposition bets for any given ballgame.
Anywhere there is a quantifiable statistic, there is likely to be a prop attached to it.
The odds for MLB betting are represented by positive or negative numbers and are determined by the bookmakers based on various factors, among them the teams’ recent performance, the starting pitchers, injuries or perhaps some other factor. Remember that this is a “market,” so the odds have a chance of changing as the game approaches, according to the action that is placed on the game. So it is worth your while to keep track of this movement.
Do your research: For this we are assuming you have an interest in succeeding at this endeavor. Before making any MLB bets, it’s important to conduct some research. Look at the teams’ recent offensive performance, the relative strength of the starting pitchers, bullpen depth and recent usage, and any key injuries that may have an impact. Take into account factors such as the weather, the stadium (for home team advantage as well as runs scored), and some head-to-head comparisons, such as the teams’ records against each other and/or the starting pitchers’ past performance against the members of the opposing team’s lineup.
Use smart betting principles
Some people use a certain betting method for MLB betting, such as the Martingale system. A system like that involves increasing or decreasing your bet based on whether you win or lose.
But even though this seems like a simplified approach for a beginner, you need to be very careful going that route, since your losses can really add up quickly.
As far as money management is concerned, your best approach is to……
Stay disciplined: It’s easy to get carried away when betting on MLB, especially if you’re on a winning streak. However, it’s important to stay disciplined and stick to your betting strategy.
Avoid making impulsive bets and only bet what you can afford to lose. What you want to do is avoid anything that adds greatly to the risk of ruin (i.e., going broke).
Shop around for the best odds: Different sportsbooks may have different odds for the same MLB game, so it’s important to shop around to find the best odds. In the long run, this has a positive effect for you.
Don’t chase losses: If you lose a bet, don’t be tempted to bet more in an attempt to recoup. This is the sign of a pure amateur, and it paves a road to disaster.