Betting on Major League Baseball

Betting on Major League Baseball

The betting public tends to focus much of their energy betting on football and basketball, but there is a tremendous opportunity to build an impressive bankroll betting on MLB games if you take the time to learn and understand the ins and outs of betting on this sport. >One of the most attractive things about betting on baseball is the wealth of opportunities the sport has to offer. Starting in early April and running all the way to the end of the fall, there are a myriad of chances to cash-in when you consider that you have 30 MLB teams playing a 162-game regular season. This is followed by an extended postseason leading up to the World Series.

MLB Moneylines

The most common bet in baseball is on the game's moneyline. Sportsbooks will usually release their moneyline for any given matchup well in advance of the first pitch as long as both team's starting pitchers have been confirmed. The odds on a baseball moneyline are based on a $100 wager on either the favorite or the underdog. You will have to risk more than that to bet on the favorite and your return will be greater than 100 if you bet on the underdog. The more one team is favored over the other, the bigger the difference between the numbers.

A typical MLB moneyline will look like this:

Pittsburgh +125
Cincinnati -130

In this situation, you would have an opportunity to earn $125 for every $100 bet on the Pirates as underdogs. If you decide to go with the Reds in this scenario, you would win $100 if they come through as favorites, but if they lose then you would owe the book $130. Oddsmakers place a tremendous weight on each team's starting pitcher when setting MLB moneylines, so when it comes to handicapping baseball that is where the majority of your efforts should be placed.

MLB Run Lines

Another way to bet on baseball is to use the odds that are set on what is referred to as the run line. This is baseball's equivalent of a spread although you are still technically betting on a modified moneyline. To bet the favorite on the run line you have to give 1.5 runs and if you want to bet on the underdog you get 1.5 runs. This will obviously have a huge impact on the actual moneyline given the addition or subtraction of the 1.5 runs from the actual final score.

In the same example used above, the run line for this game would look like this:

Pittsburgh (+1.5) -190
Cincinnati (-1.5) +175

As you can see, there is quite a bit of risk/reward involved to taking the favorite in this game and give the 1.5 runs for a potential return of $175 on a $100 bet. Wagering on the run line in baseball is a solid betting strategy when you have a ton of confidence that the favorite is going to win the game by more than two runs. You have to keep in mind that there are quite a few one-run games in the Majors, so this bet is all about your confidence level one way or the other.

MLB Total Lines

The total line in baseball is similar to other sports in that you bet on the combined score of both teams either going OVER or UNDER a set line. Many times this will be an even money bet that is listed like this:

Pittsburgh 7o (-110)
Cincinnati 7u (110)

This simply means that if you bet that the total combined score goes over seven runs you have to bet $110 to make $100. The bet on the under in the game runs the exact same way. Sometimes a sportsbook will tweak the total line with a different moneyline for the OVER and the UNDER in an effort to shift money one way or the other.

MLB Player Prop Bets

Many sportsbooks will add even more action to an MLB game by offering a set of player and/or team prop bets tied into a particular aspect of a particular game. They could range from does a certain player get a hit to which team scores first with a set moneyline tied to either an over/under or yes/no result. If you are new to betting on baseball, it is probably best to avoid these types of bets until you develop a deeper understanding of the game.

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